The tin shown dates from approximately 2013. It is shaped like a Christmas tree and originally contained shortbread biscuits, also shaped like Christmas trees. The base of the tin could be ‘wound up’ and then released so that the tree rotates and plays a Christmas tune.

The tin and biscuits were sold by Marks and Spencer and this year their website contains the following information ‘Our magical, musical rotating biscuit tin is back for Christmas 2020 with an updated design. This tree-shaped tin, with its sparkly gold decoration, plays a festive song as it turns to get everyone into the Christmas spirit. Packed with delicious little mini shortbread Christmas tree biscuits, it makes a perfect present they’ll want to keep.’ 

The attraction of this gift is the novelty of the tin, which can be kept as a decoration and music box. The biscuits would be welcome, but ordinary tins or packets of shortbread would be much better value.

Shortbread biscuits are made in Scotland and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as rounds, petticoat tails, fingers and scotty dogs. The main ingredients are butter, wheat flour and sugar, to which additional ingredients may be added; for example Mary Berry in her recipe adds semolina and flaked almonds.

The texture of shortbread is dry and crumbly, which makes petticoat tails and fingers particularly suitable as an accompaniment to desserts such as lemon mousse and lemon posset.

Key theme(s):


More information:

Date 2010s
Material(s) Metal
Item number MBPO268

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • Have you made your own shortbread? How did it compare to shop bought versions?
  • Have you ever bought a musical biscuit tin? If so what tune did it play?
  • Did you keep the tin as a decoration?
  • For whom have you bought shortbread as a gift?
  • Why do you think shortbread has become associated with Christmas?

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