Santa plate

Five new Christmas 'traditions'

Handwritten cards, carols around the tree, the simple traditions are now a thing of the past


1) Elf on a shelf

Elf on shelf

Santa’s little spy

‘Elf on a Shelf’ was created by mum Carol Abersold and her grown-up daughter Chanda Bellin in 2005 and they’ve now sold more than six million kits, costing £29.75 each.

The kit contains a picture book and a stuffed elf that serves as Santa’s spy to make sure children behave. It has to be moved stealthily every night – creating mischief – like marshmallow fights with Barbie or making a mess with Cheerios as it does so.

Children are told if they touch the elf then the magic goes and it will stop moving.


2) Christmas Eve Hampers


Presents on Christmas Eve too

More people are adopting a new trend that means your kids get to open presents on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

As well as the usual presents under the tree on the 25th, you buy a hamper and fill it with goodies to open the night before. Usually it conains a pair of cosy pyjamas, hot chocolate and a DVD so you can curl up on the sofa and relax.


3) Santa’s sherry plate

Santa plate

Space for Santa’s mince pie and Rudoph’s carrot

Leaving a sherry for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph has got more interesting.  They contain a gap for a mince pie, carrot and sherry. Amazon sell personalised versions for £12.55.

Or you can always make your own at your local pottery cafe.



4) Track Santa

Track Santa

Track Santa as he does his job

The Official Santa Tracker only works from December  and really picks up on Christmas Eve. You track where in the world Santa is and CGI images show him flying over famous landmarks and a running total of how many presents he’s delivered at any moment.


We also go for a Christmas Eve walk and look in the sky for a red light. If you spot one it’s Rudoph’s nose and means Santa’s on his way.


5) Special Santa sack

Santa sack

Make Santa’s sack part of the tradition

Buy a large plain sack for presents. Each year add a decoration, perhaps a bell or something relevant to the year – a  place you’ve visited or a souvenir from something they’ve enjoyed.