If there is one Christmas tradition everyone should have each Christmas Eve, it is a Christmas Eve box! We started this with our kids when they were toddlers and have continued year after year since. Depending on our plans for the day we sometimes the Christmas Eve box appears first thing in the morning and other Christmas Eves the box will appear after our Christmas Eve Dinner on the night before Christmas.

Christmas Eve box opening
Ideas for what to put in your Christmas Eve Box for YOUR Kids

Your Christmas Eve Box

Growing up, we had less of a “box” of Christmas Eve and more of a small pile of gifts in a Christmas Sack that we got to open on Christmas Eve. Now, however, after seeing the Christmas Eve Surprise Box on The Imagination Tree when my children were young we have used a box.

Family opening a Christmas Eve Box in front of a Christmas Tree
Children and Mum opening a Christmas Eve Box underneath the Christmas Tree

You can easily DIY your box or like us you can use a ready-made box ours is a gorgeous Gold Glitter Box that I was given with some PJs in from my husband when we first got married. But there are plenty of different ideas I love this lidded box with gold and black decoration on. Read our guide to the Best Christmas Eve Boxes for your Kids to find one that is perfect for your family.

What is a Christmas Eve Box

A Christmas Eve Box is used in our house as a way to provide ideas of activities to do on Christmas Eve as we prepare food and get ready for guests.

It’s also a great way that little ones can work off a little of the excitement of Christmas before the big day and help them to sleep!

A real bonus once they understand what Christmas is!

Below you will find ideas for what to put in your Christmas Eve Box for Toddlers, Christmas Eve Box ideas for preschoolers and then for older kids including what we will be putting in this year.

Christmas Eve Box Fillers for Toddlers

As we started this when our kids were toddlers I thought we’d give you some ideas for what to put in for them when they are toddlers. These were the boxes that our “Elves” delivered on Christmas Eve Morning because they contained things that I planned for myself, Rainy Day Dad or even the grandparents to do with them whilst we sorted out everything for Christmas Day. So here you go our recommendations for Christmas Eve box fillers for toddlers.

Comfortable Cosy Christmas Pyjamas

kids sitting infront of the Christmas tree on christmas eve in Christmas pyjamas
Sister’s sitting in front of the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve in New Pjs from the Christmas Eve Box

This has long been a tradition that on Christmas Eve the kids get new pyjamas. When they were babies the pyjamas were always Christmas themed and this continued when they were toddlers. In fact, we still do it to this day. Fun, quirky, comfortable Christmas Pajamas are a must for the Christmas Eve Box. When the kids got to preschool age they insisted that us adults have Christmas Pyjamas as well!

A Christmas Bedtime Storybook

two cute kids reading christmas books together on the floor from their Christmas Eve box
Kids reading a Christmas Book from the Christmas Eve Box

We love extending our Christmas Book Collection and instead of starting out with 24 Christmas Storybooks we only had 4! We would read each one for part of advent and then on Christmas Eve in their Surprise Box there would be another book to add in for Christmas next year. A little reading before bed is a great way to wind down, especially when everyone is already excited for Santa to come.

If you are looking for inspiration of the best Christmas Books for Toddlers then we have our recommendations just click on the blue link to be taken to our list.

New Christmas Movie to Watch

We don’t tend to buy a lot of movies instead of watching them via Netflix or our Cable and Satelite. However, every Christmas inside the box there has been a Classic Christmas Movie.

It’s a great way to snuggle up and enjoy some extra family time together. Pop in the new movie, and carry the kiddos to bed after they fall asleep watching it, so Santa will still make his sneaky arrival.

I love that these tend to be on a discount near Christmas. When they were toddlers they were classic cartoons and stories as they have got older we have included some black and white movies and others instead.

Something to do -> A Christmas Craft Kit

kids making simple christmas trees from Christmas craft kits in their Christmas Eve box
Christmas crafts one of the ideas of what to include in a Christmas Eve box

We love to do Christmas Crafts with toddlers here on Rainy Day Mum. But, when I’m busy in the kitchen preparing as much in advance for Christmas Day and Boxing Day I need a Christmas Craft that some of the less than crafty members of the family can do with the kids and a simple Christmas Craft Kit is ideal.

This year we are loving Clever Cloths, these giant colouring sheets are ideal to place on your table and colour alongside your toddlers and older kids. Check out the Christmas Colouring Cloth these would be ideal to add to your Christmas Eve Box.

Something like a making Christmas Snowglobes or Building Snowmen that we then put on the Christmas Table to see the next day.

Christmas Eve Box Filler Ideas for Toddlers, Preschoolers and Older Kids
Ideas for fillers for a Christmas Eve Box for Toddlers

Christmas Eve Box For Preschoolers

When our toddlers turned into preschoolers we kept a few things consistent in their surprise boxes and continued to give them first thing in the morning. But we also added a couple of extras. So here we go our Christmas Eve Box for Preschoolers

Popcorn for Popping

The kids discovered that they love popcorn and combined with the new movie you tucked into the Christmas Eve box. It’s a perfect surprise. I like giving it as corn to pop so that as a family we can make it how we want however, you could make some up in advance. My kids have pointed out time and time again that they want Reindeer Popcorn like this recipe from Two Sisters

A Puzzle or Game

Although crafts are great games are equally good for spending quality time together and we always try and put in a small puzzle or game for the kids and their grandparents to do. It’s become a bit of a Christmas Eve Tradition. We listen to the Christmas Carols from Kings College and do the puzzle or play the game together. Although at times especially with some of the more competitive members of the family I wish we hadn’t put the games in!

Our Christmas Eve Box now the Kids are Older

So in our Christmas Eve box now that the kids are older we still have the book, the movie and the Pyjamas (including ones for my husband and I). But, we’ve switched out the craft and the game/puzzle as we have plenty of those already. And now, the box arrives after dinner and has things for us in the evening to enjoy as a family before the kids go to bed and Father Christmas delivers the presents to our house.

A Christmas Hot Chocolate

Easy for kids to make Hot Cocoa Gift inspired by the classic British Christmas storybook The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.
Hot Chocolate Gift idea for older kids to put in the Christmas Eve box

If you gift hot cocoa packets, don’t forget to toss in toppings, like mini marshmallows, chocolate curls and a striped candy cane to stir the chocolate goodness with. The kids have Christmas mugs that they use and it’s become a tradition to get them out on Christmas Eve during the day in wait for the Surprise box and the Christmas Chocolate to enjoy whilst we snuggle and read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas before the family Christmas movie goes on.

A Holiday Bath Bomb or Bubble Bath

Colourful bath bombs are a fun way to make bath time more exciting, and they will take up very little space in the box! Our favourites are ones from Lush, although a few years instead of a bath bomb we have included some Lush Fun. If you haven’t found this yet it is bath playdough that acts as a shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath. So whilst the kids model with the dough they also get clean and smell amazing.

My daughter’s favourite is the Snow Fairy Fun and my sons the Alien and Monster Fun.

Slippers

Everyone needs warm, fuzzy slippers to slip into a Christmas morning and for the coming months as it will be dark and cold when we all wake up for months to come. I did one year buy them “Christmas Slippers” but when they were wearing them around the house in June it looked a bit silly. So instead I buy them Silly Slippers that they love. Things like Monster Feet or Unicorns both of which I’m spying up this year for my two.

I hope this provides you with some inspiration for this fun Christmas Eve Tradition for Families and ideas of what to put in your Christmas Eve Box for your kids (and you!). If you have any other ideas why not make a suggestion in the comments below.

More Christmas Traditions to Start with your Kids this Year

Fun and simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas for families including a printable pack for helping you get started with this tradition plus top tips on what to do!
Top tips to help your choose your family's real Christmas Tree this year avoid these common mistakes.
Making babies First Christmas Magical. Simple ideas to do as a family to celebrate this first Noel.

Start Elf on the Shelf with your Kids. This is something we have never done so my good friend Crystal from Crystal and Co jumped over here to Rainy Day Mum and shared these Easy Ideas which are perfect for getting started.

My kids have loved getting a real Christmas Tree every year – we do it to be a little more eco and use a local Tree Farm and then shred the tree and use it for mulch on the garden after Christmas. If you want to start this tradition or you already do but have had problems with Christmas Trees in the past check out our Top Tips for Choosing your Real Christmas Tree.

Your kids are never too young for you to start traditions with them. Find out some of the traditions we started with our kids when they were just babies in our Ideas for Making Baby’s First Christmas Magical.

If you are thinking of putting together a Christmas Eve Box this Year Don’t Forget to Pin this so you can find these suggestions for Fillers Again

Simple ideas of what to put in a Christmas Eve box for kids
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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