Fun festive traditions your family will love: Christmas Eve box, tasty biscuit making and writing to Santa
22 November 2021, 00:01
Heart's Fia Tarrant shares how every step of getting your home Christmas ready can be a special moment for the whole family to enjoy together.
Being a mum to a six-year-old, Christmas is a massive deal in my house.
In fact, my son Haris loves Christmas so much that we watch Elf throughout the year and I always have some mince pies stashed in the freezer to warm through for him whenever he fancies one - even in the blazing summer months!
So when December arrives I really have to crank up Christmas, which means using festive bedding, getting busy baking gingerbread men, and my favourite part, preparing a Christmas Eve box.
For me, the best part of Christmas is the build up, noticing when your neighbours have put their lights up when you’re on the school run, and seeing the town centre start to come alive with festive displays.
The air starts to get a bit crisper, and you naturally start looking forward to seeing your loved ones.
It’s easy to make every step of getting your home Christmas ready a special moment, from getting the decorations out of the loft, to putting up the tree and having the kids put the star or angel at the top!
Have some festive family movies in mind for lazy weekend afternoons spent on the sofa with a hot chocolate - and get Heart Xmas on when you’re pottering about the house to really set the mood!
Home… but make it grotto
- Merry Santa Squad Countdown Sign, £3
- Merry Felt Santa Garland, £5
- Glitters LED Christmas Tree, £10
- Felt Wall Christmas Tree, £6
- Merry Pom Pom LED Christmas Tree, £10
Just as we wear our Christmas jumpers throughout December, I make sure our beds have festive duvet covers and pillow cases. I can have a more subtle design than Haris.
The kids’ Christmas bedding I chose from him from wilko is reversible, and has a matching present sack to hang at the end of the bed.
I think that Christmas decorations look brilliant all over the house, so if I see an empty space, I will find a decoration to go there.
This year I’ve made my windowsill Chrismassy too with cute trees, a wreath and bunting, but you could get the kids to make drawings, toilet roll Santas and elves or paper chains.
Christmas Eve box
- Christmas Eve Box, £2.50
- Merry and Bright single duvet, £14
- Scandi Double Duvet set (pillowcase seen in shot), £18
Christmas Eve boxes have really taken off recently so I decided to give it a go this year.
The idea is that you fill a box with all sorts of cute goodies to help make December 24th really really special.
In Haris’ one I put in a Christmas Eve plate, a present sack, a cute mug for hot chocolate before bed, a fun drinking cup, a Christmas hat and a personalised ‘Santa stop here sign’ for him to hang on his door before he goes to sleep.
What’s great about the box is that you can put in whatever you like!
I’ve seen some parents make them with new PJs, a story book, and a DVD for the family to watch together before bed.
One of the cutest things about Christmas is seeing kids writing their letters to the North Pole.
For me and my little boy, sitting down together and writing a letter to Father Christmas is always a really special time.
The best thing is that you can turn it in to a full crafting afternoon with drawing and stickers if you want to keep them occupied while you do other jobs or write Christmas cards, or just keep it simple.
Task kids with making Christmas cards and you can keep them busy for hours!
You can use bits you already have, or pick up some pre-cut foam shapes and glitter glue. wilko has some brilliant sets.
We did an afternoon of baking this year, and by using a pre-made biscuit mixture could concentrate on the fun part - using rolling pins and cookie cutters.
Making a gift bag or box of beautifully presented home made cookies is also a really thoughtful gift idea, and can take the pressure off buying presents for lots of people.
- Christmas tree platter, £2.50
- Electronic scales, £15
- Rolling pin, £4.50
- Mini rolling pin, £1.50
- Santa's Workshop baking set, £8
- Gingerbread Man cookie set, £4
If you’re not a baker then look out of boxes of biscuits you can decorate at home, it’ll be just as fun.
Lots of edible glitter, icing and other decorations will really bring your creations to life.
One thing I learnt is that baking and decorating biscuits takes much longer than the time taken to eat them all!
Fia’s top tips
Focus on the magic
A letter to Santa's mailbox is a really cute seasonal decoration, and also helps make the letter writing process and postage an event in itself.
If you don’t have a chimney, you can bypass any awkward questions about how Father Christmas delivers presents to your home by leaving out some magic keys for him to use when he arrives in the night.
Having an Elf on the Shelf, or an “elf cam” bauble or decoration can also help keep little ones on their best behaviour!
Small moments make big memories
It’s the simplest things that kids love doing and will remember forever.
It could be making snow paper chains, painting wooden decorations, baking cookies, picking out a new Christmas jumper or dancing around the kitchen to one special song.
Buy now enjoy forever
Sometimes it can seem like you need to buy one thing after another at Christmas, but having items that you bring out every year are always incredibly comforting, and might even turn in to treasured family heirlooms!
A Christmas Eve box can be folded down for easy storage, and a reusable advent calendar will become a brilliant marker for the start of the festive month.
The same goes for kitchen utensils, napkins and homeware - and as you don’t see them for 11 months of the year, they’ll feel like new items when you get them out, and they should last for ages!