To hate the idea of Christmas Eve hampers?

(308 Posts)
leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 14:57:39

I know, I know.....Scrooge! But surely the magic of Christmas Eve is the simplicity of it, and the anticipation of what is to come. A hamper is really a big box of presents, and feels to me like overkill. But maybe I'm just a misery guts!

HulaHooperStormTrooper Tue 15-Oct-13 14:59:37

I am not sure I know what you mean?

YouTheCat Tue 15-Oct-13 15:01:06

We don't do a hamper (though I quite like the idea). But we do all get new pjs and yummy snacks on Christmas Eve.

moondog Tue 15-Oct-13 15:01:31

Not at all.
The obsession with buying crap and doling it out for days on end is as loathsome to me as you.
Why can't it just be about nice food and drink and having a nice time together?
Kids have enough although I don't begrudge them stuff and as an adult. Well, if oyu want it, just get it yourself surely?

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 15:01:31

New (to me) trend of people making Christmas Eve hampers - I think Christmas pyjamas, hot chocolate, DVDs etc etc

wonderingsoul Tue 15-Oct-13 15:01:33

i think it depends on whats inside.

bubble bath.. pjs, hot chocolate, dvd... bar the dvd i dont really class them as presents as such.. not do i count clothes for christmas **unless theve asked for some expensive* as prersents..but thats another thread*

i think it helps them unwind and is alittle magical.

boxing day presents.. that i dont get. iv heard people in real life do these and i just dont get it.. boxing day is for slobbing around playing wwith yesterdays toys and eating left overs.

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 15:02:24

Moondog, you put it so well! grin

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 15-Oct-13 15:03:29

I want to do new Christmas PJs for us all on Christmas Eve and maybe watch a Christmas film (which will mean buying a DVD as we don't really have any). I wouldn't be giving any more presents, but don't some countries do presents on Christmas Eve anyway, rather than on the day?

derektheladyhamster Tue 15-Oct-13 15:05:12

I'm lucky that my children are too old to start all of this. If we had hampers/christmas books/xmas bedding/elves etc they'd be sick with excitement by Christmas day! not to mention that there is no way we copuld afford all of this

When DS was little I did new pjs, a DVD and a xmassy book on Xmas eve. Not a fully fledged hamper though.

I saw on another thread that someone was planning a hamper for 1st December too. I'm not getting that one!

Not sure i will even bother with an advent calendar for DS this year. He never finishes one.

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 15:07:24

I suppose some countries do, Hopalong. I don't know why I find it objectionable, to be honest. But I would definitely call pjs and bubble bath presents, to be honest, and it feels a bit like an ongoing flow of stuff for the sake of it.

Ragwort Tue 15-Oct-13 15:10:59

Well said Moondog - I so dislike the fact that so many Christmas celebrations seem to be just about the presents - and where on earth do people put all this new stuff? I can see the point of spreading out gifts - ie: a couple on Christmas Eve and a couple on Boxing Day but to get 'extra' presents to give on Christmas Eve seems OTT.

Although it's yet another thing that only seems to exist in Mumsnet Land - never heard of it in RL. grin.

And why shouldn't clothes be Christmas presents? confused

moondog Tue 15-Oct-13 15:12:35

Never heard of it elsewhere either.
I'm thinking of putting a complete break on all presents this year, even though I have already whittled it down to about 10 people.
Neither do I want anyone to give me anything.

Apart from wine or flowers. grin

PlatinumStart Tue 15-Oct-13 15:12:45

I like the ongoing flow of stuff.

Not stuff for the sake of stuff but who can resist champagne, chocolate, new PJs and a DVD.

moondog Tue 15-Oct-13 15:13:38

Could resist all of those quite happily bar the champers.
It is stuff in place of rituals.

PlatinumStart Tue 15-Oct-13 15:13:39

Ooh and some Christmas candles....

PlatinumStart Tue 15-Oct-13 15:14:13

And maybe a new cable knit throw for the sofa....

Coupon Tue 15-Oct-13 15:16:39

I've never heard of Christmas Eve hampers. The magic of Christmas is the anticipation of Christmas morning. Do people have no patience any more?

PlatinumStart Tue 15-Oct-13 15:17:03

In my opinion the ritual (early dinner together and snuggling on the sofa) is enhanced by the stuff.

If that makes me materialistic then I can live with that.

plus the kids always need me new pjs it's hardly the height of extravagance

JaquelineHyde Tue 15-Oct-13 15:17:34

I hate it as well.

Our Christmas eve consists of visiting family, then a walk to look at the lights, home, hot baths or showers all round, a huge plate of bacon sandwiches, hot chocolate and a Christmas film.

I don't understand why people drag out days and days worth of Christmas gifts, for me its overkill.

Caitlin17 Tue 15-Oct-13 15:17:58

What is Christmas Eve hamper? Never heard of it.

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 15:18:00

I think I remember thinking it was quite magical to go to bed in your normal pyjamas on Christmas Eve, and maybe get some new ones under the tree. How times change, I suppose.

Coupon Tue 15-Oct-13 15:18:58

wonderingsoul the name "Boxing Day" originates from presents in boxes.

Tailtwister Tue 15-Oct-13 15:19:02

I've never heard of Christmas Eve hampers, but we usually have some new pyjamas for the children and watch a family film etc.

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 15:19:11

Sorry, I think I just PMed someone by accident! Whoever it was, it was meant to be a post. Sorry!!!

PlatinumStart Tue 15-Oct-13 15:19:52

As a child Santa's elves always delivered our stockings on Christmas eve. They would be pinned to the front door and the excitement we got checking the door every five minutes was second to none. It was part of the enormous build up. I have just built on that for me own DCs.

I'm not sure where my parents idea came from. They were pretty unsentimental and it's the only ritual I can think of from childhood.

Kewcumber Tue 15-Oct-13 15:19:55

Christmas eve hampers ?! confused

I tend to get DS new PJ's for Xmas if he needs new ones and would give them to him Xmas eve but if he doesn;t need new PJ's he doesn;t get them. I often buy a new DVD to watch Xmas eve, because... well its nice.

Is the problem daring to give anything new before Xmas day or making a big deal out of it being a present. BEcause I'm safe with one and not the other!

BlackbeltinBS Tue 15-Oct-13 15:19:59

Thing that strikes me with that is do the parents not do the snuggly/relaxed new pyjama thing, send the kids off to bed and then have to put an apron on over the pjs and start faffing around peeling spuds, wrapping up last minute presents/putting the Playmobil together before wrapping it/stuffing the stockings/doing a last minute run for the cream that got forgotten? Or is that just our house?

Tailtwister Tue 15-Oct-13 15:20:00

Oh and YANBU OP. It seems to take the shine off Christmas day of there are gifts on Christmas eve as well.

Caitlin17 Tue 15-Oct-13 15:20:48

I've never heard of a Christmas Eve hamper. Is this like a ploughman's lunch ? i.e a tradition dreamt up by a marketing team?

Ragwort Tue 15-Oct-13 15:21:20

I enjoy the ritual of a Carol Service, Nativity or Midnight Mass smile, most Churches would offer one of those on Christmas Eve.

I have no interest in chocolate, a new DVD or pyjamas hmm. Champagne would be OK though.

BeKindToYourKnees Tue 15-Oct-13 15:21:32

I've just asked everyone in the office, none of them has heard of a Christmas Eve hamper.

JerseySpud Tue 15-Oct-13 15:22:52

we do a hamper but its literally new pyjamas, hot chocolate mugs and a dvd

Lifeisontheup Tue 15-Oct-13 15:23:52

I do now get new PJ's for the children who are all teens + but that's because they need them and it's a good time to get nice warm ones for them to take back to uni. Don't wrap them up though but do change the sheets on Xmas eve.
We eat Rudolphs pie (Shepherds pie made with venison and pork) and drink a bit too much before we all go to Midnight mass.
Never have made a hamper or done the elf on a shelf stuff. It would be yet another thing to remember to do in December.

Kewcumber Tue 15-Oct-13 15:25:58

Jersey - how many hot chocolate mugs do you now have - surely there is a limit to the number any one family needs?

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 15:26:13

I have to admit, I had never heard of them in RL either! I read about them on here. As well as Boxing Day hampers to "ease the boredom" shock

CreamyCooler Tue 15-Oct-13 15:26:56

I've never heard of it. We do start eating and drinking all the Christmas goodies officially, as opposed to the run up to Christmas when the whole family are sneakily having the odd quality street from the tin.

Awitchwithoutchips Tue 15-Oct-13 15:34:40

Have always done Christmas pyjamas, a book or film, hot chocolate etc on Christmas eve for the last 19 yrs. I did a sort of hamper last year that comprised of the same things and some little cookies etc for my youngest children. Older ones got onesies which they were made to wear so I could take incriminating photos

Coupon Tue 15-Oct-13 15:38:51

Is it something recently dreamed up by a marketing department somewhere, to make people feel they need even more occasions to buy for?

BeKindToYourKnees Tue 15-Oct-13 15:41:38

Like baby showers Coupon?

Sthingmustbescaringthemaway Tue 15-Oct-13 15:42:16

I'd never heard of this until I read it here. Tradition is a lovely thing but this just seems like yet another way to make mothers feel enslaved and overwhelmed and anxious.

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 15:47:28

Coupon, I think you have nailed it! It's just like baby showers.

ICameOnTheJitney Tue 15-Oct-13 15:47:35

YANBU! I read a post here today about a Boxing Day hamper! Wtaf? I think it's rather sickening if presents on the day aren't enough.

Why don't we just frigging offer crap on a daily basis in case our little darlings don't already have enough?

Children are enslaved abroad, making more and more shiny things for us to gobble up and throw away.

PoppyAmex Tue 15-Oct-13 15:52:06

Well in my country we open presents on Christmas Eve, after Midnight Mass.

I think the Spaniards have it right though; they celebrate Christmas as a religious/family occasion and then give/open presents on the 6th of January (when the three wise men brought presents for baby Jesus).

Ragwort Tue 15-Oct-13 15:54:51

Poppy - you will find that a lot of people including mumsnetters don't seem to understand the connection between Christmas and religion wink.

thestringcheesemassacre Tue 15-Oct-13 15:55:09

My mum always sends me us a xmas hamper from John Lewis or somesuch. Full of yummy treats, wine etc. We really enjoy it.
My parents live in Australia and really miss us, so I don't mind them!

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 15:56:35

Poppy - I think that's different, though! I'm not a total Scrooge, I don't object to presents! It's more the apparent need for constant gratification, especially now things like Halloween have become such massive deals.

expatinscotland Tue 15-Oct-13 15:58:35

I think I love you, moondog.

YABU, i think you're projecting your own experience and expectations of Christmas on to other people.

Christmas is about being with your family, giving and receiving and just having a good time. If people are doing that then why not let them get on with it. Surely its nice that people try so hard to make things lovely for their children, especially when we know some people barely seem to bother feeding them.

I know I'm sounding very worthy, but it does annoy me. People are trying to do nice things and spend time as a family watching a Christmas film and are being derided as being these greedy sickening spoilers.

I for one was never given pyjamas as a present and I don't count clothes, bubble bath or food as presents really as by that logic Father Christmas comes monthly in our house. We used to get our presents on Christmas Eve as we're Jewish and my mother felt this meant we weren't celebrating Christmas. We used to get Hanukkah presents as well. I know there is a lot of nostalgia for the time of an orange or a lump of coal but I think its great people work so hard to make things enjoyable for the family.

UsedToBeNDP Tue 15-Oct-13 16:04:43

This thread is the first I've heard of it.

BeScarefulWhatYouWitchFor Tue 15-Oct-13 16:07:04

Have always done new pyjamas for christmas eve since DS's second christmas. For us it's become a tradition but we don't do christmas hampers.

Lavenderhoney Tue 15-Oct-13 16:07:58

My mil sends us a Christmas hamper every year. Its very nice. It has drink and chocolates in itsmile

I have no truck with hampers of twee jams no one eats, bizarre chutneys and Vinegars. Although I suppose if you get surprise guests or forget a present you can always wrap one up as an emergency.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Tue 15-Oct-13 16:08:24

Yabu. It's a nice tradition - just pyjamas, a bath bomb, a (reused every year) book, and some reindeer food. Hardly a glut of presents. I don't like excessive consumption either, I put a lot of thought into buying a few presents which I know will be loved and well used, but I love the Xmas eve hamper. Oh, and the pyjamas they need anyway, so really I'm not buying anything extra.

I know I would have LOVED this as a child.

Really, why get all wound up about it? Enjoy Christmas as you want and let others do the same.

FrightRider Tue 15-Oct-13 16:10:04

im in my 30s and we were ALWAYS bought some new PJs every christmas, we used to have a bath, put the new pjs on and sit and watch a christmas film.

its not a new tradition!

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 16:11:15

I know, I accept I probably sound a bit mean. Although I do think it's a shame that people think pyjamas, bubble bath and food don't count as presents!! A bottle of Matey bubble bath used to be one of the highlights of Christmas day for me! grin

wonderingsoul Tue 15-Oct-13 16:12:44

rag i dont like buying clothes for presents as its something i would have brought any way.. just feels a bit tight.

unless its something theve asked for and its expensive.

coupon i didnt knwo that.. still to me.. i think its ott to buy pressents just to give on boxing day.

FrightRider Tue 15-Oct-13 16:13:01

they're NOT presents, they're treats.

Presents are wrapped and appear under the tree. Christmas eve PJs and film are given unwrapped after bedtime to make it special.

FrightRider Tue 15-Oct-13 16:13:32

*after bathtime, sorry

JazzTheDog Tue 15-Oct-13 16:13:42

I'm in my 30's and also ALWAYS had new pj's from mum and dad on xmas eve which we put on after our bath ready for Santa coming.

I've carried it on for my boys but they also get a book in the parcel to read before bedtime.

BeKindToYourKnees Tue 15-Oct-13 16:16:19

I don't think you're mean OP - do you remember Miss Matey? She was pink! Do they still make them?

kcumber Tue 15-Oct-13 16:17:45

i think it's ridiculous. as if they don't get enough on christmas day.

DS usually gets a christmas storybook at some point in december, or we dig out an old one, i dont see why he needs to pyjamas, bedding, bubble bath and all the faff that he will have in abundance from friends/relatives the following day as well.

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 16:18:07

Yes! You can still get Matey. I'm getting 3 year old DD one for a Christmas present. Tight wad!

moominmarvellous Tue 15-Oct-13 16:21:30

I've always done one for me and the kids as DH usually goes out on Christmas Eve - didn't realise they were a 'thing' though.

Usually mine is Xmas PJ's, some chocs, a DVD - not necessarily a new release, just something we want to watch, and Christmas mugs for hot chocolate, same ones every year....

I love it - our Christmas Day is pretty hectic as we have a large family so Xmas eve is a nice chilled night for us.

Ooh we've just opened up our fireplace too so we'll have that this year!

usualsuspect Tue 15-Oct-13 16:22:03

My kids never even got new Christmas pjs.

Christmas eve is all about the drinking , thats me not the kids.

FunnyRunner Tue 15-Oct-13 16:23:36

YABU but thanks for the thread as it has given me the whole idea in the first place grin

I love Christmas and since we always end up spending Xmas and Boxing Day with various relatives it will be a nice way of having our own little family time together smile Looking forward to snuggly Xmas Eves with new PJs etc delivered to front door by an elf! (Although think Boxing Day stuff is the road to madness!)

wonderingsoul Tue 15-Oct-13 16:24:55

i feel like iv offeneded people with my last two comments, it wasnt meant to be.

i do new pjs, hot chocolate nice bath and flim christmass eve.. becasue i think it makes it special.

i just dont count them as presents,

so yes i like christmas hampers..depending on whats in them.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 15-Oct-13 16:25:14

New PJs on Christmas Eve is a tradition that goes way back in my family (my mum got them as a child in the 50s, me in the 70s and DS now).

We have our own traditions, some old (like pjs) others new (Christmas Eve mass instead of Christmas morning and my seafood feast once DS is asleep). I'm not at all bothered about what other people do in their own homes to celebrate Christmas as long as they don't force me to join in.

QueFonda Tue 15-Oct-13 16:25:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notso Tue 15-Oct-13 16:26:03

I don't know anyone in RL that does The CEH.
I have always put new PJ's on the 24th pocket of the advent calendar though, my parents best friends always did it for their DD and I was always a bit envy as a child so I do it for my DC.
If people want to do it then it's up to them though, a DVD and a bottle of matey isn't worth getting your knickers in a twist about.

Greythorne Tue 15-Oct-13 16:26:27


Don't get it at all.

And I am another who had only heard of it on MN.

Xmas Eve is very, very special though. All anticipation and Christmas carols. In the evening we sit in the drawing room admiring the tree, drinking Champagne, have a lovely early family dinner to give us time to finish wrapping and the evening finishes with the ritual of Father Christmas's sherry and Rudolph's carrot being laid out.

No idea where new pjs and DVDs fit in. Pjs are definitely an Xmas present in our house. Likewise DVDs.

As for the lists you see on MN:
'New pjs
New fluffy socks
Sachets of hot chocolate
New mugs
Bath bombs [and it's always a bomb, never a bottle of bubble bath- why?]
Stickers and album......'

All Xmas day presents here.

SillyOldHector Tue 15-Oct-13 16:27:38

Never did understand the whole pj's on christmas eve thing. I'd feel a bit nobbish sitting there with all the family in 'our new pyjamas'. Why not finish it off by tucking your feet into a big family slipper. Oh and a family slanket.
I'm half german so have presents on xmas eve. Xmas day is then free to do all the mad travelling to rellies.

Bunbaker Tue 15-Oct-13 16:28:06

I think it is a MN thing. I had never heard of them before joining MN. I have never done them and never will.

UsedToBeNDP Tue 15-Oct-13 16:31:22

PMSL @ "big family slipper"

Maryz Tue 15-Oct-13 16:31:30


There is a Christmas topic you know.

Acksherly, it's too early to even say thlhmm

StuckOnARollercoaster Tue 15-Oct-13 16:34:50

I've only heard about these hampers here on mumsnet. We won't be introducing it in our house now we have a DD. Christmas eve has always been special and family come round and plenty of little traditions about the meal and the tree, carrots for Rudolph, etc. so I don't feel like we need to add anymore.
Don't begrudge other people doing things like this but it's not for us...
I do worry about how much significant life events these days are about the present/physical item And that these 'things' are needed to build memories. My best memories are from events, conversations, activities and I hope to keep it like that in our family. DD will be 6 months at Christmas and I am already getting 'cats bum mouth' when I say I'm not buying any special big present for her just her first stocking.

JerseySpud Tue 15-Oct-13 16:34:52

They're getting new mugs this year as DD2 has moved on from sippy cups and DD1 wants china mugs now lol. They're cheap mugs from pound shop

HouseAtreides Tue 15-Oct-13 16:35:14

Matey doesn't smell the same any more. sad
I reuse to buy it any longer on this basis after a lifetime's loyal custom.
I think the basics of PJs, hot chocolate and a DVD are a good way to get everyone to relax together and make a wee bit of magic start for the DCs. I know a few of our past Christmas eves have been a bit fraught and fragmented with last minute to-do lists and not actually spending family time together.

bigkidsdidit Tue 15-Oct-13 16:36:14

We always had new pyjamas, sang carols as my mum read us The night before Christmas. I'm carrying that on smile

HouseAtreides Tue 15-Oct-13 16:36:29

And I do mean just PJs for the kids. I have no intention of donning any humorous pyjamas or, god forbid, a onesie <spit>

HesMyLobster Tue 15-Oct-13 16:37:03

I've always done new pj's on Christmas Eve for my dc - it's purely so they look cute in the Christmas morning photos!!

And we do always watch a Christmas dvd with hot chocolate, but it's not usually a new one.

Boxing Day gifts are a step too far though!

ICameOnTheJitney Tue 15-Oct-13 16:37:41

Lol at "big family slipper"

There's a market for that you know Hector

They could drink their hot chocolate from one massive mug and feel the lurve.

TunipTheUnconquerable Tue 15-Oct-13 16:38:11

Really I think we should fast during Advent like medieval people did so we really enjoy Christmas.

NB fasting would involve no sex, too.

wonderingsoul Tue 15-Oct-13 16:38:17

why would you feel like a knob sitting in pjs....

thats quite a strange thing to say really

gobbynorthernbird Tue 15-Oct-13 16:39:01

Who are these heathens who don't buy special Xmas pyjamas? No wonder the world is going to hell in a handcart.

cantspel Tue 15-Oct-13 16:39:07

I have always given new pajamas on christmas eve. But they are not a present as i buy them so they will look nice in the photos taken christmas morning during the present opening.

I dont see the point in buying hot chocolate or mugs as we have these in the cupboard anyway and sky tv provides the christmas film.

Actually snorted tea down my nose at family slipper and family slanket. I'm putting myself firmly with the other Scrooges. Presents on one day only in the glitter residence.

Ragwort Tue 15-Oct-13 16:40:07

Do you buy 'Christmas design' pyjamas? If so, don't they look a bit stupid a few months later or do your children not mind? grin.

We were never allowed Matey, my youngest sister is was scared of it, but she also had to put her left leg in the bath first and refused and bubbles so generally rather strange.

I don't feel knobbish at all in my new pyjamas, I feel wonderful. There will be over 30 people in my house for Christmas day, its nice after some evening drinks on Christmas Eve with friends, DH, DC and I will al sit down and watch a Christmas film with hot chocolate sweets and new pyjamas. The younger ones will then go to bed, the older ones will get dressed and go clubbing and I will frantically pre for the mania of the next day. Its a nice moment we have together as just us.

WaitingForMe Tue 15-Oct-13 16:40:29

Interesting that the assumption that this is in addition to presents.

I haven't done hampers but I do other things like crackers for breakfast. The kids make them, they are something to do (both making and using) rather than something to have. I'm trying to create memorable childhoods not based around gifts.

I use Halloween stickers on the mirror in the dining room. My stepsons adore them and they only cost £1. I'm at a loss to where there is anything to be negative about there.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Tue 15-Oct-13 16:40:49

I didn't think we were allowed. Christmas threads out of the Christmas topic till mid November?

FrightRider Tue 15-Oct-13 16:41:17

again, its NOT a 'mn thing'

i assure you, MN was not around 60yrs ago when my grandmother started the tradition of xmas eve pjs with my mom, not was it around 35yrs ago when my mom carried on the tradition with me and my brother.

YABVU to 'hate' it.

if you dont want to do it, thats your perogative, but dont go insulting something that is a very precious and important part of christmas to a lot of other people.

wonderingsoul Tue 15-Oct-13 16:43:09

i dont buy christmas pjs. just normal ones.

but i will admit for having a "thing" for pjs.. they are my feel good thing... if i feel crappy or really ill or just want a night of pjs allways make it loads better.

i may have isshoos but i can live with it.

Ragwort Tue 15-Oct-13 16:43:52

cantspel your children won't thank you for taking photos of them in their pyjamas grin.

A tradition in our house is that Christmas stockings are opened in bed but no other presents until after breakfast and church grin. When I was growing up we didn't have presents until after lunch but had to compromise when I married who came from a family that had a mad present opening session first thing in the morning.

I think it is quite interesting to read about all the different ways in which we all celebrate Christmas. (And we probably all think our own way is 'the right way' grin).

Each to your own!
We have always had a christmas eve hamper... well more of a basket tbh. It contains pj's for everyone, bubble bath, dvd, hot choc, marshmallows, gingerbread men, a bottle of fizz and reindeer dust.
We attend a family carol service at 2.30 pm then we go for a light meal with friends. When we get home we find the basket under the tree.

My parents did this and we have continued it... the only addition is a dvd.

My DCs always get new PJs each winter. They are a bit too utilitarian to be a fun gift, but I tend to save them for Christmas Eve and just lay then out on the bed for after their baths. Then they put out a mince pie, carrot and some sherry for santa and go to bed. If I didn't save them for Christmas, they would still get the same PJs but without the excitement of Christmas.

At least the photos of them opening presents on Christmas morning are of them wear nice PJs that fit.

I have no idea if this is Christmas hamper. I thought it was me just being crafty mummy and passing off some boring PJs are something a bit more exciting.

Ragwort Tue 15-Oct-13 16:46:15

wondering - genuine question, where do you buy 'nice' pyjamas? I love pyjamas but as a larger lady I find it really hard to buy nice ones, I don't want silly cartoon characters or that stretchy fabric, just good quality cotton. Suggestions welcome.

HaroldLloyd Tue 15-Oct-13 16:47:43

What's the beef with Christmas pjs?

Harmless, I tell you.

Lands End do proper cotton flannel PJs in a range of sizes from small to plus.

Sirzy Tue 15-Oct-13 16:49:20

We have a stocking 'delivered' by the elves while we are at church on christmas eve evening. Just has some PJs, some chocolate and a small toy in but the kids love it.

AliaTheEvilLeaper Tue 15-Oct-13 16:49:35

I've only ever heard of Christmas Eve hampers on here and netmums but no, YANBU OP, I completely agree with you!
I absolutely LOVE Christmas, and all the things that come with it. Christmas Eve hampers just sound completely and utterly over the top.
Do the small people not get enough presents as it IS on Christmas Day? Why the constant deluge of STUFF?
Christmas Eve is the build up to Christmas, and low key. Not another present giving day.
Spoilt and unnecessary, and totally materialistic which isn't what Christmas is about.

huhmuhguh Tue 15-Oct-13 16:49:50

I've always had new pyjamas on Christmas Eve and I'm 28 so it's definitely not a new thing.

I also have Boxing Day presents but that's coz it's my birthday. And we do 1 December presents too - only an Advent calendar though, nothing to get carried away about!

cantspel Tue 15-Oct-13 16:51:35

Ragwort as they are older teens now and spend half their time wandering around in their boxer shorts. Photos in their pj's are positively modest and the better of the two evils.grin

BitOutOfPractice Tue 15-Oct-13 16:53:56

YANBU but I reserve the right for the pyjama fairy to come on Christmas Eve

AmIthatHot Tue 15-Oct-13 17:00:11

On ever heard of this on MN too.

DD puts her PJs on and has hot chocolate for her supper every night. TBH, as another poster upthread said, Christmas Eve is the time I get presents from the car boot, where they have been hidden as I buy them, and wrap, wrap, wrap, as well as semi preparing food for the next day.

BruthasTortoise Tue 15-Oct-13 17:00:58

New Christmas PJs are an absolute necessity in our family and have been for generations now. If that makes me materialistic so be it but I could equally say that people who don't do it are miseries. Or, you know, I could just not worry about what other people are doing in their homes on Christmas Eve...

kcumber Tue 15-Oct-13 17:01:46

pmsl @ "big family slipper.

there is a sado family who live near me and i can actually imagine them doing that.

AngryFeet Tue 15-Oct-13 17:02:50

All these 'traditions' seem a bit try hard as if just doing things as they happen isn't good enough. Surely things like this evolve naturally?

Greenandcabbagelooking Tue 15-Oct-13 17:03:12

Our Christmas eve is early, simple dinner, carol singing at the hospital then home for sausages rolls, mince pies and wine with friends.

Lovely evening!

Greydog Tue 15-Oct-13 17:04:48

never heard of it! But we always used to have extra pressies on New Years Day, as DH was always working on Christmas Day.

smokeybacon Tue 15-Oct-13 17:05:21

This is a new one on me.

If you don't like it, don't do one.

But I don't personally give two hoots what others do in their house on Xmas eve.

usualsuspect Tue 15-Oct-13 17:07:01

My Xmas eve tradition is rushing down to Iceland to buy more trifle and Baileys cheesecake.

OneUp Tue 15-Oct-13 17:15:33

I think YABU. I'm doing a small one for my eighteen month old in the hope she will go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Mojavewonderer Tue 15-Oct-13 17:17:04

What happened to a stocking and a pillow case full of presents on Christmas Day. It's totally gone over board. I read on another thread how some woman buys her children at least 100 presents EACH! Not silly little ones either. Apparently her whole lounge was just full to the rafters with gifts. It would take all day to open them! I would have died of boredom after half an hour! Christmas to us is about the family getting together and having a delicious Christmas dinner and lots of laughs.

wfrances Tue 15-Oct-13 17:19:08

ds birthday is xmas eve .
pjs ect are under the tree for xmas morning
we do watch xmas films and track santa online.

givemeaclue Tue 15-Oct-13 17:22:12

Link to the 100. Presents please!
Yanbu op I agree.

The obsession with quantity of gifts over quality is odd.

I think very excessive gift giving, extra hampers etc is a veryworking class thing.

FrightRider Tue 15-Oct-13 17:24:25

so my kids are spoilt, and i'm materialistic and working class for buying my kids xmas eve pjs and a dvd to sit with us and watch.

you know what - fuck off.

i think those of you who dont do it are boring, pious, stingy, stuck up bastards.

BruthasTortoise Tue 15-Oct-13 17:26:09

Givemeaclue - Really? New pjs on Christmas Eve with maybe a book or reindeer food is very working class? Please expand on that? Do the middle / upper classes let their children sleep naked? Or maybe richer people don't love their children enough to spend their money on them, preferring instead to fund their lifestyles while their children go without?

YANBU i loooove Christmas but I hate them too. I like the idea of new PJs if they are actually needed and drinking hot chocolate in front of a film etc, but why dress it up as this big deal? And as for Boxing Day hampers... Well the less said about that the better. Actually, I hate all hampers that are not made up of nice foods, hampers are for food not 'themed' gifts!

bronya Tue 15-Oct-13 17:31:40

I do think that Christmas can be a bit of an anti-climax. At least a month of anticipation, preparation etc - then it's all over in one day. Nicer to spread the fun a little into Christmas Eve and Boxing day.

For us, DH won't finish work until at least 4pm on Christmas Eve. We will have hardly seen him for the preceding two weeks so the main excitement of Christmas for DS will be having Daddy at home! I like the tradition of a Christingle service on 24th, then a special dinner and immediate family presents - so we're much worse than the hamper thing! That leaves the 25th for a stocking from Santa, seeing family, presents from/to grandparents, cousins etc. We like the sales on Boxing day (spending DH's bonus!) so that makes a 3-day Christmas!

RooRooTaToot Tue 15-Oct-13 17:32:49

'Big family slipper' grin

I'm on a silent commuter train trying to contain snorts of laughter. Thanks Hector!

I like new Christmas PJs. I only get new ones once per year. They've always been a CD present for me, though I am going to start doing it on CE for DS this year. We open stockings in our PJs and leave the main ones until after brunch. Nice to have DS in new festive pyjamas for stocking photos!

skyeskyeskye Tue 15-Oct-13 17:35:08

I only heard of these hampers when I joined Mumsnet... DD gets new pyjamas on Christmas Eve so that she looks nice in the photos on Christmas Day, but that is it in my house. Christmas Eve is usually spent having a meal with friends, then at my parents house wrapping up the stocking etc while DD is in bed.

I'd rather be working class with good intentions than a middle class cunt.

eurochick Tue 15-Oct-13 17:42:46

I've never heard of Xmas eve hampers or new Xmas pjs outside MN. We mark Xmas eve by allowing the Christmas chocolates, nuts etc to be opened.

I feel thinking of Christmas as the festive holiday period as they did in good ol' days of 12 days of Christmas is a great idea and much better and less stressful than all the (commercial) pressure on the one day to be everything.
So I like reviving some Christmas Eve traditions and celebrations. I think alongside "The Night before Christmas" & "A Christmas carol" and the Christmas Santa films the Mumsnet Christmas Eve hamper with Christmas PJs is a great idea.
Just don't let it become too much - just a little something to go along with snuggling up for a Christmas Eve movie smile
Some friends of ours spread out the pressies over the 12 days of Christmas BTW, which is an idea ?

Coupon Tue 15-Oct-13 17:47:22

So what about a giant MN slipper then?

usualsuspect Tue 15-Oct-13 17:49:18

Working class thing?

Better than being all bloody worthy and buying your kids a sponsored goat from Oxfam.

fuzzpig Tue 15-Oct-13 17:49:57

We just have new pyjamas and usually a new tree decoration for them to hang on the tree before bed. Gets them to bed nicely grin

Coupon Tue 15-Oct-13 17:51:22

Charity gifts are fine if you ask for them in replacement for a present you would have received. Not so great to forfeit someone else's present though.

wonderingsoul Tue 15-Oct-13 17:54:20

rag marks always have nice pj's, also tesco's do some nice non character ones.

i feel the need to buy new pjs now.. i havnt brought any since january.

JerseySpud Tue 15-Oct-13 17:54:32

I'm working class with pride then.

I'd rather that than have my head up my arse because i can't deal with people being different.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Tue 15-Oct-13 17:57:00

On a different note, this thread has given me the great idea of adding a bottle of fizz for me and dh to the hamper.

Suttonmum1 Tue 15-Oct-13 17:57:10

My Christmas preparations consist of streamlining and minimising the effort, not thinking of more stuff to buy. If my kids need new pyjamas then they'll need them at the start of winter, not half way through.
Are the people who do hampers and some business with an elf and a shelf and homemade crackers etc the same ones who buy the mountain of chocolates and biscuits in every shop?

I always did Christmas Eve Gift bags, my eldest is 28, that was before Sky and I still only buy a DVD if there isn't a film we want to watch scheduled.

I do Christmas, Easter etc pj's. My middle DD's Birthday is in the 1st so a Christmas Themed gift, usually a soft toy was given to my other girls.

My DH and I and now my eldest DD are lucky to have time off, but used to book, Christmas Eve and part of Christmas day off. The same with Easter ,if you work in around the clock services, then it is nice to make an occasion and reason to ignore what is happening or needs doing and spend time together.

I don't celebrate "Christmas" though, I celebrate the solstice and the whole Winter Festival, which is spread out over more than one day, as should Christmas be, it is a period of celebration. So I have no interest in what is happening in my local Churches and we walk the dog daily.

Pj's need buying, whether you do that routinely, or on occasions is your business and waiting for key points in the year to give gifts doesn't mean that you are materialistic, or that the celebration is just about the gifts given.

Lilicat1013 Tue 15-Oct-13 17:58:33

I do Christmas Eve sacks, mainly what goes in them is things we do/own anyway. Christmas stocking ready to be hung up, Father Christmas magic key and The Night Before Christmas book.

The things in them that are new each are a book, pyjamas and a pair of slippers. Slippers they need, pyjamas they need so the book is the only extra.

When I was a child my Mum made choosing new outfit's for Christmas Day a fun special thing and gave us one present on Christmas Eve. It was fun, it didn't spoil Christmas or make us spoiled. This is my own variant for my children.

I don't really care what other people thing about it, I am not doing it to please other people I do what works for my family as I am sure other people do what works for them and their own family.

I did feel the urge to weigh in on the defense of the Christmas Eve hamper side though, so I suppose I must care a little!

moondog Tue 15-Oct-13 17:58:57

Yeah, that whole new pyjamas on Christmas Eve is a new one to me.
I figure that as long as I can keep wrestling my 9 year old into his age 5 astronaut set, we're good with what we have, thanks.
Which leaves more money to spend on good vino for me and the old fella.

Lifeisontheup Tue 15-Oct-13 18:04:05

Good Heavens, it's nothing to do with class, I really don't care what other people do so long as they don't make me feel mean or unfestive for not doing it. Each to their own.

zeeboo Tue 15-Oct-13 18:05:19

We don't do a hamper as St Nicholas brings our new Pjs and Xmas DVDs on Dec 6th but we do have that special pre Xmas treat and it's in the same vein as the hamper.
I think the point that so many posters are missing is that it isn't MORE stuff. It is stuff that probably would have gone under the tree and wouldn't have felt so special next to the new bike or doll or Xbox but on its own, on another day, a new pair of Pjs is a wonderful treat.
If you don't want to do it, fine but why bitch about others doing it? We celebrate advent all month long with treats and foods and gifts and special rituals. My older kids are nearly adults, the eldest is in the eyes of the law and they love re-creating these rituals every year especially now they can watch their little sister enjoy it.
Far from being materialistic I think it is far more in the spirit of Christmas than chucking the kids in front of the tv so the parents can get drunk or just putting all the gifts in a pile under the tree because the 25th is allegedly designated as the only day that gifts can be given over the festive period.
Special isn't in the buying it's in the presentation, the familiarity, the excitement and leading up to not just the 25th but to other days too.
And just to piss the naysayers off massively I usually keep a board game back and give it to the family on Boxing Day as it's the only day DH is off work. Again, not spending extra, just not giving the gift that is within my budget on the 25th because it more exciting for the kids to open it with both parents there and ready to play it.

Loopytiles Tue 15-Oct-13 18:05:29

Who has time to swan around in festive flannel PJs drinking hot chocolate and having family film time on Xmas eve? Surely it's the peak night for manic wrapping, food prep, arguing and gin swigging?

A much better tradition is cheesy festive knitted jumpers, as per colin firth!

"Are the people who do hampers and some business with an elf and a shelf and homemade crackers etc the same ones who buy the mountain of chocolates and biscuits in every shop?"

They are probably bought more for gifts, for relatives, Lollypop people ( my mum was one) and school staff/friends. As well as people having friends/ family round, don't understand why you would think that they would be bought for Christmas Eve gifts, although snacks are a part of having a DVD night, obviously.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Tue 15-Oct-13 18:09:39

We'll do food prep in morning, then walk/carol service, back to find the hampers, early bath for kiddies and then dinner of party type food in front of film. Then send the children to bed and drink wine. I do like to be organized and finish my wrapping before Xmas eve though.

Damnautocorrect Tue 15-Oct-13 18:12:09

We always had new pjs for Christmas Eve (I'm in my 30's) so it's not new to me, but calling it a hamper is.

moominmarvellous Tue 15-Oct-13 18:14:20

So the people who say starting this as a family tradition is forced & too try-hard - how do you think ANY tradition began? Do you bother with decorations or a tree? Isn't that also geared around setting a scene/creating a festive atmosphere with the people you love?

If people you don't even know want to do something special within their families, what on earth does it matter to anyone on here?

So YANBU if you think Christmas Eve Hampers are crap, but YABU to think that everyone else should too.

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Tue 15-Oct-13 18:17:18

I did a Christmas Eve hamper last year and will do one this year. Last year it had a nativity book, some nativity stickers, a Minnie Mouse sleepsuit and a couple of decorations for the christmas tree. and some chocolate wise men. Hopefully the fact that we also spent Christmas Eve afternoon doing craft and family service at church and went to church on Christmas morning will satisfy your "ritual" requirement

We are observant CofE and religion plays a big part of our lives. So we make a big deal of christmas

"Who has time to swan around in festive flannel PJs drinking hot chocolate and having family film time on Xmas eve? Surely it's the peak night for manic wrapping, food prep, arguing and gin swigging?"

People who are organised, Christmas falls on the same date every year and as everyone likes to point out, the shops are already stocked.

I have some presents wrapped, already and I don't buy for any other adults except my children, one niece ( who doesn't have parents) and my Mum. I don't do cards because of the environmental impact, except for relatives over 70. I have never over stretched myself, everyone pitches in, my DH used to cook dinner.

We are also making a yearly trip to either Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park (we are in Liverpool) as part of our celebrations, or the Blue Lagoon, Christmas can be however you want it to be.

Homeiswherethefartis Tue 15-Oct-13 18:18:25

I also have never heard of Christmas eve hampers before. A bit overkill for me tbh but whatever suits other people I suppose.
Despite having teens the Christmas fairy still pays us a visit early evening on Xmas eve with new pjs. That's our tradition along with nice nibbles nuts anf baileys.

sashh Tue 15-Oct-13 18:24:23


What you are getting is a lovely Xmas hamper, not the same thing.

Personally I have never (and probably never will) experienced this but it seems to be about having special things on Xmas eve, like the new PJs

sparkle12mar08 Tue 15-Oct-13 18:25:05

We're far from on the breadline, but my children's main presents this year will be a dvd each that they like, new funky coloured pyjamas, an annual of their favourite characters/shows, a pre loved football strip for ds2 and a pre loved scooter for ds1, a jigsaw and a couple of books for ds1, and a chess set for ds2 The idea of doing nearly half of that list just for Christmas Eve extras makes me realise just how much other families do have available to spend, and makes me a bit sad for us if I'm honest. Yet at the same time I can't help but feel that the rampant consumerism we see in the media fuels these sorts of things and that we're surely missing a trick in teaching our children what Christmas is really about, whether or not you are religious - celebrating and being thankful for family and friends, for being privileged enough to be able to give and receive some carefully chosen thoughtful gifts, no matter how small.

We do have one set of friends who spend over a thousand pounds on their children at Christmas, just on presents, nearly £400 each at a minimum (they have three). Not to mention all the food, drink, decorations, trips (pantomime, ice skating etc) over the period. They're a very wealthy household but it's just so much, so much stuff. And their children are not particularly grateful either, it has to be said, because they're so used to getting it every year.

I don't know where I'm going with this, except feeling a little bit sad and sorry for myself!

ScreamingNotWaving Tue 15-Oct-13 18:28:01

Love Christmas, love traditions, old and new.

Just wish I had time to do more in between the spud-bashing, gin swigging and cleaning the house.

I do mix glitter into porridge oats and tell the d
DCs that it's reindeer food, tho. Added food colouring one year, took months for it to fade.

deepfriedsage Tue 15-Oct-13 18:29:03

Can someone please explain why a Christmas eve hamper is very working class and why would being working class be something negative?

As I said on the Christmas thread, I thunk hampers for children are OTT. It is new PJS and a hot chocolate in this house, does that make us working class?

zeeboo Tue 15-Oct-13 18:33:23

It doesn't have to cost a fortune though Sparkle and the comparison with the people who spend £1000 per child is ludicrous.
Primark Pjs £4, Xmas DVD from the HMV Xmas sale £3 so to me that is affordable and I'd buy a big chocolate thing like a chocolate orange or new novelty socks for under the tree to go with the football strip and scooter and give the Pjs on Xmas eve.

Editededition Tue 15-Oct-13 18:34:16

There are some very wild assumptions on this thread.
New pj's & slippers on Christmas Eve is absolutely not an MN'ism. Nor, I would add, is it a strictly "working class" concept.

I started giving new nightclothes - 'ready for Santa' - to my DC's , back in the late 1970's long before MN was even imagined.
The idea was passed to me by my godmother for whom it was a family tradition, and which I believe was also passed on to various other families who spent Christmas with them over the years.

I rang her this afternoon to ask where the tradition originated, and she thinks that her mother's nanny introduced the idea - so that takes it back to the 1900's or thereabouts? hardly 'modern'!

I suppose it could be said that the nanny was working class and perhaps that her sewing of new nightdresses was simply an autumn occupation. However, it is a bloody certainty that she wasn't on MN

cantspel Tue 15-Oct-13 18:39:15

In my book everyone who has to work for a living is working class so unless you are living on the investments from your trust fund then fuck off with all the class crap.

I will happly spend my christmas eve in my new pjs, stuffing my teen kids stockings full of pants, socks and red bull whilst drinking a bottle or 2 of larger and dont care if someone somewhere else is drinking hot chocolate whilst watching the night before christmas.

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 18:39:40

Blimey, I've sparked a class war over Christmas pyjamas!!! grin FFS. Anyone can see it has nothing to do with class. Only on MN!

cantspel Tue 15-Oct-13 18:41:05

leobear but with mn everything comes down to class. The whole bloody place is obsessed with it.

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Tue 15-Oct-13 18:45:07

That's because most people on here come over as being terrified of being mistaken for the "wrong" class

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 18:45:14

Oh yes! So true

FunLovinBunster Tue 15-Oct-13 19:03:05

xmas eve hampers...sounds a bit naff to me.
perhaps I am a middle class cunt.....

BellEndTent Tue 15-Oct-13 19:04:29

I don't see the problem with people wanting to make things lovely for their children at Christmas. I don't do a hamper but always buy new pyjamas and sweets or a film or something to cwtch up with on Christmas Eve. It's my favourite night of the year.

FreakoidOrganisoid Tue 15-Oct-13 19:10:09

I do new pjs on Christmas eve for the dc (and usually for me becauseI love my pjs). We also watch a film together while I drink spiced cider. The children get excited to put their pjs on because they're new and think they've had a treat by staying up late to watch a film. In reality this is usually only half an hour later than their usual bedtime but having had an afternoon walk, then visitors and then sat all cosy watching the film they are usually ready for bed.

It's just pjs, unwrapped, from me not an elf grin

I do put bubble bath, toothbrushes and chocolate in the stockings though, which is probably exactly the same as what's in a hamper, just given at a different time.

The term hamper makes me cringe a little though, no idea why!

moldingsunbeams Tue 15-Oct-13 19:15:19

We did it for the first time last year but it was just new PJs and a dvd.

indyandlara Tue 15-Oct-13 19:24:28

As a child I always got new PJs on Christmas Eve. Without fail. Now I do a bag with new Pjs for the 3 of us, a DVD, book, small sweetie for DD, nice box of chocs for us later and a small box of fizz. Nothing is wrapped. They are all things I would have in the house at that time anyway but it marks a winding down of the day and easing into the excitement. We open it about 4pm. I am never rushing about wrapping or building on Xmas Eve and food prep is done in the morning. If I was rushing about like a headless chicken my day would be ruined.

It's got nothing to do with class. Our daughter won't be bought ££££ worth of tat and unnecessary gifts. Why all the snidey remarks? Surely we should be glad that there are still people cherishing family time, regardless of how they choose to spend it?

MrsDavidBowie Tue 15-Oct-13 19:26:00

I have never heard if anyone in RL having one.
In fact we must be the only family who never drink hot chocolate, snuggle under duvets and eat marshmallows.

Christmas eve we go out for an early dinner to somewhere like Cote or Strada, and then home. I refuse to cook more than I have to over the 3 day period.

Latara Tue 15-Oct-13 19:28:08

As I live alone, can I make myself a Christmas Eve Hamper?

Sorry, not read all of thread. Just don't like the idea of new pyjamas on Xmas eve. When I was a kid one of the loveliest things about ChristmS day presents was going to bed in your new pyjamas, taking a new book up to bed to read, armed with nice new smellies ready for morning shower on Boxing Day.

Bah humbug to Xmas Eve materialism!

Wilberforce2 Tue 15-Oct-13 19:33:17

Yabu we do this and it's building up to be a lovely tradition. We call it the Elf Bag and my ds5 think that he gets one for being extra good throughout the year. About 5pm Christmas Eve I go around the side of the house whilst my husband keeps ds occupied and then I leave the bag on the door step and knock loudly then run back around and I'm in the kitchen like I never left!

Ds absolutely loves it and it just adds something else to the excitement of Christmas Eve. His bag has new pj's, new toothbrush, sachet of hot chocolate, something to eat (normally one of those little chocolate lollies) and a Christmas book or DVD. Nothing major or expensive just some stuff to have before bed, we then use the stuff in there have a bath, pj's on, DVD or book and then into bed where I read him Night Before Christmas smile All just fun and Christmassy, I'm not overloading him and he really enjoys it.

Editededition Tue 15-Oct-13 19:34:06

Well. if we didn't know before then we certainly know now ...... there is only one way to celebrate Christmas! Each to their own!!
(and then we wonder why there are so many IL threads in the festive season)

Lifeisontheup Tue 15-Oct-13 19:35:10

I used to get a new nightie at Christmas, I still remember the pink nylon one, I thought I looked like a princess in it, I also remember the backdrop of my parents constantly shouting at me to stay away from the fire. smile
My kids never get xmas themed PJ's though, just primark cosy ones. I've also seen these slippers for DS1
Are they acceptable for Xmas eve or would they be too middle class grin He's 20 BTW.

dementedma Tue 15-Oct-13 20:09:20

Haven't read all the thread but another one here who doesn't get the hamper idea and doesn't know anyone who does it in RL. Defi itely a MN thing along with that creepy elf.
Christmas eve is for me, Carols from Kings, chilled Champagne, lovely nibbles and a huge sigh of relief that all is ready.

fuzzpig Tue 15-Oct-13 20:13:43

I read on another thread how some woman buys her children at least 100 presents EACH!

Link please?! <intrigued>

cantspel Tue 15-Oct-13 20:21:31

I love those slippers and might just have to buy them for my son as well.

CaptainTripps Tue 15-Oct-13 20:27:24

My niggly concern (and it is only a slight one) is that, as the years pass, this becomes common practice.

Then the kids start having expectations.

Then the pressies for the hamper will begin to get more numerous and pricey.

And it becomes yet another thing to have to think about.

Why oh why do we do this to ourselves?

Threalamandaclarke Tue 15-Oct-13 20:32:24

I knew it would be worth reading this thread just for the usual MN class related chest puffing. Don't panic Hiacynth, you don't have to have one if you don't want it.
My DCs are still very small and we're building our traditions as a family, a mix of mine and DH's and our shared ones too. I am notoriously irritatingly according to DH unmaterialistic, and like to keep gifts to a minimum but I can have my arm twisted but I like the idea of a Christmas eve hamper. Pjs, hot chocolate, wine for me (when I've stopped envy, a book "the night before Christmas" (just taken from the shelf to go in the box) and maybe a bath bomb if I'm feeling flush. I like the idea that it could make us all sit down and relax together. Sometimes I find Christmas eve a bit of a rush, with cooling, last minute wrapping, etc etc, there's so much going on and I think the hamper could just be a focus for some coming together and sitting down quietly.
Happy Christmas

Threalamandaclarke Tue 15-Oct-13 20:34:05

For persepctive/ reference, I still can't buy a chocolate advent calendar. I love the picture ones. <feels old>

Rufus44 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:41:10

New pj's and a book each. The book stems from wanting to read them a Christmas story before they went to bed on Christmas Eve, I had to buy one as I didn't have one. Now it's habit.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 15-Oct-13 20:44:12

We dont do it as a hamper but always leave new pjs/slippers, xmas bubble bath, movie and chocolate for DS to find on xmas eve.

Also get nice treats for us when DS has gone to bed so we can chill and just have to unhide the presents at the last moment grin

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 15-Oct-13 20:48:29

We dont do clothes for christmas though as they are just bought throughout the year so DS would get new pjs and slippers anyway.

twitchypalm Tue 15-Oct-13 20:49:50

We have always done christmas pjs and a new book chrsitmas eve. Me or dp go upstairs to run the dcs bath they go up to have it and miraculosly a wrapped pair of pjs and new book has been delivered by the elves to there beds.

The dcs will be 8 and 9 this year so dont know how long we can keep it up for its always a special pair of pjs that we wouldnt normally buy during the year.

I dont see whats wrong with making christmas magical for the kids.

dementedma Tue 15-Oct-13 20:53:27

Ooh, at last. A kindred spirit who won't buy chocolate advent calendar. Thought it was just me. I have to hunt every year for a nice one with a nativity and no decking chocolate!

dementedma Tue 15-Oct-13 20:53:50

Fecking! Fecking!

cathers Tue 15-Oct-13 20:59:33

We do a shoebox covered in Xmas paper with some pjs, a book, a chocolate and a bauble for the tree. I don't think this is going overboard,the pjs are needed and the dcs will have the baubles to put on their own tree when grown ups.

maddening Tue 15-Oct-13 21:02:36

My dad's side of the family is eastern European - so we have a big celebration on Christmas eve as that is when they do it and then my mum's Christmas is Christmas day - 2-4-1 smile

Rufus44 Tue 15-Oct-13 21:03:38

Don't buy chocolate advent calendars

Have a huge advent calendar which I fill with either chocolate, vouchers ( for a Christmas movie or Christmas baking) or very small toy

And we have presents on Boxing Day! (Family ones)

And they only get one pair of pj's a year, we just give them on Christmas Eve

And they don't come in a hamper, and I've done it for nearly 14 years

FrightRider Tue 15-Oct-13 21:10:16

i dont understand why people feel its materialistic though.

It makes the evening special, its nice to wear new pjs straight out of the bath and to snuggle on the sofa with the tree lights on while you watch a film (usually the santa clause or the snowman in this house) before getting the milk and reindeer food ready by the tree and then running them up to bed and snuggling up while i read them The Night before Christmas.

Then DH and i come downstairs, enjoy a drink and then get the presents (which are already wrapped and hidden!).

How is making christmas eve special just for us as a foursome materialistic when xmas day is a whirlwind of visiting grandparents and cooking and tired kids.

Lifeisontheup Tue 15-Oct-13 21:11:53

I always wanted one of those felt advent calendars when DC's were small but they were too expensive. Now they demand chocolate ones at 17, 20 and 21.
BTW does anyone know if I can post a chocolate one to Italy for DS who is at uni there?

chanie44 Tue 15-Oct-13 21:24:42

I'm doing Xmas eve hampers for my two (aged 3 and 1).

My hampers have new pjs, new toothbrush, snowman soup, chocolate coins, reindeer food and a letter from Santa. Kids always need pjs and toothbrushes and they are practical items. The rest will cost pennies as they are homemade.

I'm not wrapping them up, although I may try and make a sack for them to use every year.

Ps the one year old is only getting the pjs!!!!

Fleta Tue 15-Oct-13 21:30:33

My thoughts on the matter - bit of a stream of consciousness.

We always got a pair of new PJs on Christmas Eve when we were smaller. My daughter now gets the same. Pretty long standing for a "new" tradition.

Why do people get their knickers in such a twist about how much/how little people spend on their families at Christmas. You're only a dick if you spend beyond your means. It is interesting that the assumption seems that Christmas Eve presents are in ADDITION to Christmas DAy presents - maybe they're just the same amount of presents over two days.....

I'm not in the slightest bit religious. As far as I'm concerned the supposed "real meaning of Christmas" is a myth. For us Christmas is about enjoyment, family and gift giving. That doesn't mean I'm better/worse than any other person - just different. Viva la difference!

ICameOnTheJitney Tue 15-Oct-13 21:31:18

I think it's the word "Hamper" which makes hackles rise. Hamper suggests an over the top, large gift box brimming with presents. When really it's a fer treats. DO people actually put them in hampers? Or a gift bag or something?

Ragwort Tue 15-Oct-13 21:33:04

What is snowman soup ? grin

fuzzpig Tue 15-Oct-13 21:35:25

Snowman soup is basically jazzed up hot chocolate AFAIK (white choc)

Threalamandaclarke Tue 15-Oct-13 21:40:23

I saw some recently dementedma
If only I could remember where..... WHSmith?

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Tue 15-Oct-13 21:40:53

Demented, dd doesnt have a choccy one either. Poor deprived child gets a massive religious scene instead !

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 15-Oct-13 21:41:27

I don't think it's a class thing. I think it's a sneering thing. Some people like to look down on others. Some are on this thread.

Threalamandaclarke Tue 15-Oct-13 21:41:49

Chocolate decking grin

Threalamandaclarke Tue 15-Oct-13 21:43:12

Ooh, baubles. Great idea. They can put something on the tree.

Bluestocking Tue 15-Oct-13 21:46:57

FunLovinBunster beat me to it - "naff" is the word I would use to describe the whole Elf on a Shelf/Christmas Eve hamper performance. But the Elf on a Shelfers would probably think our Christmas was unbearably dry and unfestive. So, as usual, it's horses for courses.

leobear Tue 15-Oct-13 21:50:13

ERM - what is elf on a shelf??

FrightRider Tue 15-Oct-13 21:54:54

elf on a shelf is a doll that you're supposed to hide in different places around the house.. its supposed to be one of santas elves spying on you... from a book someone wrote.

we dont do it as i think the doll is creepy looking, but im not about to make some whole thread declaring i hate it and its materialistic and working class to insult everyone who does do it and feels its a precious part of their christmas tradition.

FTR, we do NOT do a 'hamper' or jazz the xmas eve stuff up in any way other than just changing the kids into new pjs after their bath.

Bluestocking Tue 15-Oct-13 21:55:48

Leobear, there are loads of threads about the Elf on a Shelf. Please don't make me describe it - it is really, really naff!

Swimmyfishy Tue 15-Oct-13 22:00:08

Bah humbug! No not getting into this, christmas eve is fine just as it is! Its probably ( in our families opinion) the most exiting day of the festive period! A woodland walk,.trip to a ( family friendly) pub and a classoc xmassey movie PERFECT. We all do it in our own perfect way!

ringaringarosy Tue 15-Oct-13 22:00:55

im doing a hamper for the 1st of december,it will have christmas pjs,dvds,books,sticker books/colouring,a bit kit with stuff to make cards and decorations and some sweets/chocs.

Christmas eve will be some MORE pjs (you can never have too many pairs of pjs)hot chocolate,maybe another dvd and some stuff to eat while we watch it.

these will have been delivered by the elf!

This is the first year ive done anything like this,xmas was quite non eventful in our house,so now the kids are old enough id like to make a fuss about it.

ringaringarosy Tue 15-Oct-13 22:02:43

i only heard of elf on a shelf a few weeks ago and i bought one last week,it came today and i think its lovely!the kids will like it and its all just a bit of fun!

i love it when people use the word naff ive not heard that for decades!

Bluestocking Tue 15-Oct-13 22:04:26

I love the word "naff" and am on a crusade to rehabilitate it!

nickelbabe Tue 15-Oct-13 22:06:54

we started doing new pjs for christmas eve when dd was born.
except, dd got to wear pjs that she hadvalready been give.n.
we go to midnight mass.

not sure how well that will work this year.
yearr 1- 2week old dd slept all the way through.
year 2. dd arrived asleep, woke up crying halfway through and then fed to sleep under my surplice.
it'll probably be a bit noisier this year.
tha kfully., dd normally wakes up for her middle-of-the-night surge at around half 11.....

DuckToWater Tue 15-Oct-13 22:19:14

I had never heard of a Christmas Eve hamper before this thread.

To me the words "Christmas" and "hamper" conjure of a selection of slightly off biscuits, crap wine, chutneys made of improbable combinations of produce, some glace cherries, York fruits and chocolates in the shape of a snail, sorry, I mean a sea shell.

I hate Christmas food, apart from smoked salmon and chestnuts. By December 27th I am craving a raw vegetable detox and something that requires movement, outside.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 15-Oct-13 22:23:28

boxing daay presents are those presents that you left at the back of the wardrobe and forgot to wrap send to santa and will be grown out of by next birthday or christmas.

marriedinwhiteisback Tue 15-Oct-13 22:33:06

FGS. What's wrong with a ham joint, good wine, midnight mass and a good slurp of Father Christmas's single malt from the side of the hearth once the dc are asleep grin.

Oh yes and to top the lot of you I had contractions one Christmas Eve and got the baby at 2.47am on Christmas morning. Hampers my backside - I got my best present in a bassinet. grin

Threalamandaclarke Tue 15-Oct-13 22:50:48

marriedinwhiteisback your post is oozing with references to your expensive tastes. Well done.

marriedinwhiteisback Tue 15-Oct-13 22:53:17

confused what the feck are you on about marmalade

soontobeburns Tue 15-Oct-13 22:55:38

I must admit I long for a Christmas Eve hamper and plan to start one along with more traditions.

As I child and more so a teenager we never had traditions. I cant remember any Christmas Eve and Christmas was about opening presents and playing with them along with dinner, boredom and feeling upsetbecause I over.

Im still living at home, no DC but I want to make it special and full of traditions and memories. For me this means bubble bath, new pjs, hot chocolate and a Christmas movie on Christmas Eve.

If this makes me spoilt or working class [which I am] so be it. Christmas over the last few years has morphed away from presents to family and tradition.

I can't wait to have DC if it ever does happen so I cant start and pass down these little things that I never had.

Latara of course you can, and you should. I include myself in the hamper.

Thats why the elf always brings mums favourite chocolate, bath stuff and brand of pyjamas while everybody else gets standard stuff grin Its only fair as I did go out and buy it all.

itsonlyme85 Tue 15-Oct-13 23:00:44

I kind of do a christmas hamper blush
Well i put new pj's for all of us
A christmas dvd
Some cookies i made with the kids earlier in the day
And hot chocolate
By Christmas Eve everything is prepared so we all sit on the sofa and watch the film. I do go to my mums for dinner though so i have it easier then some. My mum and dad always did it with me so now i do it with my kids. Dont ask why but i do find it quite chilled out and enjoy it.

FrightRider Tue 15-Oct-13 23:43:11

im terrible... i'm pagan, my kids gets to celebrate Yuletide as well as Christmas. its one long party chez Fright.

Yuletide however is just about welcoming back the Sun... so we light candles, put the christmas tree lights on for the first time and have a bit of a feast on the carpet (omnomnom).

I work hard to encapsulate my religious traditions into the secular idea of christmas and christmas eve, for me, is the day my Solstice celebrations end, and i throw myself into my familys christmas celebrations.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 16-Oct-13 01:15:30

I get v busy on Christmas eve but then Christmas day and boxing day onwards feel really miserable and empty, so I wonder if a hamper would work on boxing day, same things in them, just a nice snuggly experience stuff... Or maybe is too boring in comparison?

I like the idea of stretching Christmas to the 12 days and doing a little something nice on each day & spreading presents for ds over the days - he still gets present saturation very quickly... 12 days is a long time though.

Hummmm... Ideas to make a lonely post Xmas period nice?

Ragwort Wed 16-Oct-13 08:18:40

The word 'snuggle' is enough to put me off Christmas for life grin.

Do families with teenagers carry on the hamper tradition and 'snuggling' - I can just see my DS's face if I offered him new pyjamas and a night in with a new DVD grin.

Threalamandaclarke Wed 16-Oct-13 08:23:13

I love Boxing day Double
Leftovers and pickles. Mmmm. The true meaning of Christmas grin

Marriedinwhite I guess you mean me, rather than marmalade (looks similar on screen). I found your post amusing. Was it not meant to be? Sorry. It was just the Nigella-esque "good wine" and the references to single malt and the nod to the open fire that made me smile.

FrightRider Wed 16-Oct-13 08:24:16

Ragwort, yes. i think the first christmas i went out for xmas eve was when i was 18, and i went to the pub with dad!

xmas is always about family, i have never ever been out with my friends, only ever family.

I was head chorister of my church choir for years, and i didnt attend any celebrations after the carol service we did a couple of days before christmas either. i was raised that from midday on christmas eve, its family time until boxing night.

Threalamandaclarke Wed 16-Oct-13 08:25:51

nicklebabe you need to have a word with Fortnum and Mason about that dodgy hamper grin

Editededition Wed 16-Oct-13 08:39:19

My DC's are in their 30's ....if they are here they (and partners) still get new nightwear although it has tended to move away from pj's towards big comfy t-shirts - or sometimes dressing gowns.
We never do the Christmas movie, but always have Christmas music on at full blast through the afternoon, while prepping for the evening, and for next day - dancing around the kitchen is fairly standard at some points, and DSIL has proven a master at drums on the table with wooden spoons smile.
We always go to a 4pm church service as a family ....and then it is a social evening, sometimes hosted by me, sometimes by others, but its always a get together with those we are closest to and it has been the same way for decades. Sometimes the parties are large, sometimes smaller, but always they are a laying down of work and 'got to do' and a move into 'this is Christmas'.

As late teens, the children would head off into town for drinks with other friends at around 10'ish. Not an issue, we were all still up at around 7 the next day. These days, they just help tidy up and then crawl into bed braced to be woken by their own DC's at 5'ish (revenge, as a granny, is soooooo sweet grin

Why would age change any of this? sometimes its been a little flexible (the teens quit going to midnight mass with me when they reached drinking age, but reverted in their mid- twenties) but the rituals are just as precious to the next generation as they have been to me.

NCISaddict Wed 16-Oct-13 08:43:43

My teenaged (and older) Dc's stay in on Christmas eve, the difference is that they drink beer and come to Midnight mass. I love Christmas even more now they're older. Haven't got a DVD player so we'll have to make do with the Christmas channel. We have a single friend who's moved into the area staying this year and she's a bit of an abfab type so I predict a riotous evening after all the sprouts have been peeled.

Now I'm off to buy the slippers I linked to up thread (have NC'd) for my DS. They should keep his toes safe from puppy

niminypiminy Wed 16-Oct-13 08:52:33

New pyjamas? Never heard of this before. Seems like madness to me. What is wrong with the pyjamas you already have?

Sparklymommy Wed 16-Oct-13 08:53:23

Christmas is all about tradition. And being magical.

Christmas Eve my four always have two wrapped presents: new pajamas and a Christmas book. They have a bath, put on the new pajamas, have the storybook and snuggle up in clean bed sheets. Myself and my mum always go to midnight mass, and I am considering taking my oldest this year, although will probably just take them all to the christingle as she still believes in Santa and I think midnight mass could ruin that for her, as we put out presents before going.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 16-Oct-13 08:56:01

Working on Christmas Eve - in the madness that is retail....

I expect I will come home about 8pm, shower and collapse on the sofa and be fed ham egg and chips by hubby/MIL whilst the kids (11+12) whinge about wanting to watch some totally unsuitable crap on the telly, til some ridiculous hour ....

Hampers for Christmas Eve..... what normal person has time for all that...

PrimalLass Wed 16-Oct-13 09:03:27

We do new pjs but that's about it.

I don't wrap on Christmas Eve because my (usually lovely) MIL ruined it for me 3 years ago by saying about 100 times that I had bought too much and that we should put some of it back for later in the year. It wasn't much but all came in lots of cardboard so looked lots. I thought she would have enjoyed being part of the wrapping but she doesn't get that privilege now. I do it all with a bottle of wine and Love Actually when OH is out at his Christmas do (so he can't moan either grin).

We also get a takeaway as there is no way I am cooking. A very festive chicken kebab.

meandbumpy Wed 16-Oct-13 09:05:44

It's Yuletide and Christmas for me too so lots of celebrate at once!

I love a new set of PJs on Christmas eve and if I can afford to get myself a new set of sexy undies too, which is both a gift for myself and dp!
Although with DC1 expected in December the undies tradition is probably doomed

Also, Rudolph pie!? - equally horrified and delighted!! May have to adopt that one!

"What is wrong with the pyjamas you already have?"

They aren't new and don't have, reindeer, penguins wearing bobble hats, or snowmen on.

Why not shower and put your Christmas PJ's on?

And what constitutes a normal person, I used to do 12 hour shifts, my DH could work Ito 18 hours a day( probably added to his early death) so then I became a LP working just above Min Wage working 12 hour shifts.

You shop, you see things ( for the three month 24/7, build we now have to Christmas and you buy what fits in with your theme, simple, really.

freddiefrog Wed 16-Oct-13 09:09:36

We've always done new PJs on Christmas Eve.

We used to wrap them and leave them on the kids' beds while they were having a bath. We used to tell them that Father Christmas sent a scouting party of elves ahead of him to make sure they were all getting ready for bed.

Once they spotted those packages on their beds they knew the big man was on his way.

We also watch a Christmas film - by tradition it has to be Elf for the hundred-millionth time followed by a lively rendition of The Night Before Christmas once they're all in bed.

They no longer believe in Father Christmas, but we still do new PJs and the beer/mince pie on the mantle piece.

It's just a bit of fun. No, there's nothing wrong with the PJs they already have, but I'm pretty sure a frivolous new pair of PJs once a year isn't going to ruin my kids for life

We've also continued with a tradition that my Mum started when my brother and I were kids - we leave a welly boot out by the front door on New Year's Eve and some mysterious being that my mum never elaborated on fills it with sweets.

Or is this one of those MN things, were new pj's (like clothes) are only bought once every 3 years, along with feeding a family on a sparrow sized bird?

NCISaddict Wed 16-Oct-13 09:11:54

Rudolph Pie is lovely. I make it at the beginning of December and freeze so no cooking on Christmas eve. I do some prep in the afternoon (if not working) on my own in the kitchen with the Festival of Nine lessons and carols on the radio.
When Kids were little, Dh was always working (retail) and didn't get home until 7ish so they were ready for bed by then. I always tried to keep it low key so they weren't over excited and up at stupid o'clock and very grumpy by lunchtime. It's all much more exciting now I don't have that to worry about.

Tesco are doing bags of cider toffee, that look like coal, mine will get that, as well on Christmas Eve, this year ( they are all over 16).

WhoKnowsWhereTheBonnetsGo Wed 16-Oct-13 09:13:36

I think a Christmas Eve hamper is slightly overkill personally, but no objection to anyone else doing them. No to bath bombs, the treat for my DCs is NOT to have a bath, one of them doesn't like hot chocolate or wear pyjamas.

However there are a few things that we like to do from the start of December (if they only came out on Christmas Eve they would only get used for a couple of days). So, from 1st December, Christmas music is allowed on Ipods, Advent Calendar (obviously) and a basket of Christmassy replacements for normal things comes out of the loft (eg Christmas mugs and teatowels, also our Christmas story books). We also get a new Christmas film DVD so we can watch it a few times in the run-up. So, a sort of hamper.

niminypiminy Wed 16-Oct-13 09:13:58

No, it's not that, but genuinely I have never heard of anyone buying new pyjamas for Christmas Eve. But then, I never bought the DCs those 'baby's first Christmas' vests either.

ringaringarosy Wed 16-Oct-13 09:20:02

no i dont buy the babys first things either,i think they area bit tacky,sorry anyone who loves them,im not keen on anything like that,even things like "strong like my daddy" and "my mummy is gorgeous" or even a simple "i love mum and dad" they annoy me.

moosemama Wed 16-Oct-13 09:20:45

The new pyjamas idea came about for us because my ds has AS and wears his pretty much 24/7 when home, so all his pyjamas always look tatty and washed to death. I wanted him to look nice for present opening photos, so engineered him to be wearing nice new ones by giving him them after his bath on Christmas Eve. blush grin

All three of mine now get new PJs and if nothing else, I find it really useful to help me identify which year is which by them when I'm going through my rather chaotic photograph archive. blush

Ahhh Christmas Eve traditions.

My kids get some PJ's and marshmallows.

It builds up the excitement of what's to come to such an infuriating level that it makes my gin consumption all the more worthy.

NCISaddict Wed 16-Oct-13 09:27:43

Am I the only one who doesn't photograph present opening?blush At least not since DD was nearly 1. I always had good intentions.......
They'll all have to be dressed and in their right minds by present opening this year as there is a PUPPY to be walked and I will be too busy chivvying the turkey into the roasting tin so will need early peace and quiet.

KitchenDiscoDancer Wed 16-Oct-13 09:28:33

I used to get new pyjamas on Xmas Day and looked forward to wearing them on Christmas night after my matey bubble bath! I also give my kids pjs on Xmas day (only if they need them) so they can wear them on Boxing Day - that's when you need to really chill out. On Xmas eve I am busy cooking, going to church and having a massive fish pie with my family to even think of additional gifts. That is for Christmas Day! Christmas Eve is the day of anticipation - waiting, surely that's the excitement.......

Lemonylemon Wed 16-Oct-13 09:39:12

DS (16) has insisted on a reindeer onesie....

DD (6) is insisting on a onesie with snowflakes...

We will be having a carpet picnic of party food on Xmas Eve - I'm not slaving over a hot stove for long.

We will be watching It's a Wonderful Life; The Muppets Christmas Carol and probably a very old video tape of Disney's "Mickey's Magical Christmas" or something along those lines.

DD will be putting carrots out for the reindeer and a mince pie and a glass of Bailey's out for Santa.

kelly21 Wed 16-Oct-13 09:39:40

i love christmas i am in such a tight budget but i want to make memories like my parents made for me i dont go overboard her exmas eve hamper consists of new pjs christmas cookie dough and a new christmas book and dvd the elf will leave it on chritmas eve IF shes been a good girl i do think people can take it abit far

niminypiminy Wed 16-Oct-13 09:39:54

I don't photograph present opening.

Ok, so no new pyjamas, no photographing present opening, no bubble baths. What else am I missing that Everyone Else Does?

We usually do go to church on Christmas Eve, and I normally to to midnight mass (and then we go again on Christmas morning -- I really love that service). We have mince pies and carols, and I quite often listen to some of the nine lessons. I write a letter to the children from Father Christmas. And we often have a fishy dinner. But that's about it.

Rufus44 Wed 16-Oct-13 09:43:13

I always get a bit low on Christmas Eve just before I go to bed, Christmas Day is lovely but I love the preparation that goes on for up to 2 months before hand.

My husband and I love Christmas Eve, the children are so excited, Santa is on his way and Christmas Day itself seems over in a flash

Threalamandaclarke Wed 16-Oct-13 09:45:27

What is Rudolph pie NCISaddict?
Photographing everything is an obsession of my DH. I long to just 'be' without pausing to pose at the right angle grin

Threalamandaclarke Wed 16-Oct-13 09:47:32

I love midnight mass (and gin grin) but they don't fit well with having small DCs, so my habits and traditions have changed for them.

indyandlara Wed 16-Oct-13 09:49:40

Lifeisontheup, it should be fine. My Mum once sent one to my hubby when he was working in India. Cadburys chocolate from the UK was very coveted!

moosemama Wed 16-Oct-13 09:50:17

NCIS, we don't photograph every present, but like to catch one or two - particularly if there's something they're not expecting, but we know they're going to love.

My dcs tend to stay in their pjs till just before lunch too blush (ds1 would stay in them all day if I'd let him) so it's kind of hard to avoid pj wearing photos. Trying to get ds1 dressed before present opening would be a meltdown waiting to happen. hmm

We're veggie, so luckily I don't have to wrestle a turkey and the dogs get walked after lunch on Christmas Day.

Editededition Wed 16-Oct-13 09:53:34

I have never indulged in "baby's 1st ....." items, either
<<wonders why she finds herself irritated by placing these in same category as new PJ's>>

But then I have never bought PJ's with reindeers, santa's or elves on, either. 'New' does not have to mean 'christmas themed'!!
Although I may once have succumbed to a snowflake nightshirt.

Fleta Wed 16-Oct-13 09:58:38

"What is wrong with the pjs you already have"

Well I can't speak for anyone else on this thread but my child certainly grows - rendering PJs too small after an amount of time. Hence new PJs are necessary, hence we buy something she needs and its a special tradition.

Aren't we awful!

SugarHut Wed 16-Oct-13 09:59:10

I don't do a hamper as such for DS, but he gets new jim jams on Christmas Eve (primarily to look vair naice as he opens his stocking and we maybe take a couple of photos), a Christmas film (this year, Nightmare Before Christmas) we read the Robert Sabuda architectural pop up version of The Night Before Christmas. Not especially an overdose of more pressies, just a nice tradition that we've started to really get us in the mood. I hate Christmas being centred on one day. The actual hampers I do are for the women in the family, as we're the ones that make Christmas happen. I hand them out on Dec 1st, and they contain; a Christmas smelling Yankee Candle, some gingerbread and hot choc, some peppermint foot soak, and muscle relax bath salts (for when shopping has beaten you), something like a Swarovski keyring shaped like a snowflake, an advent calendar, and some Christmas socks. The idea is, it is a little gesture to get us all in the festive mood, spread the Christmas sparkle that little longer smile I love doing them and don't see them as present overkill at all, it's a month before, and everyone adores them.

LucilleBluth Wed 16-Oct-13 09:59:49

My kids have loads of PJs due to my pj obsession but they have always received a new pair on Christmas Eve, I agree that a hamper is slightly ott, but each to their own.

As for snuggling up and watching Christmas movies, that happens frequently from the beginning of December in this house, DS1 is 12 and we must have accumulated every Christmas film known to man.......we also have two birthdays in December, there is an obscene amount of gift giving going on without the need for a hamper ;)

freddiefrog Wed 16-Oct-13 10:01:01

No, I've never bought Baby's 1st .... either. Not sure how they're related to new pyjamas confused

We don't buy christmassy pyjamas/onesies, just new ones

My kids also choose a new christmas tree decoration each every year. Over the years we've built up lots of mis-matched decs but I love them all when they're on the tree. They remind me of each Christmas

We do take photos, but not millions, I don't make them pose artfully for a tasteful black and white shots. Just a few snaps as they're opening presents

Weller Wed 16-Oct-13 10:01:09

I have no problem with the pj, hot chocolate, DVD but I feel uneasy about them being gifts or hampers. It's party bags all over again start with a piece of cake and have ended up as something to be admired or sneered at by others.

LucilleBluth Wed 16-Oct-13 10:04:52

A new decoration is something we do. I have baubles going back to when my mum was a child. One year DS2 picked a sparkly cartman from South Park for the tree, he hadn't seen South Park but liked the look of it so I bought it for him and it still goes on the tree at the back

Mckayz Wed 16-Oct-13 10:06:28

I love the idea of a Christmas hamper. We decided we would start doing it this year. I have my family traditions and DH has his that we both put into our Xmas. We wanted to also start one of our own and this is it. Even though we will do it on the 23rd probably as we have my parents for dinner on Xmas Eve.

NCISaddict Wed 16-Oct-13 10:08:56

I will make an effort to take photos this year although we're the opposite,Ds with ASD will get dressed the moment his feet hit the floor, that's if he's put PJ's on to go to bed and older DS (NT) would happily wear PJ's all day. Dog will have to be walked before breakfast as we have to drive to proper walk and that ain't happening after lunch.grin
Also DH has an obsession with walking dogs properly before anything else, long may that last. Ours and the visiting lurcher cross will get a road walk later in the evening.

Thinking about a new decoration for the tree - for several years dd and I would go to local garden centre with massive Christmas display and choose a new tree decoration - usually a beautiful, sparkly angel.
Our tiny tree is covered in fairies and angels grin
It was a lovely thing to do together.
Perhaps DC could choose another one each this year? (if they haven't grown out of the idea)

niminypiminy Wed 16-Oct-13 10:26:49

Actually that is something we do do - the DCs choose one new decoration for the tree a year.

It's not that I never buy them new pjs - just that I really have never heard of this being a Christmas Eve thing.

AbiRoad Wed 16-Oct-13 10:44:41

Mine get new PJs on christmas eve. I find that it helps to get them into bed at a sensible time as they want to "try out" their new pjs. They dont get up at the crack of dawn to open their pressies either (unlike me - I used to wake up at 4am - they are a more civilised 7ish) and I wonder if having had a pressie the night before gets them satisfied enough to sleep a bit longer. Cant really prove the link though.
We also tend to watch a christmas film early evening (again part of trying to get them calm enough to sleep). If there is something suitable on the tv we would just watch that, but otherwise I buy one (but dont particularly bill it as a present for the DC).
It is all traditions, isn't it? Which I think are nice to create, and i dont think it matters if some traditions involve a bit of expenditure.

"It is all traditions, isn't it? Which I think are nice to create, and i dont think it matters if some traditions involve a bit of expenditure"


Who cares what other people do for their own Christmas traditions. They are not forcing you to join in. I buy PJ's I don't go around screaming at my friends to do the same thing.

As long as your Christmas traditions don't include rogering reindeers then I say go for it, whatever makes you and your family happy.

LittleDragon Wed 16-Oct-13 10:58:10

I'm starting the tradition of a Christmas Eve hamper this year for DS (aged 8) because, due to his ASD, he gets very overwhelmed on Christmas Day. Most of his presents for me will be in the hamper and will be stuff to help him settle down and sleep on Christmas Day and then I will get one of his big presents for Christmas day as well.

PlatinumStart Wed 16-Oct-13 11:01:17

My DC are all primary age so my reference to snuggling is very apt

Ragwort, my teen and older DSs will not snuggle as such, not unless I launch myself on them, but they will sit down for a christmas film with a few drinks and snacks.

Usually they then go on a night out after either to a party or the bar/club down the road, but last year (think as it snowed?) they stayed up with DH and I to watch Bad Santa and drunkenly pretend to be Father Christmas for the younger DC.

There is zero religious aspect to Christmas for our family as we're Jewish so really a film in pyjamas then going out or having a laugh with ma and pa are their only experience of christmas traditions so they don't turn it down.

Anyway, nobody can beat my Christmas Eve traditions. The past eleven years, ten of which I've spent every Christmas Eve serving harassed parents and drunken uncles/aunts/godparents in a toy shop. Last year it was spent saying "no sorry, I can't ice 'merry Christmas to my wonderful little snuggly wuffy piggy bottoms I love you lots n jelly tots' onto a 4 inch high Santa Claus.

<stockpiles gin and PJ's>

Rufus44 Wed 16-Oct-13 11:09:19

amazing grin

Fleta Wed 16-Oct-13 11:24:08

Amazing grin sounds special!

I love the Christmas bauble tradition - each year we have a new one chosed completely by our daughter. Usualyl the fluffiest, sparkliest she can find!

BearsBeetsBattlestarGalactica Wed 16-Oct-13 11:25:50

Well I plan to do it this year as it will be the first christmas eve as a lone parent and I want christmas to last until they go to their dad's christmas day lunchtime.

Plus being in a hot country at that time of year it has never 'felt' like christmas to me. But I want to make the effort for me and the dc. I have become a bit more excited for it than I have been in, ooh 8 years or so. I want it to be special even if it is 40 degrees outside grin

Just the usual new pjs, hot chocolate, small snacks, dvd and book. Probably in one of those gift bag things.

So thanks MN for introducing me to the idea smile

Rufus44 Wed 16-Oct-13 11:27:50

My children pick new baubles, but I don't let them put it on my tree, they have a tree in the playroom (dining room in a normal house) and a tree each in their rooms

I am slightly obsessed with Christmas trees

The 'Elves' deliver a parcel containing new PJ's, character toothbrush and a Christmas DVD whilst DD is in the bath on Christmas Eve, only when she is in the bath though, they can smell the bubble bath and know she is nice and clean ready for her new PJ's wink

cory Wed 16-Oct-13 11:42:50

Coming from a country where presents are handed out in the evening, I think all you lot who give out presents in the morning have totally failed to understand the joys of anticipation and delayed gratification and that your children will grow up into feckless loons -who will probably waste all their time on MN instead of reading Tolstoy--

just so you know grin

you are all responsible for the ills of the world- singlehandedly and en masse grin

Merry Christmas in anticipation

Rufus44 Wed 16-Oct-13 14:44:16

cory that explains me!

Thank's all my parents fault, the relief!

Merry Christmas

derektheladyhamster Wed 16-Oct-13 15:15:06

I must be the meanest Mum, I make my children, shower, dress and have breakfast before the living room door is open (with presents in)

I also work on Xmas eve, along with DH, so a baileys in front of the telly is all I can manage grin

somewheresomehow Wed 16-Oct-13 17:46:14

I bet this started in America, like all the other stuff ie baby showers etc

FreakoidOrganisoid Wed 16-Oct-13 17:48:56

Birdsgottafly I do only buy my children pjs once a year. April-September they mostly just sleep in pants. By Christmas the previous years are getting bit short in the arms and legs so they need new ones. I could buy them in october instead but I like doing it as part of Christmas

indyandlara Wed 16-Oct-13 18:28:42

Of course it didn't start in America. Lots of us have explained its a tradition from our own childhoods. I can assure you that in the 70s when my parents did it, it was not to be part of some American bandwagon.

I think it is quite sad that people are so dismissive and sometimes snidey about the traditions of others. I don't mock those who go to the watch night service even though they are not church goers, those who get pissed on wine when cooking the Christmas dinner or those who hit the sales on Boxing Day and so on. Just because I don't do it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with your family doing it. A cheap DVD, box of chocs and new pjs for the 3 of us is not hugely ostentatious.

halcyondays Wed 16-Oct-13 18:34:31

Don't do one then. i dont do hampers as such, although I think it's quite a nice idea but we always get new pyjamas and a Christmassy book and have hot chocolate.

I think its quite helpful to have something to open on Christmas eve as I used to go nuts with excitement waiting for Christmas morning. And pyjamas are useful and it's nice to wake up in cosy new pyjamas on christmas day.

My boys have always got new Pyjamas and either a Christmas story or DVD on Christmas Eve. Long before I knew about Mumsnet and we've never called it a Christmas hamper.

We go to church for a 4:30pm children's service then come home, have dinner and then they put on their new pyjamas and snuggle down to read story/watch DVD with hot chocolate and Christmas nibbles.

They get new pyjamas Christmas Eve as I like to see them wearing them for the photos on Christmas morning (I have OCD type issues with things matching - don't ask!) and always seem to need new ones.

They also get presents on Boxing day but these are not extra presents just some that I have reserved from Christmas day. We have never had my DSS on Christmas day so instead we recreate Christmas day on boxing day. We all keep a few presents to open together whilst DSS opens the presents that are from us and DH's family and therefore at our house.

Ragwort Wed 16-Oct-13 18:45:09

we'll have to make do with the Christmas channel - what is the Christmas channel, never heard of it? confused

derek - we do all that as well, and go to Church before presents grin.

FunLovinBunster Wed 16-Oct-13 19:59:50

i am evil and make child have breakfast bath and get dressed before she is allowed to open anything. Just call me Cruella...

FunLovinBunster Wed 16-Oct-13 20:06:50

Think I will name change to FunHatinScrooge..
Yes to a new bauble every year.
Yes to a real tree. No fake plastic tat here.
No to Xmas Eve hamper.
No to a full turkey.
Yes to a turkey crown with all the Xmas foofy bits.
No to watching the Queen.
No to anything involving church.
Yes to going to bed on Xmas night thinking thank fuck it is over...

suebfg Wed 16-Oct-13 20:09:32

YANBU - Christmas is too materialistic as it is

hettienne Wed 16-Oct-13 20:11:27

I've not heard of Christmas Eve hampers before but I love the idea and will definitely be doing it this year!

Ilovemyrabbits Wed 16-Oct-13 20:16:07

My child gets new pjs and stays in them all day Christmas day. She loves new pjs. Primark for every day, something nice for Christmas. This year it's been Boux Avenue plaid jammies for the autumn/winter (cos she's too tall to fit in kids jammies) and for Christmas Eve she's got a new pair of Jack Wills pj bottoms. Can't wait to hang up the stockings with the pjs. And we do clothes for Christmas cos madam likes the gorgeous knitted sweaters from Jack Wills which do not fall into the realm of acceptable expenditure for clothes day to day. I love Christmas, Cratchett, consumerism, kindness and all.

rockybalBOOOOa Wed 16-Oct-13 20:25:14

There will be no hampers in this house. There will be new pyjamas -all round but that's it.

We do pjs, polar express dvd and night before christmas book (dvd and book are recycled from the past 4yrs)

We have xmas breakfast as well I suppose grin and the children have to have breakfast before presents and they're not allowed chocolate until after Christmas lunch either

Ragwort Wed 16-Oct-13 21:36:19

Do adults really enjoy watching Polar Express, Christmas films etc etc? I have clearly failed on this parenting level, nothing bores me more than having to sit through a childrens' film.

One year when I was much younger we had to wait until Boxing Day for our presents, due to various family visits etc etc. We survived, it's not all about the presents.

I enjoy it, we only watch it once a year, it's a special cuddle time with two very excited children who love the movie - obviously I'd rather watch something of mine but its Christmas Eve, I'll let them watch what they want smile

Oh I love the delicious irony of people complaining that a Christmas Eve hamper is materialistic and confirming this by stating that it detracts from the magic of the presents on Christmas Day. Well yes, if to you Christmas is all about the presents on the day. To me, presents are a very tiny, token gesture on the day and because they're not really the focus at all, we do things like the Christmas Eve hamper.

We have a £5 present limit for everybody. We're anything but materialistic actually. But yes we do a hamper on Christmas Eve. It isn't about presents at all. The letter from FC I make myself, the bath salts are mixed up from ones I have, wrapped in tissue paper from the cupboard, the marshmallows are from the baking cupboard, the hot chocolate from the tin next to the tea and coffee. The only 'bought' thing is a book (charity shop) and sometimes some pyjamas. It is bog all to do with giving stuff to greedy and grasping little children. It's about creating anticipation and beginning the festive period. It creates the opportunity for cosy baths and family DVDs on the sofa. It marks out our Christmas as the beginning of something special. It's celebration and joy and pleasure in just being together on a day full of anticipation. The mundane bath is special for that one day, so is the bedtime drink and story. It marks it out as special and if my dc are anything like me, this is the shit they'll look back on and adore. For me, it was never about the stuff. It was a celebration of us being together and embarking on the beginning of a special few days.

It's very rude to ascribe meaning to other people's traditions (and yes it's been going on for years, at least a hundred in this family) just because you do things differently.

Rufus44 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:49:18

Love the Christmas movies, we watch elf, miracle on 34th street ( old and new version) the grinch, the Santa clause, nightmare before Christmas, Scrooges, muppet Christmas carol, its a wonderful life, Arthur Christmas, mickeys twice upon a Christmas and loads more

Except polar express, for some reason the children hate it

And I know there are no capital letters in that list...I will ask for some for Christmas

WhoKnowsWhereTheBonnetsGo Wed 16-Oct-13 21:50:12

Ragwort - I'm exactly the same, there isn't a single children's film that I can sit through without getting bored. Luckily the DCs are the same and hardly ever want to watch films.

ChristmasPixie123 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:52:53

I always use to get new PJs on xmas eve with some posh new bubble bath and a DVD to watch so I have continued this tradition with my own DD. I didn't know it was considered a "christmas eve hamper" though. hmm

ringaringarosy Wed 16-Oct-13 21:53:58

we watch nightmare before christmas and the snowman,we also watch national lampoon,the kids actually like that!

ChristmasPixie123 neither did I grin

ringaringarosy my eldest is terrified of NBC! I love it as well sad the Snowman is a must watch, loved the Snowdog last year too

WhoKnowsWhereTheBonnetsGo Wed 16-Oct-13 22:08:49

We recorded the Snowdog, it' still on our Sky+, haven't got round to watching it yet.

I enjoyed it, short and sweet. Also love Father Christmas smile

Rubybrazilianwax Wed 16-Oct-13 23:11:47

The only reason I make a big deal out of wrapping pj's & packet of reindeer food is that it fools my dc into thinking bedtime is a good idea on Christmas Eve. My dc generally have us up at 4am so I like to get them to bed as early as possible as dh and I are usually assembling toys till 2am.
I have to say I do love reading how different people celebrate Christmas though, no two houses sound the same.

Rubybrazilianwax Wed 16-Oct-13 23:14:01

prettyplease you would die in our house as we generally have selection boxes for breakfast around 5am blush

Rubybrazilianwax Wed 16-Oct-13 23:21:56

nsisaddict I never get to photograph present opening either. I usually am staggering around with a bin bag screaming advising 'don't loose the instructions', wading knee deep through wrapping paper and opening numerous packets of batteries

swlondonnanny Wed 16-Oct-13 23:22:07

Where I come from we celebrate Christmas Eve. And get all presents on christmas eve and go to Midnight Mass afterwards. No presents on Christmas day. And we all get a good lie in on Christmas day as well grin

MadeOfStarDust Thu 17-Oct-13 08:33:12

ours are 11 and 12.... so no more 6am wake ups.... nice.... but we don't do Xmas eve stuff.... I'm working...

our Christmas film tradition is Home Alone because everyone here likes the slapstick and Christmassy feeling... and we always cry at the old man's story...

thegreylady Thu 17-Oct-13 08:43:07

I always did new pj's on Christmas Eve as my mother did in the 40's. I still do for dgc and my dd who is nearly 40! I also have special stories for bedtime on CE but I bring them out every year if we have dgc staying. The big favourite is still Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas. I also have a lovely paper sculpture book of The Night Before Christmas which is much loved.

ZingDollyChops Thu 17-Oct-13 08:47:06

I'm Hungarian, (English DH) and though everything else is English tradition we celebrate Christmas Eve as you'd do in Hungary by eating a special meal and dessert that I make followed by the children being allowed to open one present from us.
It's really nice to have a "Secret Christmas"!wink

I nevet had a Christmas Eve Hamper.
I wouldn't mind one.

thegreylady Thu 17-Oct-13 08:54:44

One rule we had when dc were teens was that no one was allowed to go out in the evening on Christmas Eve. It was my own family's rule too. No parent wants to be anxious about anyone's whereabouts especially on that night. Everyone had to be home for dinner then it was family time until Boxing Day.
I was a bit worried that my step children would be awkward and dsd was. She insisted on partying etc on CE but her brothers loved the sense of "battening down the hatches" and being together.

Mooycow Thu 17-Oct-13 09:10:32

Ihave done new pj's on christmas eve since the kids were little , (ever since i got back the pictures of them in old pj's one year)
i wrapped them and when they asked can we open a present it was always pj's.
They are 19 and 23 now still do it ,onesies last year.
xmas eve - prepare all veg
midnight mass
open new pj's
mulled wine and either santa clause the movie or the grinch sometimes we sneak in muppets christmas carol

TheGhostofAmandaClarke Thu 17-Oct-13 09:43:45

showofbloodystumps your name is making me feel a bit queasy. But your post was excellent.

Hi Zing <waves and offers cake>

Emie3 Tue 22-Oct-13 23:25:46

I Must Also Be A Scrooge Me And My Partner Can't Agree On The Pj's On Christmas Eve..I Dont See Why People Do This... Santa Comes On Christmas Eve When Kids Are In Bed So I Think Christmas Eve Presents Are Taking That Magic Away And people Dont Get Presents The Night Before Their Birthday... I do Celebrate Christmas Eve See The Family Then Watch Movies And Have Snacks Then I Will Be Putting Carrots, Mince Pies And Milk Etc Out For Santa And The Reindeers Before My LO Goes To Bed (Her First Christmas This Year) But I Think She Should Get All Her Presents Xmas Day When Santa Comes... Do I Sound Bad? X

ravenAK Tue 22-Oct-13 23:35:25

Oh dear.

We get the Box of Xmas Pyjamas out of the loftspace first weekend in December - it's with the tree stand, decorations etc.

Xmas pyjamas are then permitted until Twelfth Night (new ones all round Xmas Eve).

I never actually intended this - we just started with the cute Xmas Eve new pyjama thing when ds was a baby, & then what do you do with reindeer-printed flannel pyjamas once Xmas is over? Box them up & put away with the rest of the Xmas stuff, I decided.

Three dc later, they end up with about 5 pairs each at the start of every December.

So there's no bloody way I'm adding hot choc mugs & dvds into the mix...

OhMerGerd Tue 22-Oct-13 23:54:04

My dad's side is from a country where you do the Christmas eve thing but we just do the gathering of the clan, special shared meal and midnight mass bit, no pressies, as Santa brings them all. I LOVE IT as do the DC who can't sleep unless a) they've smelled the Christmas ham cooking ( always cooked on Christmas Eve evening ready for Boxing Day), b) hung up their stockings by the fire place with carrot, water sherry and mince pie, c) rolled their eyes at me reciting 'twas the night before Christmas and all through the house...' am dram style d) been issued with their 7.30 waitrose shopping list ( I turned being unprepared and panicked into a fun Christmas eve tradition 1 does veg/fruit 2 does turkey & meat 3 does dairy & sweets 4 does staples and household we all meet at wines and spirits). Yee ha bring it on!
Hampers no . PJs and slippers are pressies to be opened on Christmas Day .
DC are 23 and 16. Santa never misses this house which means they must be very good girls!

Twilightsparklesmama Wed 23-Oct-13 07:42:42

I only started doing the Xmas eve hamper last year after reading about it on here! I put Xmas pjs sweets a DVD a book and reindeer food. I love it we all watched the DVD (which was Arthur Christmas and will be going back in this years as we haven't watched it since) ate the sweets. We then bathed the kids put the new pjs on put out Santas mince pie and the reindeer food on the path and had the book for bedtime story. Magical

cory Wed 23-Oct-13 09:58:03

ShowOfBloodyStumps Wed 16-Oct-13 21:48:17
"Oh I love the delicious irony of people complaining that a Christmas Eve hamper is materialistic and confirming this by stating that it detracts from the magic of the presents on Christmas Day. "


I can't for the life of me see that it matters if you have a Christmas hamper or a stocking or a Santa who knocks on the door or a Santa who comes down the chimney or whether you leave carrots out for the reindeer or whisky for Santa: the whole point is that families are playing and having fun together- exactly how they do it doesn't matter.

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