Treating your children to a Christmas Eve of fun and excitement is a wonderful idea, which is why growing numbers of us are wanting to know about things to put in a Christmas Eve box.
In Germany, presents have always been opened on the 24th December but in the UK, Christmas Eve Boxes are a new and increasingly popular tradition.
And while we all enjoy opening presents on Christmas Day, this new trend means we get to open presents on Christmas Eve, but they tend to be different.
There’s no need to be spending a fortune on presents to be opened on the night before Christmas which is why these Christmas Eve box ideas will help.
Traditionally, families in the UK would leave Father Christmas and Rudolph a mince pie and a drink before going to bed.
Now, a Christmas Eve box may contain pyjamas, a hot chocolate sachet, lots of sweet treats, a candy cane or even a Christmas film to watch on the big day.
Also, a Christmas Eve box does not have to be a wooden box, or even a personalised wooden box, they can simply be a cardboard box or even a pillowcase.
So, what kinds of things should you include in a Christmas Eve Box?
The team at Christmas.co.uk have put our imaginations to work and come up with some lovely ideas to delight your little ones. Enjoy making Christmas dreams come true!
Classic Christmas Movies for a Christmas Eve box
Everyone has a favourite Christmas film and not all of them are suitable for children, for example, ‘Die Hard’ anyone?!
Pick a much-loved family film such as Elf, The Polar Express or A Muppet Christmas Carol (my personal choice!) to place in your children’s boxes.
Watching a feel-good film together is a comforting way of making memories on Christmas Eve. Add yummy snacks a giant fluffy blanket to make it feel special.
Hopefully, these movies will always hold a special place in their hearts as they grow up.
Sweet and treats
Sweeties are loved by most children and if there’s ever a time for them to scoff the lot it’s Christmas Eve – though it’s maybe a good idea to open them in the afternoon to avoid a sugar rush at 10pm!
Laura’s Confectionary is a brilliant small business that sells a stunning range of gourmet pick ‘n’ mix and luxury fudge.
The packaging is gorgeous, and a pack of candy canes and gingerbread men jellies is only £7, a bargain!
When the excitement has waned and tiredness is creeping in, make bedtime more appealing to the children with the promise of a soothing story.
‘The Snowman’ is a beautiful snowy tale of a boy and his frosty new friend. It’s the perfect Christmas Eve story and the illustrations are glorious.
We loved this version of the Raymond Brigg’s classic as it has pop-up pages that make the story really come to life. It’s a fantastic price too!
A fresh new pair of pyjamas was one of the original ideas for Christmas Eve Boxes when the tradition arrived in the UK. It’s a fantastic idea as it makes getting ready for bed much more appealing to giddy kids.
You might be tempted to buy Christmas PJ’s, but we think that choosing a set that will work for the rest of the year is a more cost-effective idea.
Families who want to immerse themselves in the Christmas vibe should consider treating themselves to matching sleepwear. It’s a big investment for one night but it will look amazing for the ‘Gram!
If Christmas Eve in your house is a time for snuggling together on the sofa in front of a movie, then a warming mug of hot chocolate is the perfect companion.
‘Whittard’s of Chelsea’ are our first thought when it comes to cocoa, they have a huge variety of scrumptious flavours and are easy to mix.
We’ve chosen their decadent Luxury White Hot Chocolate with Strawberries as it tastes really special and can be made up as a milkshake for small children or loved ones who don’t enjoy hot drinks.
A Christmassy Mug
If you’re going to sip on a warming cocoa, then you should do it from an adorable or funny mug. A mug makes an inexpensive gift that kids can use all year round, fill it with cocoa sachets, fluffy marshmallows or a fancy hot chocolate stirrer.
There are lots to choose from out there, but we think IWOOT has got the most varied and clever designs.
We are dog-lovers at Christmas.co.uk so this was our favourite, but there’s plenty to suit kids of all ages.
Christmas Craft Kits
Keep hands and minds busy with a simple and fun craft kit. There are loads to choose from and they will be in supermarkets and ‘Pound shops’ all over the land!
These Santa Mask kits are ideal for children over 3 and they won’t make too much mess. Your proud poppet could even wear their creation for Christmas Lunch!
Older kids will enjoy something more elaborate such as a gingerbread house making kit or a cross-stitch.
Reindeer Dust – for those who are feeling mystified by the subject – is a small handful of oats and glitter that children scatter in the garden and around their front door. The delicious aroma of the oats and the sparkling light from the glitter will guide Rudolph and his chums to your home.
The sprinkling of the magical dust is a very sweet tradition that even very small children can get involved with.
To make your own reindeer dust/food simply take a handful of plain porridge oats, add some coloured glitter, wrap it up in a scrap of festive fabric and tie with ribbon or curling ribbon.
If you’re feeling creative add a tag with a fun poem for the kids to recite as they enjoy the ritual of spreading the dust.
A small gift for Elf on the Shelf
Teach your children about giving as well as receiving gifts.
The Elf who has been creating havoc in your home for the month of December will be catching a ride home on the sleigh on Christmas Eve.
A handful of mini marshmallows in a sandwich bag tied with a white ribbon will cost pennies but will a great gift to keep Elf from feeling peckish on the long journey.
A kit to write a ‘Thank you’ note for Santa and the Reindeers
Your son or daughter will be thrilled with the idea of opening some fabulous presents on Christmas Day morning.
Make sure they develop a sense of gratitude early on in life by encouraging the sending of ‘Thank you’ letters.
A personalised thank you letter set is a lovely Christmas Eve Box gift. Ask them to write one thanking Santa and his reindeers for all their hard work and leave it out at night with the mince pie and carrots.
Toddlers could draw a picture instead, so tuck a pad of coloured paper and a new box of crayons into their Christmas Eve Box so they can do so.