Christmas Eve Box Ideas for Toddlers and Children
It’s a growing trend for Christmas 2021, plus the kids love it!
With the festive season on its way, now is a good time to start thinking about Xmas Eve box ideas for the kids. This new-ish tradition is growing in popularity, and the good news is that making one doesn’t have to be costly or timely either.
So, if you find yourself wondering what do you put inside a Christmas Eve box, or if you’re simply looking for Christmas Eve box ideas for babies and children, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s everything you need to know about creating the perfect family Christmas Eve Box - from where to source boxes to what to put in them.
What is a Christmas Eve Box?
A Christmas Eve box is simply a box full of small treats that children are given the day or night before Christmas to get them into the festive spirit. Parents have succumb to its benefits, as it helps to prolong the celebrations, as well as take some of the intensity out of Christmas Day itself. And because the gifts are small tokens, it shouldn’t cost too much – in fact, some families even use items they would have put in stockings.
Wondering what to put in a Christmas eve box? We’ll go into this in much more detail in a moment, but it can be something as simple as a little book about Santa, to hot chocolate, to a fun kids plate for their Christmas dinner.
How to create a child’s Xmas Eve box?
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making the perfect Christmas Eve box for your child. However, most gifts tend to be a ‘warm up’ for the big day, to get kids excited and feel all Christmassy!
First of all, it all starts with the box itself.
Buying a Christmas Eve Box
A Christmas Eve Box can be as cheap as a few pounds, to £50 or more. If you think you might use it again, it may be worth investing in a sturdy box.
The good news is that whether you’re after a personalised Christmas Eve box, or a simple cardboard box, there’s plenty of choice for every budget and style, here’s some of our favourites:
- Wooden Christmas Eve box
At the high-end, wooden Christmas eve boxes are some of the most desirable, doubling up as a gorgeous keepsakes for years to come. Etsy is a great place to source these, especially if you’re after a personalised Christmas Eve box with your child’s name on. John Lewis also has a gorgeous wooden version from £35.
- Cardboard Boxes
The joy of using cardboard boxes is that they can easily be folded down to use year after year. These are also some of the easiest to find, everywhere from Amazon to Hobbycraft and the high-street.
- Budget Christmas Eve Boxes
If you’re looking to spend under a fiver, then The Works and Pound Toy are great options. Or, better still – dig out an old gift box or parcel and jazz it up with festive wrapping paper – the kids will never know the difference!
Christmas Eve box fillers
What do you put inside a Christmas Eve box? Well, this all depends on the age of the child. Generally speaking, here’s some fool-proof fillers that you can use for any age group, but we have also listed some specific ideas by age below too.
- A letter from Santa
- Hot chocolate drink
- A festive book
- Kids Christmas pyjamas
- Snuggly footwear
- Festive films/DVDs
- A Munchy Play kids plate for Christmas day (see below)
What do you putin a Christmas Eve Box for a 1 year old?
When it comes Christmas eve box ideas for babies you’ll want to include slightly different items. After all, it’s baby’s first Christmas!
Here are some great ideas for inspiration for your Christmas eve box for baby:
- Christmas pop up novel
- Cozy festive socks (JoJo Maman Bebe have a cool selection)
- A Christmas bib
- Touch and feel puzzle book
- Soft toy – elf, reindeer.. you get the picture!
- A kids plate to leave a carrot out for Santa!
What do you put in a child’s Xmas Eve box?
What should you include in your Christmas eve box for toddlers? Plenty of fun, and treats that will get them to sleep with all the excitement going on….
Here’s a couple of ideas suitable for children 1-5 year’s old.
- A letter from Santa saying that if they go to sleep, he will come!
- Thomas & Friends™ kids plate – perfect for Christmas lunch the next day
- Novelty sprout chocolates (perfect for the plate!) or gold coins
- Hot chocolate stirrer, helping to ease them off to slumber!
- A tub of mini marshmallows for Christmas hot chocolates
- A new stocking to hang out for Santa
- ‘The Night Before Christmas’ book
- Santa stickers
- Christmas movie (Elf, The Snowman)
- Snuggly Christmas socks
- A mince pie
- Family card games (for Christmas day)
- Christmas theme pyjamas (the perfect Christmas gifts for the child who has everything)
Xmas Eve Box Fillers on a budget
The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to make a great Christmas Eve box for children. Here’s some fun items, which can be sourced for under £27 – and it’s possible that you would have bought most of these as stocking fillers anywhere, so it’s just a case of moving them around!
Hot chocolate stirrer - £1.65 (Etsy)
Belgium chocolate with a twist… or should we say stirrer. Serve before bedtime for all the snuggly feels, and throw in some marshmallows – don’t mind if you do!
Kids Christmas Book - £2.00 (The Works)
Stock up on cute kids’ books for Christmas, including ‘The Night Before Christmas’ and ‘Father Christmas Needs a Wee’ – a great bedtime read for Christmas Eve.
Thomas & Friends ™ Train Track Plate Collection- £15.99 (munchyplay.com)
With three fun designs to choose from, including Thomas, James and Percy – which will you choose? The perfect pre-Christmas gift, use it to leave out a carrot for Rudolph, and then to eat your sprouts from the next day – kids’ plates have never been sooo much fun!
The Grinch, DVD - £3.99 (World of books)
There’s so many great Christmas films to enjoy, from Elf to The Snowman and Home Alone. Rated PG, The Grinch that Stole Christmas is a much-loved favourite
Christmas Sticker and activity book - £1 (Poundland)
What could be more fun than a few activities to keep idle hands busy. All hail these pretty cool sticker and activity books.
Snuggly socks - £1.95 (Joules)
With fun designs that can be worn beyond Christmas, Joules have just what you need for getting all cosy this Christmas.
Total cost: £26.58
One more thing – the December 1 Box
And yes, there’s one more for you. Based on a similar idea to the kids Christmas Eve box, expect to hear more about the December 1 box this year.
This is the same concept, except the treat box is given on the first of December instead of Christmas Eve, to stretch out the celebrations even longer.
This also allows you to get more creative, by adding extras to the box, including:
- Advent calendar
- Tree decorations
- Christmas nativity scene
- Christmas biscuits
- Elf on the shelf
Where does the Christmas Eve Box tradition come from?
Like many festive traditions, the Christmas Eve Box is believed to come from Germany. Unlike the UK, where we open gifts on Christmas Day, many European counties, including France and Germany, open their presents on December 24th.
In recent years we have ‘repurposed’ the idea into a Christmas Eve box ahead of the big day.
Understandably, some parents believe it’s an unnecessary addition. However, a Christmas Eve box doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive, and can serve as a helpful way to get children to sleep the night before. It can also create a sense of occasion, helping to prolong the Christmas cheer for more than just one day.
In most cases, Christmas Eve boxes for toddlers are filled with items you would have put in their stockings anyway, including treats like cookies and socks. As an added touch, parents can include a note from Santa revealing that they are on the ‘nice list’, to make kids less anxious too.
Who do you give a Christmas Eve box to?
Although Christmas Eve boxes tend to be given to children from their parents, it’s not just for kids. In fact, many adults join in with the luxury of having a filled Christmas Eve box too. Since they do not come from Santa, you can get the kids involved in the process.
They can be given as a touching treat to family members, or you can even make a Christmas Eve box for baby or loved one.
Final festive thoughts!
Gifts for toddlers who have everything can be hard to buy. However, a Christmas Eve Box is one of those items that is universally appreciated. And because it’s full of seasonal treats, it’s the perfect prelude to Christmas Day that all children will appreciate.
Xmas eve box fillers don’t have to cost the earth either. You can get creative and crafty, or go on a splurge and fill it with treats – after all, why should Santa get all the credit for the best gifts!
Christmas Eve boxes for toddlers bring a sense of occasion to the big day. At a time when we’re looking to make the most of the good times, it’s a nice way to keep the festive vibes going.
Want to read more, check out this feature on the founder of Munchy Play.
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