Christmas Eve Box ideas
A carrot for Rudolph, a mince pie for Santa and a Christmas Eve box of treats for the kids?
There is no doubt that Christmas Eve boxes have grown rapidly in popularity over the last couple of years with plenty of high street shops now joining the festive trend, including one supermarket which is currently offering parents a step by step purchasing guide to filling a box this year.
Asda, which has stores across Kent, is not only selling a bargain £2 box - complete with space to personalise - but is also in special stands offering everything from glowsticks and festive mugs to Christmas headbands and chocolates, to help busy parents complete a box in a one-stop-shop system.
The gift-giving tradition is fast becoming a Christmas Eve staple for many Kent families alongside the more traditional aspects of the night before Christmas which may include organising food for the reindeer, getting a glass of something for Santa or hanging out the stockings.
Some parents use it as a parting or thank you gift from the 'elf on the shelf', another fast-growing Christmas tradition, who returns to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to help Santa. While others use it as an opportunity to calm down excited children and create a more memorable bedtime routine to mark the special evening.
Therefore new pyjamas, a Christmas film, bubble bath and something from which to enjoy a warm drink before bed are all often included inside the box.
Although the cost so close to Christmas is still questioned by many parents with one mum on parenting forum Mumsnet asking - 'Don't you find that it dilutes the whole specialness of Christmas if they get gifts all through December? I mean, it's lovely, but isn't that a bit ...er... expensive?'
But there are plenty of suggestions for parents keen to embark on the Christmas Eve box tradition for their children at very little cost.
Santa's small key, the family's traditional plate for reindeer food and mince pies, Christmas books from previous years held back for the purpose or a copy of the traditional Twas the Night Before Christmas poem, hot chocolate sachets, a small bag of popcorn or sweets and Christmas socks in place of pyjamas put into a Christmas gift bag or old pillow case instead of a dedicated Christmas Eve box have all been suggested as ways to create a more budget friendly haul.
For those choosing to embark on a Christmas Eve box this year - here are some suggestions from the high street: