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CHRISTMAS EVE BOX IDEAS
Looking for Christmas Eve box ideas for your kids? Here’s some inspiration on things you can put in a Christmas Eve box that will put a big smile on your kids’ faces on Christmas Eve.
HOW TO MAKE A SIMPLE CHRISTMAS EVE BOX FOR KIDS
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about 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!
All that said, I do see that giving your kids a Christmas Eve box is a great way to add a little extra magic to Christmas Eve, especially for kids who are literally going to pop with excitement.
So, if you’re going for it and creating a Christmas Eve box or two this year, here are some tips on how to keep it simple but effective.
CHRISTMAS EVE BOX IDEAS
Christmas is expensive enough without spending a fortune on the contents of a Christmas Eve box.
It’s also hard enough to find time to buy gifts, decorate the house and prepare for Christmas day.
So the two essential things I’m looking for with a Christmas Eve box are:
- Keeping the cost down
- Keeping the shopping time down
WHAT SORT OF BOX?
The least expensive way to make the actual box is to use an old cardboard box and cover it in 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.
But if you want to go a bit fancier and make something that can be used year after year, Hobbycraft do a good selection of wooden and cardboard boxes that you can customise.
Take a look at them here: Hobbycraft Christmas Eve boxes
WHAT TO PUT IN A CHRISTMAS EVE BOX
Christmas Eve boxes are for getting set for Christmas Night and Christmas Day.
Here’s a quick rundown of some great things to put in a Christmas Eve box:
- 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
- Gingerbread cookies: Homemade Scandinavian gingerbread cookies are particularly 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.
- 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.
- A boardgame 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.
So that’s the list of ideas of what to put in the box. Here is the recipe for making reindeer food if you like the idea of including it in your box.
REINDEER FOOD RECIPE FOR CHRISTMAS EVE BOX
To make reindeer food to put in a child’s Christmas Eve box for you will need the following:
- Oats (quick or old-fashioned)
- Glitter (optional) – and make sure it is biodegradable glitter
- Sprinkles – any kind you happen to have in your cupboard will do
- Plastic bag or small container
To assemble the reindeer food, follow these steps:
- Mix equal parts oats, glitter and sprinkles in a plastic bag or small container.
- Close the bag or container and shake it to distribute the glitter evenly.
- Place the reindeer food in a small bag or container
- Make a label that reads ‘Reindeer Food’ – I use Canva to make my creations (don’t worry, it’s free)
Note: Be sure to use biodegradable glitter or omit it altogether to avoid harming local wildlife.
CHRISTMAS EVE BOX IDEAS
THE BEST PREFILLED CHRISTMAS EVE BOX
This is a really lovely Christmas Eve box that comes pre-filled with the following:
- Santa Letter on parchment paper
- Chocolate gingerbread man by Creightons Chocolaterie
- Jingle bell
- Wooden star decoration with ribbon and gold sparkle detail
- ‘Reindeer Food’ contains edible oats
- Paper red & white straw with topper (Santa or Rudolph topper)
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 Day.
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Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists. She has written about all aspects of organising family life for ten years. Her main areas of expertise are family finance and budgeting, simplifying housekeeping and family admin and kids’ party planning. Read more.