Sarah Tristram from our George team writes about her family’s Christmas Eve traditions – and how our products can help make the night before Christmas extra special.
In my house, Christmas Eve is a combination of running around doing a few last minute jobs and wrapping forgotten presents in the morning, then chilling with the kids in the afternoon and evening.
I’ve got two boys, Tom who’s nine and Oli who’s seven, and we’ll often put our feet up and watch a movie together with some treats, then do fun craft activities to keep them entertained.
We used to go to the panto every Christmas Eve, but over the last couple of years a new Star Wars movie has come out around Christmas time. My eldest has grown out of panto a little bit now, so that’s kind of our new tradition.
We’ve always given the kids matching Christmas pyjamas to put on while they hang their stockings up and put out a carrot for Rudolph and a mince pie and sherry for Santa – and last year we gave them their pyjamas in a Christmas Eve box. They got really excited opening them as it felt more like a present, and they had all of their usual bits in with some extra treats.
This year I’ll be buying the new Night Before Christmas boxes from Asda with Santa Claus and Mrs Claus on the front – like the one in the picture below – and the boys are already looking forward to opening them. It’s the first time we’ve sold Christmas Eve boxes at Asda and they’re a good size so you can fit quite a lot in them. The boxes are available in selected stores from 28th November for two weeks for just £2.50 so you can spend as much or as little as you want filling them up.
The trend for Christmas Eve boxes has come across from America – they’ve been doing it over there for years. When we were looking into selling them, we spotted that searches for Christmas Eve boxes have tripled since 2014 in the UK, so it’s definitely becoming a fast-growing trend over here. There are plenty of blogs and websites talking about them with parents asking each other for advice and sharing ideas on what to include for their kids. We’ve put some ideas next to the boxes in stores to give you a hand.
We spend a lot of time here at George thinking about how we can make Christmas Eve special for our customers. The boxes are just one of the products we’re selling to help make that happen. Christmas pyjamas are another biggie for us. They’re probably the main gift to put in the new boxes. We’ve got loads of fantastic options at George like our Christmas character lines – whether your kids are into My Little Pony, Trolls or superheroes we’ve got something for everyone.
Then you’ve also got your more traditional designs like Rudolph and Santa. Christmas is the only time of year that I dress my boys in the same outfits. I always get them matching PJs from George for Christmas Eve for a bit of fun and they never complain. I’ve bought them the Santa ones this year. They’ve been really popular as we’ve got a set for everyone in the family. We’ve got lots of options for adults too with Christmas slogans and festive characters. The boxes are quite big, so you can fit things like our festive onesies and slippers in there too – it’s not just about the PJs!
I’ve got my eye on the novelty Christmas mugs to put in the boxes this year – I think we’ll make hot chocolates on Christmas Eve – they love a hot chocolate snuggled up on the sofa! We’ve got some really cute options including deer, polar bears, penguins, elf and Santa. They're already getting people in the mood for Christmas on social media – see what our customers have been saying here. Tom loves marshmallows, and I’ve heard the food team have got some fab snowmen marshmallows, so we’ll definitely be buying some of those.
I’m also on the lookout for a Christmas DVD to go in the box but I haven’t decided which one yet. We’ve got some good ones in stores this year like Arthur Christmas or the Home Alone 1 & 2 Box Set for £3. Last year I put in one of their favourites stories – The Christmasaurus – it took us until the New Year to get through it but they love adventures and dinosaurs so that was a winner. I’ll also put some activity packs in to keep them entertained for a while – they’re both really creative and love doing stuff like that then showing us the finished results. I think the £1 Christmas Activity Packs like in the picture below will go down well.
We’re selling festive cookie cutters this year, which I’m half tempted to buy and put in but I’m not sure if I’d be biting off a little more than I can chew! Maybe I’ll just buy some of the new Extra Special Mince Pie cookies – I’ve heard they’re good.
We’ve also got some fun novelty products which are perfect to add into the boxes like our Santa key, so he can get in to deliver the presents of course, ‘Reindeer Food’ and ‘Santa’s Milk’ which you can pour into one of our lovely festive mugs or glasses.
I think Christmas Eve is the most magical day of the year. However you're planning to spend the day I hope you have a wonderful time – and a very happy Christmas.