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John Lewis Advent Calendar 2023, Day 12: Open just one present

Opening a gift on Christmas Eve is a tradition that many families embrace to start the celebrations early. Looking for some inspiration? Here are some gift ideas for giving to your loved ones.

By Gemma Wilcock | Last updated Dec 19, 2023

John Lewis Advent Calendar 2023, Day 12: Open just one present

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You’ve finished all your food shopping, the gifts are all wrapped and the stockings have been hung out for Santa. The kids are buzzing with excitement about his visit so to ease some of their excitement - and maybe even help them get to sleep a bit earlier - a popular Christmas tradition for families is to open a gift before the children go to bed.

This can be a great way of getting into the mood for the celebrations and can be done alongside a Christmas Eve box or instead of. It can also be a nice way to kickstart the gift-giving as you have time to watch each family member open their present, which can be a lot more chaotic come Christmas morning. 

They are allowed to open one little present before bed. I normally get something the youngest will play happily with as they will get bored of the film after about 30 mins.


Allow each family member to choose a gift that they’d like to unwrap on Christmas Eve. Of course, strategic choosing might be needed. After all, you don’t want DC opening up a Nintendo Switch game before opening their new Nintendo Switch console. So, with that in mind, maybe stick to smaller gifts? 

Not only does opening a gift build up excitement and anticipation for the main event on Christmas morning, it might actually work in your favour. By opening ONE gift (emphasis on one, IYKYK), your kids will get a taste of unwrapping presents - making the wait for the rest more bearable, helping them to settle a bit easier and avoid 4am wake up calls

We watch the polar express every Xmas Eve. We open one small gift (usually pjs).


It’s a small yet significant tradition that adds extra sparkle to your Christmas Eve, and one that we’re sure your DC will remember for years to come, possibly continuing the tradition with their own families in the future. 

So, if you are shopping for gifts and need some inspiration, John Lewis has a huge range of products that can cater for all the family and you’ll be able to find something to suit a range of budgets. From toys and books to bags and perfume, the retailer has plenty of ideas when it comes to buying gifts for your family. 

What is the John Lewis Advent calendar 2023?

For the first 12 days of December, we’re serving up Christmas inspiration, gift ideas and thoughtfully curated products that carry the seal of approval from our very own Mumsnet users. Make sure you check back daily!

About John Lewis

Known for much more than just those tear-jerking Christmas adverts, John Lewis is a department store that will accommodate all your needs. From home, garden, electricals, beauty, and fashion it's the perfect place to find a special gift for someone, or for yourself.

About the author

Rebecca Roberts is a writer, editor, and content marketing expert hailing from Leeds. Here at Mumsnet, she brings parents content designed to make life easier. As a mum-of-two, she knows all too well how difficult it can be organising Christmas. So, she's fully invested in finding the best Christmas gift ideas, offers and promotions for families this year. 

Beyond her role as an editor here at Mumsnet, Rebecca can be found balancing life as a working mum of two toddlers and when she’s not at her desk, you’ll likely find her at a local playgroup, in a nearby coffee shop, or walking the dog.