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Christmas Eve hamper/traditions

(39 Posts)
SweetPeaPods Fri 07-Nov-14 07:04:21

I've recently read about a tradition to do a Christmas Eve hamper? Anyone do it and what do you put in yours? I have 2 dc under 2 so looking to start our own traditions and thought it would be lovely to snuggle up on Xmas eve with a DVD not sure how long they will sit still for! and I've already bought them some Christmas pjs.
I'd love to hear of any other Christmas family traditions too.

TiredNow Fri 07-Nov-14 07:40:12

We distract the DSs into another room (sometimes by jingling bells and then getting them to run to the window to look for Santa and his reindeer) and whilst they're gone, place a hamper on the fireplace with a note saying "see you tomorrow" or something similar from Santa.

In the hamper is pj's for everyone, a christmas film, a christmas story and some nice hot chocolate/christmas chocolates and bath stuff (christmas bath bomb from lush usually)

So we watch the film and drink/eat, then bath, nice pjs and story then put drink and snacks out for santa and the reindeer and go to bed! Then we attempt to construct whatever plastic monstrosity the kids wanted and have a proper drink!

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Fri 07-Nov-14 07:53:39

We usually have similar things in our hamper/box too. PJs (last year it was onesies), a family game to play, sometimes a DVD, but we usually play a game rather than watch a DVD. Last year mugs with chocolate stirrers, but that varies too, this year I'll probably do something a bit different for drinks. A Christmas bedtime book has turned into books for the DCs to read in the school holiday, now they are older.

SweetPeaPods Fri 07-Nov-14 09:08:24

Like the idea of the note and the board game thank you. Might have to keep they ideas for a few years though as dc might be too young.
Wonder if I can convince DH to wear Christmas pjs too

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Fri 07-Nov-14 09:20:44

I think I'm giving up on PK's for DH this year. Might get him some Calvin Kleins!

BiddyPop Fri 07-Nov-14 09:43:05

We don't do fantasy about who brings it - I just pull it from under the tree when we have lit the Christmas Candle after dinner. Ours is just a "settle down to bed in the evening" type - not one with loads of activities like I know others do.

We have new PJs for all 3 of us (DH, DD and I) - sometimes new bedsocks or slipper socks for up to the 3 of us as well. I am considering a new hot water bottle with a festive cover for DD (funnily enough, having just watched the JL ad, her old one is a penguin cover but the rubber is starting to perish so a new inner is needed).

There is also a Lush Santa bath bomb for DD and usually a lovely relaxing Lush bath bomb for me. Sometimes I get DH a nice shower gel (chocolate one year was hated, but black pepper and chilli was loved another!).

There is a naice hot chocolate for everyone. I try to get the "lump of chocolate stuck on a wooden spoon, perhaps with added flavours" type. This year, they are all plain, except DD is having milk choc and DH and I are having dark. DH quite likes a chilli one sometimes, I like one with a dropper of amaretto in it, DD has had ones with smarties before for fun. But she prefers to have marshmallows on the top, so I just have a bag of those in too now (I found some snowman shaped mallows in IKEA recently that are put away).

The last 2 things in the box are DD's stocking and our family copy of "Twas the night before Christmas" - the original. We have always read that to DD going to bed on Christmas Eve since she was 363 days old (she was born on Boxing Day morning!). We have a Mr Men and a Moshi Monsters version in our bundle of Christmas books, but the original is saved for Christmas Eve.

The idea is that when the hamper appears, it is time to put out Santa's milk and cookies (freshly baked that afternoon as the oven is always on then - I keep a log of dough in the freezer to slice and bake in case we don't have the inclination to start from scratch!), Rudolph's carrot and DD's stocking - then head upstairs for her bath, new PJs, come back down just for her own cookie and hot milk and a last check on the Norad website, before the story in bed (and possibly a few more). But it does make a break for her to move to bedtime, which is helpful for us, rather than rowing about staying up a little longer and then another little bit......

BiddyPop Fri 07-Nov-14 09:47:57

Oh and our PJs (especially DHs and mine) are not always "festive". Last year, mine were plain black but lovely and "lounging". DH's actually had a reindeer on the tshirt last year (first festive-ish pair) but he is getting a nice cotton pair from GAP that are not festive at all this year. (DD chose them, and bought them herself!!, in the summer).

DD still has 2 festive pairs that fit her, so she will be getting an Angry Birds onesie, and AB slippers, that I picked up in M&S in the summer.

This year, I have yet to find a pair for me, but I think comfy lounging is the way to go again. But I did get "Nightmare before Christmas" slipper socks last year and they may reappear this year!!

poolomoomon Fri 07-Nov-14 10:19:54

We do the elf on the shelf so our hamper is from him. We go out for a walk and as we've left the door either DH or I 'lock up' and also bring the hamper basket down wink. So the DC return to find that our elf has gone and has left this lovely hamper basket for them.

There's a letter from him saying his goodbyes. There's a nice pair of new pjs for each of them- they get their Christmas pjs in their hamper on the 1st of December to wear throughout December so the Christmas Eve ones aren't Christmas themed although this year I've gone for the red and white striped almost elf like ones from little white company grin. They get a pair of socks and slippers each. A teddy bear and pack of chocolate coins each. Also a box of festive friends to share and their Christmas card. I fill their Belle and Boo tins with marshmallows for the hot chocolate we have whilst watching polar express. There's also Robert Sabuda's version of the night before Christmas in there.

Christmas Eve is my absolute favourite, I can't wait!

Rowboat Fri 07-Nov-14 10:41:59

For us the hamper (or gift bag usually) is from the Elves and about getting a good nights sleep for Santa to come. We keep it simple - new Christmas pjs, Christmas bedtime story, Their Stockings and something for the bath. They get it quite late, so too late for dvd really. They then have their Christmas bath, get in their Christmas pjs, put up their Stockings, have their Christmas bedtime story and gprs to sleep. It keeps a nice momentum. smile

Rowboat Fri 07-Nov-14 10:43:03

go not gprs. Bloody phone.

Argggghh it's making me excited reading everything you all do with your DC's. Ours is pretty much as TiredNow describes it...especially the putting together the plastic tat and proper drink part! grin

Heels99 Fri 07-Nov-14 10:55:12

We love Santa and we don't dilute the magic by having extra visits from Santa, elves, fairies, whatever over the season. All presents come Xmas day. Kids get new pjs Xmas eve but not from Santa. We don't make big fuss about bubble baths, hot choc or dvds they are things we will do anywayover Christmas. We do have a lovely meal and them put out stuff for Santa etc but we just go with the flow. We don't find me have time Xmas eve for DVD watching.

Oh, I didn't realise I was "diluting the magic." hmm

Rowboat Fri 07-Nov-14 11:51:03

I completely agree that there's no time for dvds on Christmas Eve. Especially as my 2 are still really little and we want them in bed pretty sharpish. This year we're at in laws and MIL and dd will make pancakes together for brunch and then we have early tea of a ham joint. In between that the aim is to get them outside if possible to tire them out. grin

Rowboat Fri 07-Nov-14 11:55:12

I don't think it's diluting the magic. Everyone has their own family traditions. grin

Heels99 Fri 07-Nov-14 11:55:18

I think multiple visits from various characters bringing random gifts does dilute the magic of Santa and waiting for Christmas day. Other people will have different views.


chanie44 Fri 07-Nov-14 12:27:18

We do Xmas eve hampers. The children get new pjs (growing up, I always got new pjs on Xmas eve), a Santa key, new toothbrush, chocolate coins, an activity book and magic reindeer food.

Well, I'm very up for as much Christmas magic as possible, but I feel that the pretence of a hamper coming from Santa or the elves is a step too far for us and we've made the decision that we don't want to do gifts on Christmas Eve, which is busy and exciting enough as it is. We also never find time to watch a DVD that night. I really do not want to criticise others for doing it though, it sounds magical the way many of you describe it.

However, as you have asked about other traditions, we have a hamper that comes out on the 1st December with the advent calenders, the Christmas books, Christmas DVDs, the Christmas tea towels and mugs, usually paper chains or other Christmas craft, maybe a new puzzle, game or DVD, we put Christmas music on our Ipods that day and Christmas / winter bedding goes on, and then there is over a month to use it all. The hamper itself is a wicker basket which is also used to hold the trick or treat sweets on Hallowe'en, the party bags on birthdays, that sort of thing, so it's arrival always means it's a special occasion. THe DCs are 8 and 10, so most of this stuff has been accumulated gradually BTW, it's all packed away and brought out every year.

BiddyPop Fri 07-Nov-14 13:05:06

Heels the hamper has always, in our house, been clearly from me (and now DD is starting to input to it - aged 9).

DD loves her baths, and they help her to relax, so having one on Christmas Eve is a good thing. She'd go anyway, but a Christmas bath bomb is always helpful to make it slightly special and worth hurrying up to. We tend to have lots of hot choc at bedtime also, it's just definitely a naice one on Christmas Eve (we do the Butlers lumps of real choc pretty often, but large scoops of Cadbury powder is the norm).

The only thing that is specifically different to a regular night (or regular Sunday night re definite baths) is the book.

It follows lighting the Christmas Candle, remembering Jesus birth and the good and bad things about the year just gone. Putting out DD's stocking is part of the hamper opening. And we don't have any Elves here to distract - yes on websites that we look at in December but not in real life in our home.

For us, it's about a clear signal of a transition to bedtime. And that signal is important for DD - it's all about routine for her (that's that Aspergers part) and making sure she winds down and relaxes enough to sleep (that's the ADHD part).

Yes, others have different traditions. But everyone does what works for them, mostly without knocking others.

BiddyPop Fri 07-Nov-14 13:09:00

(And I do have a stack of Christmas story books, DVDs and a couple of Christmas mugs and plates etc that appear early in December, and get put away around 6th January too - again always patently obviously from me not an elf - occasionally DD raids the books or DVDs if she's bored during the year, but puts them back again afterwards as they are more special when only out for 4-6 weeks a year).

Rowboat Fri 07-Nov-14 13:23:46

Of course lots of magic people delivering lots of random gifts throughout December would be too much. But pjs arriving on Christmas eve is a nice part of the Christmas eve bit for us. We don't do anything else like elf on the shelf etc because that does push it in my eyes. But like I said, each to their own. smile

Rowboat Fri 07-Nov-14 13:24:47

Yes to the clear transition to bedtime.

glaats Fri 07-Nov-14 13:26:15

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Boomtownsurprise Fri 07-Nov-14 13:32:20

I did this last year for 1st dec. had advent calendar, hot choc, marshmallows, whippy cream, pjs and we watched Xmas movies

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