Metro Writer says 'I’m sorry but Christmas Eve boxes are complete and utter lunacy'

by Super User
Everyone loves Christmas. I’m hand-making gingerbread decorations for my tree this year. I’ve picked a colour scheme for my wrapping papers and as an only semi-lapsed Catholic I do actually love Midnight Mass and church on Christmas morning. So the last thing I can be accused of is being a Grinch. But, all that said, we need to have a chat about Christmas Eve boxes. In case you haven’t heard of these things, a Christmas Eve box is a box of presents for Christmas Eve – not bought by Father Christmas or part of your ‘main’ presents but totally separately for Christmas Eve. Typically the box is filled with pyjamas and for adults, chocolates and booze or for children, sweeties, hot chocolate and often other items like a new book to read or DVD to watch. Now, I can see why you might think that’s quite sweet but can we just take a moment to reflect on the fact that on top of the orgy of consumption that happens on Christmas morning, we’re adding in EVEN MORE STUFF. No human person needs to spend £20 on a twee wooden box which sits around gathering dust and taking up storage space for 364 nights of the year, so that they can add even more presents on to Christmas Eve.Christmas Eve is supposed to be about anticipation. It’s about excitement, the feeling that something lovely is coming. For kids it’s also a bloody good lesson in being patient and waiting for something. Fobbing them off with a box of presents the night before does rather seem to overshadow that lesson. I’ve heard parents claiming that it’s a nice tradition. To which I would like to scream ‘It’s not a f***ing tradition if you only started it last year, IS IT?’ Yes Christmas is about making memories and yes it’s every family’s prerogative to do it their own way. But honestly the whole thing is so saccharine sweet and (I hate to say it) American, it makes my back molars ache. A more reasonable objection to the practice (aside from my feelings that it’s twee and tacky) is the additional pressure that Christmas Eve boxes add to parents. Everyone knows that the conversation when you go back to school in January is about what you all got for Christmas. If you’re a cash strapped parent who stressed themselves out and even got into debt to provide nice presents, the idea that your child would feel short changed because they didn’t get an artisanal wooden box with their name on must be pretty galling. Not only are you supposed to find your kids the perfect present, gift wrap it all beautifully, keep the mystery of Santa alive, cook a delicious feast and spend quality time with the family, you’re also supposed to buy in to the idea of making Christmas Eve ‘extra special’.

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