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Talk to me about Christmas eve hampers/ presents

(51 Posts)
olibeansmummy Sun 11-Sep-11 14:39:40

One the one hand I think having new pjs, hot chocolate and snuggling up with a film is a lovely idea, but at the same time I feel it's all a bit MUCH. I mean, what's next? Boxing day presents? I've seen people spending up to £50 on them! Not having a dig at anyone who does them, just trying to decide whether doing one would be spoiling ds too much or if it doesn't matter coz it's Christmas. What do others do? And what would you include/ how would you present it to be lovely but not over the top?

LordOfTheFlies Sun 11-Sep-11 14:57:49

The lead up to Christmas is the best bit IMHO, the day itself is a bit of a slog and I always feel a bit meh after, especially with the sales.It's like the shops have had your money so they want to be moving onto the next money spinning venture.

The Christmas Eve hampers don't cost much, especially if it was things that you would buy anyway (PJs ,slippers, hot chocolate)

And if it sets the scene for the wind down, then it helps get the DC to bed so that you can do a last minute wrap of all the presents so you can relax with some wine

deemented Sun 11-Sep-11 15:03:39

What we do here, is on Christmas Eve when one of us is upstairs bathing the kids, the other one will be down stairs and will jingle the 'jingle bells we have. Then when they (the kids) come down fromt heir bath wrapped in a towel, we tell them that they just missed Santa's Elves, who's dropped them off a little present.

They love it and so do we

2gorgeousboys Sun 11-Sep-11 15:15:55

I do a Christmas Eve parcel of a book/DVD and new pyjamas for the boys, if they did not get them Christmas Eve they would need them at some point anyway so I do not feel like it is extra expense.

Usually when we go to my parents for the afternoon/evening and go to church (we go at 4pm to a 'birthday party for Jesus' service) then at some point in the evening usually when the boys go for a bath santas elf drops off a little parcel including pyjamas, reindeer food, book or DVD. This means they get straight into pyjamas and we snuggle up and watch film and then bed.

I know people do things differently though, when I was little we got a present on Boxing Day from my Grandparents. All the family would go to their house on Boxing Day and the children would get a game or other small present to play with together.

My Mum and Dad also gave us a present on New Years Day - we would have a special family meal and get a present (usually something bought in the sales) this helped spread the present madness out a little and tuned New Year into something nice too. If we have not spent Christmas Day with my parents we will have a meal with them New Years Day and she will get us a small present now.

Tinkerisdead Sun 11-Sep-11 17:00:23

I do it, we all have PJ's me, Dh and little DD! It's great for winding down in the evening and I get all tearful and christmassy when we watch a film. Last year we watched the snowman and DD and DH danced around the lounge mimicking James and the Snowman when they got to Santa's party. I was choking back tears at them under the twinkling lights. It also means that you get nice new PJ's in the xmas morning photos! I dont spend loads, cheap PJ's from primark or ASDA, hot chocolate and some mugs bought from the victorian christmas market.

MissPricklePants Sun 11-Sep-11 17:26:44

last year i put my in my dd's hamper a mince pie plate, the night before christmas book, pjs, slippers, choc coins and a festive dvd!oh and a lush bathbomb!i love the build up to xmas and it was so nice to snuggle up and watch the dvd in new pjs!i will put the plate and book in this year and get her new pjs etc x

olibeansmummy Sun 11-Sep-11 17:54:39

Thanks ladies it's nice to hear what you all do. Might do something low key such as new pjs, a colourful bath bomb and some special chocolates in a gift bag as ds doesn't like hot chocolate and already has the night before Christmas and can watch Xmas films on tv ( skinflint!). Ds actually had new pjs last year but I only let him put them on in the morning incase his nappy leaked ( he was 19 months), so it wouldn't be much more smile

lilyj2010 Mon 19-Sep-11 15:26:53

oh i think i will start christmas hamper this year!! I just love christmas. Daughter will only be 17 months but I think will start the tradition this year. she would be getting all the stuff anyways, have bought her xmas eve book and dvd. maybe thro in pjs for oh and myself. I am a big child at heart when comes to christmas!!

gregssausageroll Mon 19-Sep-11 15:39:39

We do one for DS. Just new pjs, dvd, slippers and chocolate. I give it to my neighbour during the day and get her to ring our bell and leave it on the doorstep for DS to get. We let him know if is from Santa's elves.

Ormirian Mon 19-Sep-11 15:43:18

It sounds like a lovely idea but currently we are trying to prune our christmas a little. It has all got a bit too extensive and expensive recently and like many people we are trying to cut back.

We usually buy a christmassy DVD (nice cheap one from Asda!) for us all to watch in christmas eve. This year I think we'll recycle one from a few year's back. But all the extra little presents will be saved for the christmas stocking the next day.

mogs0 Mon 19-Sep-11 17:44:43

My ds is 9 and gets a pair of pjs, a DVD, hot chocolate and a bag of popcorn or something similar to munch on Christmas eve. The DVD I have for this Christmas is one that I bought in a boot sale last summer and forgot about blush and cost 50p! I don't spend much on any of it but what I do is spend is definitely worth it as it calms ds down enough to get him into bed sometime before FC visits!

BabyDubsEverywhere Mon 19-Sep-11 19:49:34

This will be in my Christmas Eve hamper this year for my two (3&4 by then) I think it will cost about £50 (or Im hoping it will!)

Bag of Reindeer Food
Bath stuff/Toothbrush etc
Chocolate Pizza
Christmas Colouring Set
Christmas tree biscuits (star piles)
Cookie Mix
Honey Comb
New Blankets/throw
New PJ's each
New Slippers/Bed socks
Santa Plate & Cup
Snowman Soup & Mug

Some things i would have bought anyway, (bath stuff pjs etc) somethings im making (food goodies) some things are reused every year (santa goblet and plate etc)

I love it smile I also do a mini hamper at the start of december for them smile

NHScutback Mon 19-Sep-11 20:07:57

I find it all a bit much really and I love Christmas and always go overboard. They get enough tat in their stockings. The thought of giving them a hamper on xmas eve is a little OTT to me. New PJs sound good though.

LemonDifficult Mon 19-Sep-11 21:28:20

I've been thinking about the Christmas Eve hamper and I have to agree, it's OTT. I adore, ADORE, Christmas but actually, the hamper does dilute the Christmas stocking. And as for elves, I think we probably have enough magical visits in 24hrs for credulity.

I like the Christmas pjs - my boys get them - but it's the extra ceremony around gift giving/wrapping/consumption about the hamper that leaves me a bit unsure about converting Christmas pjs into another Present-athon.

Also, tempting as it is to have another 'tradition', isn't it a bit more pressure in most households?

olibeansmummy Mon 19-Sep-11 23:10:31

LemonDifficult that's exactly what I mean about consumption. I was thinking, where does it end? Boxing day presents? New years presents? But it seems some people do actually do these too shock

olibeansmummy Mon 19-Sep-11 23:12:39

Also agree with the pressure, what if one year you can't afford all the extras? If the kids have come to expect it, and it's mant to be from Santa, so free, hoe do you explain they can't have it one year?

nomorelego Mon 19-Sep-11 23:15:22

We do PJs. As someone else has said, they would have them anyway (especially as my DC's birthdays are Nov and Feb so they're round the time for going up a size!) and it's a good prompt to get them off to bed!

messybessie Mon 19-Sep-11 23:17:31

New PJs so they look lovely in the photos, some hot chocolate sachets and biscuit treat etc.

Plus a carrot and the reindeer food.

It's all about £2.50 apart from the PJs which I would buy anyway.

startail Mon 19-Sep-11 23:19:38

Supermarkets and Matalan do very sensible price pjs. I've declared winter and am wearing my Sainsbury's ones as I type.
Matalan seem particularly good for adult sized young teens, DD1 has various long, short and cropped PJ from there with silly monkeys and elephants.

startail Mon 19-Sep-11 23:22:23

Oh things from Santa aren't free. He sends Mummy the billsmile How else do you explain that he isn't going to bring the whole toy shop.

gregssausageroll Tue 20-Sep-11 07:38:45

In this house, Santa brings one present. The rest are from us.

brownie22 Tue 20-Sep-11 08:17:43

I read someone on mn gets her children a letter from santa where he tells them he' arranged for a christmas film to be shown on telly at x o clock, specially for them! It's a nice idea if you want to save money on a dvd.

Sleepyspaniel Tue 20-Sep-11 10:28:38

I think that as Christmas is once a year it is nice to make a little bit of extra effort for kids, they are young for such a short time. Christmas Eves are magical to children, so giving them a few extras such as hot chocolate sachets, bag of popcorn/sweets and PJ's (which aren't just for Christmas) and bedding down in new PJs as a family to watch DVD is a fantastic memory for them. The Christmas DVDs you can ask around friends and maybe pool resources, or pick them up on Ebay for pence.

I remember my childhood Christmases very well, until I was about 6 they were quite nice but after that my mum stopped making such an effort for us and it wasn't the same. Putting up the tree and decorations was just another job to her for example. We had no special traditions and I was very aware of that when I heard my friends had a special day to put up the tree, and Christmas Eve traditions and suchlike.

I am determined that my DCs are having lots of lovely traditions and the Christmases that I didn't get, and that's more to do with effort, care and love than £££ spent. Making mince pies together is priceless. So yes, they will most certainly be getting Christmas Eve inexpensive treats and family because I know how it feels when you don't get them OR equally important, know or suspect Christmas and all its jobs is a nuisance to your Mum.

cathers Tue 20-Sep-11 11:52:03

My DC's 'discover' a box in the garden on Xmas when they go outside to put out reindeer dust, (porridge oats and glitter)! It has a note from the elves telling them to get ready for bed and in it, a pair of new pjs, a Xmas book and the final decoration for the tree.

I make reindeer dust and the elf note, ( tea stained crumpled notepaper), so probably costs about £15 per child. They love it though and every year we have the memories of the decorations when putting the tree up and read last years book in the run up to Xmas. When the dc's are grown up, I will box up their decorations and give to them. sigh.

LemonDifficult Tue 20-Sep-11 11:57:18

Hmmm, I dunno. An elf box to add to Santa's stocking. Are the Boxing Day fairies coming too?

I suppose there's a big bit of me that thinks this is all born out of the secularization of Christmas. For lots of people, it's zero to do with a new born baby in Bethlehem and much more to do with glitter and getting things. The Christmas Eve stuff seems to be a modern way of trying to pile meaning and mysticism into a Christmas Day that's essentially empty of religion.

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