I really want to keep Christmas relatively stress-free this year, however, there’s this looming voice in my head that reminds me that this is Penny’s first ever Christmas and I suddenly feel immense pressure to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible and that everything is ‘perfect’. I could honestly write a whole book about a new mums quest to be ‘perfect’, but that’s for another time. What I’m most looking forward to this Christmas is starting new family traditions, but where to begin? I’m a huge advocate of having a real Christmas tree put up on December 1st, visiting the Edinburgh Christmas Market mostly for my Nutella & banana crepe, baking my own mince pies even though I don’t like them (I just love how my kitchen smells afterwards), buying cinnamon scented everything and sitting down to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, complaining how long it is but ultimately blubbering into my Christmas jumper. However, that was all before Penelope and, I know that’s it’s terribly cliche to say and it makes me cringe even typing it, my whole life changed.
There are so many Christmas fads out there that, to begin with, I thought were lovely ideas, but now they annoy the hell out of me, like beauty advent calendars for example. I loved this idea a few years ago but now everyone has jumped on the bandwagon and hiked their prices up to the extent the majority of them are just obscene! Elf on the Shelf; I went from “Aw, that’s so cute!” to “Actually… he’s pretty creepy.” to “That elf is terrifying.” in a matter of days. I want to start a new tradition, not scar her for life. So, I settled on making a Christmas Eve box, not just for Penny but for everyone in our little family. Something to open together and enjoy as a family before the chaos of the big day. To sit back and really appreciate what Christmas is about. So, what to put inside? Here’s a list of affordable goodies you could pop in. Even though Penny is still totsy, I’ve tried to include something for all ages…
- Hot Chocolate Supplies (Mugs, Marshmallows, Squooshy Cream & Syrups)
- A Colouring in Book & Pens (See Activity Village for Free Printables)
- Movie Night Supplies (Popcorn, Pick ‘n’ Mix, Cookies, Christmas Movie)
- Ingredients to Make Brownies/Rocky Road/Cookies/Cupcakes
- Decorate a Gingerbread Man Kit (Ready Made Gingerbread Man, Sprinkles & Icing pens)
- A Board Game
- Pamper Supplies (Face masks, Toe Dividers and Nail Polish)
- Christmas Selfie Props & Disposable Cameras
- Ingredients for Chocolate Fondue
- A Christmas Story & Soft Toy
- An Art Activity (See My Pinterest Board for Inspiration Here)
- A Letter From Santa Or His Key!
- New Christmas Stockings
- Make Your Own Sundae (Ice cream, Sprinkles, Sauces & Sweets)
- Personalised Tree Decorations (Include the Date too!)
- Festive Jumpers or PJs
- Vouchers to Use Throughout the Year (‘Mum Entitled to One Hour of Relaxation’ etc)
- Mug Cake Kit (Check Out Some Recipes Here)
- A Game (Stick the Nose on Rudolf)
- A Treasure/Scavenger Hunt
My initial idea was to create one from scratch, as in actually paint and decorate one myself, but I’m afraid time got the best of me. Hobby Craft and Ebay have some nice boxes and stencils though if you’ve got time to give it ago. To be honest, I’m starting to worry that I’ll not actually be able to maintain a household, look after Penny and keep my blog up to date once my maternity comes to end as I can feel myself drowning already, but that’s for another time. There are such beautiful wooden handcrafted boxes available on Etsy but as my Christmas budget is slowly dwindling away I decided to opt for this simple cardboard version from Ebay that cost me £6 (available here). I’m pretty sure I could have made this myself but I’d happily pay £6 to get it made and delivered than try my luck attempting to untangle all the wires surrounding the printer lives in.
I hope these ideas give you some inspiration. Making a Christmas Eve box may seem like just another thing to add to the ever-growing list of Christmas preparation you may already be trying to get through, but it really doesn’t take a lot of time or money (most of these items can be found in Poundland).
Do you have any other ideas you’d like to share?
Please leave them in a comment below.