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What to put in a Christmas Eve box

Boy in slippers looking down at other slippers all around him

Putting together a Christmas Eve box for your little ones is a tradition that’s grown massively over the last few years, and it’s a lovely way to spend a night of festive fun with the kids before the big day! You could use a pre-loved wooden box, a stocking or wicker basket to pop your gift ideas in and you can even get them personalised with your children’s names on for an extra special treat.

What is a Christmas Eve Box?

Not heard of this festive tradition before? Don’t worry - we’ll explain everything you need to know for this fun, kid-friendly December activity.

A Christmas Eve box is a container of mini gifts and treats to enjoy the night before Christmas. Similar to present hampers or ‘survival kits’ packed with sweet things and small items, a Christmas Eve box is meant to give you everything you need to have a great Christmas Eve, from entertainment and food and drink to cosy clothes and slippers.

This tradition is similar to those enjoyed in many European countries, where gifts are usually given on the 24th of December. Becoming more and more popular over the years, Christmas Eve boxes can be great presents for all the family - not just the little ones.

Top tip! Although Christmas Eve boxes are ideal for the festive season, you could also make similar boxes at other times of the year, such as birthdays, religious holidays or family celebrations. You could even have a snuggle box on hand for everyday movie nights to make it extra special for little ones.

What do you put in a Christmas Eve box?

When it comes to filling a Christmas Eve box, the chances are you’ll have too many ideas rather than not enough. The world is your oyster when it comes to this type of gift as you can tailor it to the recipient as much or as little as you like.

This can help to make the creation of the box as fun as the enjoyment of its contents, particularly for older children. When you head out Christmas shopping, you could set them a challenge to find items relating to football, dinosaurs or fairies, for example, and turn a long, tiring trip into an exciting scavenger hunt!

To help you get started, though, we’ve compiled a list of excellent Christmas Eve box-fillers to get your festive creative juices flowing.

Pyjamas – a set of warm, comfy PJs for them to snuggle up in during the evening. If pyjamas are too big for your Christmas Eve box, why not opt for a pair of cosy yet supportive slippers, or some festive fluffy socks?

Festive film – whether you’re streaming a new release or popping on a DVD of an old favourite, watching a Christmas movie can be a great way to get in the festive spirit just before the big day. If you don’t have a physical copy of the film, consider glueing a collage or image inside a Christmas card to make a big reveal on the 24th.

Chocolate stirrers – these sweet treats are a perfect way to include a toasty drink for your little ones in their Christmas Eve box. All you need to do is add them to hot milk. Alternatively, consider hot chocolate mixes, sachet coffees or small tea bag collections for older children. If your little ones aren’t quite old enough for festive drinks, you could opt for a Christmassy cup or bottle instead.

Snacks and treats - no Christmas Eve movie night is complete without something to nibble on during the film. Include a selection of sweets and treats in your Christmas Eve boxes to be shared among the family - make them as healthy or as indulgent as you desire. Just don’t let your little ones forget to brush their teeth before bed!

Reindeer food – don’t forget treats for Santa’s reindeer. Delivering all those presents is hungry work, so include a small treat your children can leave out for the reindeer when Santa comes - and even one for the big man himself! For the reindeer, pop a handful of wild bird seeds or raw oats in a clear sandwich bag and tie with a ribbon at the top to keep it secure. For Santa, a mince pie or small cake and a glass of milk or juice always seems to go down well.

Cuddly toy – a new little friend to cuddle in bed as you tuck them in for the night. For older children, consider a snuggly hot water bottle or microwavable soft toy as an alternative.

Book – find a lovely Christmas tale to read them as they drift off to sleep. Older children may prefer a book to read themselves, or you might all join in to act out a story for the youngest child - voices included, of course.

Whatever you decide to put in your little ones’ Christmas Eve boxes, we at Start-Rite hope you have a very merry Christmas full of cheer and joy for you and your loved ones. Merry Christmas!