Looking for some fun and creative Christmas eve box ideas for toddlers and young children?
Look no further than this list packed with great ideas for the best night before Christmas ever!
Christmas eve is a special time for many families. It’s a time to come together, share gifts, and create memories.
For parents with young children, it can be a challenge to find activities that will keep their little ones entertained.
A Christmas eve box is a great way to make the holiday even more special for your toddler.
This somewhat new tradition is a great way to keep your little one busy and in the holiday spirit while they wait for Santa’s visit.
You can make your Night Before Christmas box as complicated or as simple as you like, there are no hard and fast rules, other than to have fun with it.
That’s the key to most holiday traditions – you take an idea and then you make it your own unique family tradition.
The Christmas Eve box is no exception!
In this post we have lots of Christmas box ideas for toddlers and preschoolers. These are all suitable for children ages 1-5 years old.
Whether this is a new Christmas eve tradition for your family or you’ve been doing an Xmas eve box forever, you are sure to be inspired by these ideas!
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MORE FUN CHRISTMAS EVE IDEAS
What Is A Christmas Eve Box?
A Christmas eve box is a festive tradition that involves giving a special present to your loved ones on the night before Christmas.
Most of the time it involves a single box per person that is wrapped and put under the tree.
Other families do a big box that contains for the whole family to enjoy, for example, a movie and popcorn and snacks.
The contents of the box can vary, but typically include items like pajamas, a movie, and snacks.
This fun tradition is perfect for getting your little ones excited for Christmas morning!
The History of the Christmas Eve Box Tradition
In my family growing up in the UK, we were always allowed to open up one small gift on Christmas eve.
In my husband’s Canadian family, they all got new pjs.
A Christmas eve box kind of a mix of those two traditions.
Most people believe it comes from Germany and other parts of Europe where most presents are opened on Christmas eve instead of Christmas morning.
From giving a pair of new pyjamas to fun treats and games, the Christmas box tradition is one that is now celebrated and enjoyed the world over.
How Do You Make A Christmas Eve Box?
A Christmas eve box is a festive way to countdown to the holiday.
You can buy a special night before Christmas box or you can make your own one easily.
There are no rules to what it should look like as long as it fits everything you need.
Here’s how to make your own Christmas eve box:
1. Gather materials.
You’ll need a cardboard box, wrapping paper, scissors, tape, and markers.
Bear in mind that you don’t have to use a box – a Christmas bag will work too!
2. Decorate the box.
Have your child help you wrap the box in festive paper.
They can also help decorate it with markers or stickers.
3. Fill the box with goodies
Include some of your child’s favorite things and get ideas from the list below.
You can also include items related to Christmas, like an Advent calendar or a small Nativity scene.
4. Wrap up the box and put it under the tree.
How Do You Decorate A Christmas Eve Box?
You can either buy a special Christmas eve box like this one from Etsy or use an old Amazon box (and I know you have them around this time of year), then just wrap it in colorful holiday paper and add a bow.
You could also include one of these fun Christmas Quotes For Children on your box.
Don’t overthink this step – make it festive and you are good to go!
What To Put In A Christmas Eve Box
If you’re looking for something special to give your toddler this Christmas Eve, consider one of these thoughtful ideas below.
I’ve split the list into some different categories to make it easier to navigate and so you can make sure you are hitting every type of gift.
Just like with my no-junk stocking stuffers for kids, I’ve followed the classic “rule of four” – something to wear, something to read, something they want, something they need”.
Make sure to grab my free printable Want, Need, Wear, Read Christmas list template too!
Clothing Ideas For A Christmas Eve Box
Whether you go for family matching Christmas pjs or some cute all season pyjamas, these are a perennial favorite when it comes to Christmas Eve box inclusions.
Check Old Navy and Amazon for some cute options like these ones.
A Santa Hat
Not only is this a cute thing to wear on Christmas morning while you unwrap presents, it makes for a great DIY Christmas photo shoot prop too!
Cute Christmas Socks
Fuzzy socks that you can wear on Christmas morning are perfect for putting in your Christmas eve box.
Christmas Things To Read, Watch And Do
A Festive book or two
A new Christmas book to read before they go to bed is one of the most popular Christmas box ideas for toddlers.
It’s the perfect Christmas eve tradition for families no matter the age of your children.
Here are some great holiday books to consider:
A Fun Holiday Movie
Snuggle up on Christmas eve with a fun Christmas movie from your Christmas eve box.
You can buy a DVD or you could simply print off the cover image if you want to watch something on streaming channels.
Here are some ideas of what to watch with a toddler on Christmas eve:
Check out this free printable Christmas movie bucket list for ideas the whole family can enjoy.
There are so many Christmas-themed free printables online for toddlers- simply print them out and put them in your Christmas eve box.
Here are some of my top picks:
Another idea is to print off some Christmas bingo cards and put them in the night before Christmas box so you can play a quick game before bed.
Crafty Christmas Eve Box Ideas For Toddlers
Another great way to keep your kids entertained during the Christmas excitement is with some easy crafts that they can work on themselves, here are some ideas:
Include a pot of this sweet smelling homemade playdough and let them go to town.
This set comes with a 13 sets of this craft making it perfect for siblings too!
My kids love foam sticker crafts because they are easy to do and fun.
These Christmas tree ones are perfect for little hands.
Get your toddler to make a keepsake ornament for the tree with this kit.
My two daughters are still in these books now that they are older.
That are great quality, include a cute story and come with lots of reusable stickers to dress the dolls up.
Treats For A Christmas Eve Box
No list of Christmas eve box ideas for toddlers is complete without a sweet treat or two. Here are some simple ideas that your toddler is sure to love:
- Candy Canes
- Hot chocolate packet
- Chocolate coins
- Chocolate covered marshmallows
- A cookie decorating kit
- A new Christmas themed mug
Small Toys For Christmas Eve Box
Keep the kids entertained with a kittle toy.
You can get lots of ideas from my list of stocking stuffers for kids but here are some other ideas in case you get stuck:
- Toy car
- Fidget toy like a pop-it
- A personalized Christmas jigsaw puzzle
- Christmas squishy
- Finger Puppets
- A small stuffed toy
- Snowman Stacking toy
- A Christmas bath book
Special Christmas Eve Box Ideas
If you want to include something extra special in your toddler’s Night Before Christmas box, how about one of these cute gift ideas:
An Extra Special Tree Ornament
I like to pick one ornament per kid that relates to something they did that year.
Maybe it is ballet or hockey, or maybe they were really into Mickey Mouse.
My idea is to give them all these special ornaments when they move to their own home.
Another idea is to include a handprint ornament craft and work on that together on Christmas eve.
A Framed Family Photo
A cute family photo is a fun inclusion in a Christmas eve box, even for a toddler.
Maybe you have a great vacation memory to frame or a fun shot from their birthday party.
A Santa Please Stop Here Sign
My kids love putting out their sign for Santa on Christmas eve.
In fact it is one of my favorite Christmas eve traditions for toddlers.
If you want to get an extra special version, Etsy has personalized signs like this one.
Reindeer food in a festive bag is a great Christmas eve box idea for toddlers as it is a fun tradition and it will keep them entertained.
Plus you can make it yourself!
Just combine oats, edible glitter and sprinkles to make the reindeer “food”.
Sprinkle in the yard before you go to bed on Christmas eve.
The magic key has become a Christmas eve tradition for families who don’t have a chimney in their home.
This special key allows Santa to get in to delivery all his presents even if you live somewhere without a chimney!
This one from Etsy comes with a cute note that reads
‘To place our gifts beneath the tree
We’re leaving you our special key
We have no chimney in our home
So just tonight this key’s on loan”.
Your toddler can leave the key out for Santa to find when he visits while they are asleep. Then tuck it safely away until next year.
Christmas Eve Box Ideas For Toddlers: FAQS
Still have questions about your Christmas eve box? Here are some of the things most people want to know.
Do you give Christmas Eve boxes in the morning or night?
When you give the Christmas eve box to your toddler is really up to you.
Part of it will depend on what you include in the box.
If you have pjs, a movie and story then you could give your child their Christmas eve box in the late afternoon so that you have time for the movie and story before bed.
On the other hand, if you are including crafts, then you might want to give your child their Christmas Eve box in the morning so you can spend the day doing the Christmas activities.
Another idea is to give the box at night and let your child do the activities if they wake up too early on Christmas morning.
It is really what works for your family.
Does the elf leave the Christmas Eve box?
A lot of people wonder who is supposed to give the Christmas Eve Box. Is it Santa? Parents?
Some people have their Elf on The Shelf drop it off.
As Christmas eve is the day when the elves head back to the North Pole, it makes sense that your elf might leave a special present to say goodbye.
In other families like mine, the parents provide the Christmas eve box.
I do this because it makes it easier to include things that I want the kids to have before Christmas. Again, this is entirely up to you and there is no wrong or right answer.
How do you make a Christmas Eve special?
Do you want to make Christmas even super special for your family?
From fun activities to exciting new Christmas eve traditions, there are so many ways to make the day before Christmas extra memorable.
Here are some ideas that will help you get the most out of the day: