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MAKE CHRISTMAS EVE EXTRA SPECIAL WITH A BOX FILLED WITH LITTLE GIFTS AND TREATS IN 2023
Whether you’re well-versed in doing Christmas Eve boxes or slightly bemused and wondering how to put one together for the first time, here’s a quick guide to creating a simple but special box kids will love.
So, Christmas Eve boxes.
They aren’t a tradition in the UK. But they are now a thing… and apparently based on German tradition. So there’s the tradition in there somewhere!
The one thing I do know is that Christmas Eve boxes are a great way to add a little extra magic to Christmas Eve, especially for kids who are literally going to pop with excitement.
A traditional Christmas Eve box usually contains a small gift or two, edible treats, something to wear – think PJs or a Christmas Day outfit, and an activity to do, read or watch.
Let’s look at how to create a box that will wow without it taking forever and costing you a fortune.
LET’S START WITH THE BOX ITSELF
There are three ways to tackle the box itself:
1. AN OLD CARDBOARD BOX
The least expensive way is to use an old cardboard box and cover it with Christmas wrapping paper.
You will no doubt have plenty of cardboard boxes from online shopping deliveries! Wrap the box in Christmas-themed wrapping paper and then use ribbon or string to seal it up.
2. CRAFT YOUR OWN
If you want to go a bit fancier and make something that can be used year after year, Hobbycraft has a good selection of wooden and cardboard boxes you can customise with a festive design.
Take a look at them here: Hobbycraft Christmas Eve boxes
3. READY-MADE BOXES
There are some beautifully designed Christmas Eve boxes around. Here are a few of my favourites. They might cost more upfront, but you can use them every year.
I absolutely love these Par Avion airmail-style boxes.
And here are some of my other favourites, several of which can be personalised.
WHAT TO PUT IN A CHRISTMAS EVE BOX FOR KIDS
And now for the magic… here is a list of little gifts and treats that will put a big smile on your kids’ faces on Christmas Eve. They don’t need to be expensive, just well thought-out.
- Christmas storybook: A Christmas-themed book is always a winner, especially for little children. The Night Before Christmas never fails to charm kids of all ages.
- Slippers or socks: Everyone needs warm and cosy feet on Christmas Eve!
- Pyjamas: A new pair of cosy pyjamas is a great way to signify the benefits of getting snuggly in bed nice and early on Christmas Eve!
- A Christmas movie: As the days of DVDs have long gone, using the promo image for a classic Christmas movie, like Home Alone, to create a cinema ticket for a family viewing on Christmas Eve? I use Canva – see my Christmas Eve Home Alone movie ticket in the image above.
- Special Christmas note: If you know you won’t have time for a Christmas movie, how about adding a little note with a list of the fun activities you have planned for Christmas day?
- Hot chocolate and marshmallows: What child isn’t going to love a special Christmas Eve hot chocolate with bobbing marshmallows? Spoon hot chocolate into a little bag, sprinkle with marshmallows and tie with string or ribbon. Or use a little jar.
- Mug (for hot chocolate): Find a festive mug or buy a personalised mug with your child’s name on. You can’t beat a reindeer mug at Christmas.
- Gingerbread cookies: Homemade Scandinavian gingerbread cookies are lovely; here is the recipe I use from the ScandiKitchen. I actually have the ScandiKitchen Christmas book which has all manor of wonderful Scandi Christmas recipes.
- Candy canes: Peppermint candy canes are a favourite for little kids at Christmas.
- Reindeer food: Kids can sprinkle the reindeer food on the lawn to help guide Santa’s reindeer to their house.
- Reindeer poop: Reindeer poop is actually chocolate-covered raisins!! Pop some in a bag and tie with a ribbon. Or buy some like this, ready-made (where’s the nausea emoji?)
- A board game or puzzle: Great for keeping excited kids occupied whilst you do last-minute prep.
- A special tree ornament: Buy or create a personalised or special tree ornament that you can hang on the tree on Christmas Eve. This makes for a lovely added family tradition that can grow and become a source of happy memories every time you decorate the tree in years to come.
- A Christmas Stocking: A stocking for your child to hang out for Santa to fill.
- A goodbye letter to the Elf: How about adding one of these free printable elf goodbye letters?
BRILLIANT CHRISTMAS EVE BOX FILLERS
WHEN TO GIVE A CHRISTMAS EVE BOX
The most popular time of day to give a Christmas Eve box to kids is after dinner.
Another popular time to give the Christmas Eve box is in the morning, after breakfast. This is a great idea if you have filled the box with activities to keep the kids occupied as you do last-minute preparations for Christmas day.
You can make it a special occasion by setting the dinner table with Christmas decorations ready for the kids to receive their boxes after eating.
Or if you have a fireplace, what better way to start the Christmas festivities than opening the Christmas Eve boxes by a roaring fire?
There are many other useful Christmas posts in the Christmas section.
Still to put together your Christmas day menu? Take a peak at the easy-to-prepare Christmas dinner menu that I use as a basis each year.
THE TRADITION BEHIND CHRISTMAS EVE BOXES
Christmas Eve boxes are also known as Yule boxes or Christmas Eve hampers.
The tradition is to fill them with small gifts and treats to give to kids on the evening of December 24th.
The tradition is thought to have originated in Germany and has since spread to other parts of the world.
The contents of a Christmas Eve box can vary. Typically they contain small items such as pyjamas, books, games, and snacks.
The box is often wrapped in Christmas gift wrap and given to kids to celebrate the holiday season and build excitement for Christmas morning.
Some families include a note from Santa Claus in the box. The note explains that the gifts are from him and encourages kids to be good and get a good night’s sleep in preparation for Christmas.
Before you go…
I’ve got a little recipe for DIY reindeer food that you might like to use. You might also like to grab my Google Sheet Christmas Gift Planner and Budget Tracker.
Hello, I’m Luci, founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, I have combined my experience as a mum, journalist and shopping editor to create useful guides and lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.