10 best Christmas Eve plates for serving up snacks for Santa

·7-min read
Cheerful, festive illustrations were well regarded, but we also considered the quality of the plate for future Christmases  (iStock/The Independent)
Cheerful, festive illustrations were well regarded, but we also considered the quality of the plate for future Christmases (iStock/The Independent)

It’s time to prepare for that warm and fuzzy feeling – and no, we don’t mean the port. We mean the joy of leaving something out for Father Christmas and his motley crew on Christmas Eve.

It’s a Christmas tradition that captures the magic of childhood, and the perfect signal for excited little elves to get tucked up in bed.

A glug of brandy, obligatory carrot and maybe a mince pie for good measure? While we’ll leave the menu choices up to you, enhance this special festive ritual by serving your treats on one of our favourite Christmas Eve plates.

How we tested

While we await the feedback of the big man in red, we had our own elves – aged three and five – to help put these Christmas Eve plates, platters and trays to the test.

Cheerful festive illustrations were well regarded, but we also considered the quality of the product for future Christmas Eves and bespoke features such as personalisation.

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The best Christmas Eve plates for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Matalan novelty Christmas sleigh serving board: £12, Matalan.co.uk

  • Best for durability – My 1st Years personalised wooden penguin and friends platter for Santa: £12.60, My1styears.com

  • Best for style – Meri Meri porcelain reindeer plates, set of 2: £34, Merimeri.co.uk

  • Best illustrations – Sophie Allport Christmas dogs printed tray: £20, Sophieallport.com

  • Best personalised plate – Personalisation Boutique Christmas Eve plate puzzle board: £15, Personalisationboutique.co.uk

  • Best for activity – Next Christmas Eve baking kit: £12, Next.co.uk

  • Best for toddlers – Jojo Maman Bebe Christmas plate and bowl set: £9, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk

  • Best for fun design – Asda Christmas pudding serving plate, set of 2: £12, Asda.com

  • Best for slogans – M&S set of 4 festive side plates: £15, Marksandspencer.com

  • Best disposable plate – Meri Meri festive motif dinner plates, set of 8: £7.50, Merimeri.co.uk

Matalan novelty Christmas sleigh serving board

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

Sliding into our round-up is this creative Christmas sleigh serving board from Matalan. In the shape of a classic Santa sleigh, your Christmas Eve display will be taken to new heights with this playful serving platter. Sitting next to the fireplace, this sleigh is a merry addition that is large enough for you to present your most delectable treats. The slogan reads: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, and we couldn’t agree more. For us, this is a real showstopper that you’ll want to use time and time again.

Buy now £12.00, Matalan.co.uk

My 1st Years personalised wooden penguin and friends platter for Santa

Best: For durability

Rating: 9/10

This cheery festive board from personalisation specialists My 1st Years is simply adorable. Full of festive cheer with charming illustrations, the circular board can be personalised with up to 12 characters. There’s plenty of space for a drink, carrot and treat for the man of the hour and his trusty reindeer. Made from bamboo, we were impressed with how durable this platter is: it will see you through plenty of Christmas Eve rituals. Also, turn it over and you have yourself a lovely wooden serving platter for when Christmas is over!

Buy now £12.60, My1styears.com

Meri Meri porcelain reindeer plates, set of 2

Best: For style

Rating: 9/10

Go for gold with these porcelain reindeer plates from partyware brand Meri Meri. Lovingly crafted from high-quality porcelain and new bone china mix, you’ll be prancing the room with pride with these oh-so-stylish reindeer-shaped dishes. We love the gold foil antlers that glimmer in the light. Dishwasher-safe, this set of two plates can make even the crumbliest of mince pies look presentable. Keep the box and store away for next year, we’re certain you won’t tire of them.

Buy now £34.00, Merimeri.co.uk

Sophie Allport Christmas dogs printed tray

Best: Illustrations

Rating: 9/10

Pooch-loving people, here’s a tray for you. Sophie Allport’s Christmas Dogs collection is pawfect for dog lovers. This small printed tray, handmade from FSC-certified Scandinavian birchwood, is 27cm in length, meaning there’s space for a festive tipple, mince pie and a carrot or two. We love the festive illustrations and super smooth finish of this tray – we’re sure you’ll find multiple merry uses for it!

Buy now £20.00, Sophieallport.com

Personalisation Boutique Christmas Eve plate puzzle board

Best: Personalised plate

Rating: 8/10

Let this be the remaining puzzle piece to your Christmas Eve traditions, by placing this uniquely designed Puzzle Board by the fire. Made from tactile bamboo wood, you’ll see designated space for a glass of milk, mince pie and a carrot-shaped hole that needs filling. At 30cm long, there’s also space to add any of your own Christmas treats if you desire. Personalise each board with up to 25 characters ­– whether its first names or a family name – or, if you’re sharing Christmas Day with another family, why not join your pieces together so that Father Christmas and his gang get extra portions?

Buy now £15.00, Personalisationboutique.co.uk

Next Christmas Eve baking kit

Best: For activity

Rating: 8/10

Show Santa you care by baking up some treats on Christmas Eve. This sweet – quite literally – Christmas Eve baking kit is the perfect way to spend a few hours the day before Christmas, when excitable kids have time to kill. Make it extra festive by using a star or reindeer-shaped cookie cutter for these rather tasty vanilla-flavoured cookies – just make sure you save some for the magical workers and serve them on this joyous china plate.

Buy now £12.00, Next.co.uk

JoJo Maman Bebe Christmas plate and bowl set

Best: For toddlers

Rating: 8/10

You’ll have your festive receptacles all wrapped up with this two-piece set from JoJo Maman Bebe. Covered with cheery Christmas scenes, there’s even a dinosaur donning a Christmas hat to discover. These dishes make a fun way to display festive treats for Santa and the crew, plus you can double up and serve up your toddler’s Christmas dinner and dessert in this set too. Made from bamboo, it’s friendlier to the planet and can be bunged in the dishwasher after use. Winner, winner, Christmas dinner! This plate is currently out of stock but we hope to see more of it in time for Christmas.

Buy now £9.00, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk

Asda Christmas pudding serving plate, set of 2

Best: For fun design

Rating: 8/10

These supersize pudding serving plates (27cm in length) from Asda make a fun choice for Christmas Eve plates. Crafted from earthenware they feel robust and made to last – plus are dishwasher and microwave friendly. Place a pudding either side of the fire and fill with your favourite festive treats – we’re sure these will put a smile on Santa’s face.

Buy now £12.00, Asda.com

M&S set of 4 festive side plates

Best: For slogans

Rating: 8/10

Have you ever had conflicted views from your little elves on what Santa and his chums should be served? M&S always impresses at Christmas, and these four side plates don’t disappoint, allowing for myriad munchable delights. With fun festive slogans, and themed motifs, these look lovely beside the fireplace, and equally can also be used for the big day. Moreover, these china plates are dishwasher safe and made with a “StayNew” technology which keeps them looking new for longer, meaning they’ll look fresh the following year too.

Buy now £15.00, Marksandspencer.com

Meri Meri festive motif dinner plates, set of 8

Best: Disposable plate

Rating: 8/10

When convenience conquers – and with many of us being so short on time during the Christmas period – if you need to opt for a paper plate, look no further than Meri Meri. Made from eco-friendly paper, this set of eight large plates will certainly accommodate Santa’s pit-stop snacks. We love the stylish gold foil border, while the illustrations are full of yuletide cheer!

Buy now £7.50, Merimeri.co.uk

The verdict: Christmas Eve plates

This round-up filled us with festive cheer but the showstopper for us has to be Matalan’s novelty Christmas sleigh serving board – it’s fun, festive and wonderfully functional.

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From napkins to glasses, we’ve compiled everything you need for your festive feast

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