What is a Christmas Eve box?
Believed to have derived from the German tradition of opening presents on the night before Christmas, a Christmas Eve box is a gift that parents give children in anticipation of Christmas Day.
“I have done a Christmas Eve box for about 18 years now,” said one mum on the Kmart Mums Facebook group.
They can range from a cardboard box filled with pyjamas and a Christmas book to an elaborate custom-made wooden chest, overflowing with gifts and toys for the kids.
But not everyone agrees with the Christmas Eve tradition.
“Nope, we don't do that,” said another member of the Kmart Mums group. “They get plenty the day after as it's Christmas.”
“The world’s gone crazy,” added another Australian mum.
UK consumer expert Prof Vince Mitchell said that the Christmas Eve was a festive tradition that had been "waiting to happen".
"There's no pretence this is an ancient tradition" although we do already share a Christmas Eve "lull" when children anxiously wait for the next day, he told the BBC.
In the UK, Christmas Eve boxes are fast becoming a "clever retail invention", he said.
"They heighten the anticipation of the following day, which is key to children's Christmas experience," he said.
"This isn't a fad," Prof Mitchell said. "The Christmas Eve box will develop in terms of what they contain and we'll see a variation in prices from £10 to £100."
What does a Christmas Eve box contain?
A typical box contains everything a child needs to enjoy the night before Christmas and can include:
- Christmas book
- Christmas movie
- Snack for the movie
- A soft toy
- Christmas-themed plate and cutlery
- Reindeer food
- New pyjamas
- New toothbrush
- Christmas colouring books
- Family board game
- New tree decoration
- Bath bombs
- A Christmas-themed candle
- A Christmas-themed mug
- Hot chocolate
- Treats for Santa
After a Christmas Eve box to fill for your children? Here are our top picks.
If you're after a family heirloom, this bespoke Christmas Eve box can be personalised with your family name, Christmas symbol and a message. The customised lettering is engraved into the natural pine box, so it can be passed down through the generations.
If you're after a super-affordable Christmas Eve box, this cardboard option is perfect. It features a fun design that looks like a special delivery in the post.
If you don’t want to overdo the gift-giving on Christmas Eve, this small box will do the trick. It features a traditional design and will fit some pyjamas, a DVD and some festive snacks.
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