Christmas Eve is a day full of excitement and anticipation for Christmas morning. Parents can bring some of the magic of the big day ahead into Christmas Eve with a Christmas Eve box that the whole family can enjoy. I’ve got some fun Christmas Eve box ideas for you to get your holiday season started. What better way to get your family members into the Christmas spirit and start a new family tradition?
With the whole family at home waiting for Christmas to begin, this new tradition is one of the best ways to add Christmas fun to the day. The box and its contents can be as simple or elaborate as you wish to make it. It can be very cheap to put together or be filled with more luxurious items. There are no hard and fast rules! Each family makes this fun tradition in the best way to suit their own needs.
What is a Christmas Eve Box?
Christmas Eve boxes are decorated boxes full of small gifts with a seasonal theme. They are intended to be used on the 24th December to get everyone into the festive spirit. The little treats keep kids of all ages happy until they go to bed to await Santa’s arrival the next day. The tradition of a Christmas Eve Box is probably related to the German tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas Day itself.
Some of the box contents are to encourage the kids into the bath and to get ready for bed.
Can a Christmas Eve Box be shared?
To keep the cost down, it’s a great idea to make just one Christmas Eve box that can be shared by the entire family. The contents should be geared towards the younger kids for whom Christmas is particularly magical 😉 If you do decide to make individual boxes, then you can get containers printed with each child’s name and reuse them each year as part of your new family Christmas traditions. Of course, you don’t have to use an actual box. You could use a pillowcase, sack or basket. You can also buy Christmas Eve crates online and in-store.
How to make a Container.
You can easily make your own Christmas Eve box by using a large cardboard box and covering it with festive wrapping paper. A great way to decorate a DIY box is with Christmas lights and a garland for a little extra magic. You can also use a wooden box painted red or green or stenciled with a holiday theme or a favorite character. Alternatively, you can buy a ready-made box online or at a local store.
What do you put in a Christmas Eve Box?
- Christmas Eve box fillers could include:
- Hot chocolate stirrers with mini marshmallows
- Hot cocoa bomb
- Christmas mug
- Christmas book
- Christmas movie
- Christmas PJs
- Candy cane
- Reindeer food
- Santa Letter
- Printable activity sheets
- Slippers or fluffy socks
- Bubble bath or bath bomb or bath toy
- Christmas cookie recipe and ingredients
- Craft kit
- Christmas plate or placemat for Santa’s cookies and milk
- The empty Christmas stockings
- Board game or card game.
- Reindeer poop (made from chocolate-covered raisins)
- Santa’s magic key that the kids have to hide outside for Santa to find
- A new decoration for the Christmas tree
- Christmas stickers
- A gingerbread house kit or baking kit
- Christmas headbands or hair accessories
- Festive glasses for a kooky look in selfies
- Christmas-themed notebook or journal
- Small teddy bear or plushie
- Hot water bottle
- A nightlight
- Glow sticks or a flashlight
- A door hanger with the child’s name on
- Ingredients and recipe for no fail Christmas fudge
Of course, I’m not suggesting you include all of these fun ideas! This is a list to give you some ideas so that you have a great night before Santa’s arrival. I would suggest you at least include one activity, one item that encourages the kids to go to bed, one foodie treat and one thing you can do together. The Christmas gifts in the box should not hype the kids up but rather encourage relaxation and sleepiness. Ultimately, you want the kids to be bathed, in their Christmas pajamas and enjoying a calm family activity before bedtime.
Let me know in the comments if you think of anything else.
How do I keep the cost down?
- Special gifts don’t have to cost a fortune. What most kids want is to spend some quality time with their parents. Make some vouchers that they can redeem for time spent with you eg read them a story, bake together or go outside stargazing (and looking for Santa in the night sky!)
- Use thrift stores and eBay to get ‘pre-loved’ items including DVDs and books. If they are good quality, your kids will never know that they are not new.
- Add inexpensive printables such as coloring sheets and activity packs. Roll them into a tube shape to bulk them out before adding them to the box. You could add some cute themed pens, pencils or crayons or use what you already have at home.
- Include a letter from Santa, straight from the North Pole. Make sure Santa encourages the kids to go to bed on time!
- Buy inexpensive chocolate or candy but don’t let the kids eat too much as you don’t want to encourage a sugar rush!
- Get an old key and label it ‘Santa’s magic key. Get the kids to hide the key somewhere outside so that Santa can find it.
- Print some Christmas notepaper and get the kids to start a journal.
Magical ways for the kids to discover the Christmas Eve Box
You could simply leave the box under the Christmas tree during a strategic time of the day. You want to allow the kids enough time to explore the box contents but also to encourage them toward your bedtime routine. This is why a Christmas Eve Box tradition is so popular in some families. It’s the perfect gift to keep kids happy before encouraging them to go to bed, wearing new pajamas, in anticipation of Christmas day.
To make the excitement of the gift box start a bit earlier, a fun way is to use treasure hunt clues that the kids have to solve in order to find the box. I have printable Christmas Eve Box treasure hunt clues here with different activities and puzzles to solve in order to find the hiding place of the box.
If you have a visiting elf, they could be found on Christmas Eve holding a note that states the location of the Christmas Eve box.
Take the kids out for an afternoon walk to burn off some energy. When you all get back, the box could be waiting for them. Another idea is for a letter to have been delivered whilst you are out. The letter tells the kids about the box and where it is hidden.
Other places to hide the surprise Christmas Eve box
The Xmas eve box is quite a bulk thing to hide. You don’t want the kids to find it before you are ready so a good hiding place is essential.
However, if you have any food in your box, you need to be very careful where you hide it so that you do not attract any unwelcome visitors. I recommend hiding any edible items separately and adding them to the Christmas Eve box on the day, itself. Hiding place suggestions are:
- At the back of your closet, hidden by clothes
- Under an ottoman bed
- A large cupboard where the kids never go (especially if it has a lock)
- The trunk of the car
- Inside a large suitcase
- Inside a large brown box eg an appliance box
- At a relative, friend or neighbor’s house
Whatever your family traditions, I wish you a peaceful and Happy Christmas with your loved ones this holiday season.
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