Christmas Eve boxes are set to be the biggest seasonal trend this year, according to high street stationers Ryman, who say that Google searches for the festive must-have increased by an astonishing 3000% in September and October.

Presenting your loved-ones with a box of pre-Christmas goodies is apparently the must-do way to prolong the celebrations and get you into the yuletide spirit. But where has this trend emerged from, and why is it now such a big thing?

When the BBC put this question to consumer expert Prof Vince Mitchell in 2016, he said it was hard to pinpoint when Christmas eve boxes first became popular in the UK, but said that parents could have been influenced by the European tradition of presents being exchanged on December 24, but also added that our adoption of the practice was a ‘clever retail invention’.

So what is in these boxes that make them so irresistible? Well, although you can buy them pre-filled, it’s usually down to the gifter to stuff them with small treats that prepare the recipient for Christmas day. For children, this is often festive pyjamas, sweets, sachets of hot chocolate and a variety of toppings, and a Christmas story book and movie. Gifts to leave out for Santa might also be included – plus reindeer food, of course!

Retailers have been quick to cotton on to the trend, with many high street stores selling empty Christmas crates ready to fill, while online, you can’t move for dot com enterprises offering personalised boxes – and not just for children - there are dozens of stores selling Christmas Eve boxes for dogs and cats, too.

Rymans – who have their own online guide to creating the perfect box - say Christmas Eve boxes are 'a thoughtful way to make the night before the big day extra special by giving kids and adults alike a small selection of goodies’ and suggest filling your boxes with ‘small but meaningful gifts’ that will help Christmas eve feel even more festive.

So will the become part of your traditional family Christmas? Or are Christmas day stockings and tree presents more than enough?