Christmas Eve boxes – magic the night before Christmas

One of our favourite traditions here at Team Netmums is the Christmas Eve box. Many of us have adopted it as a firm family tradition.

xmas eve box 1

Bring a little extra magic and sparkle to your Christmas Eve by packing a specially wrapped box to be opened on Christmas Eve – full of things to make the night before Christmas almost as magical as Christmas day itself.

The idea of the Christmas Eve box is simple – wrap a large box and fill with all the ingredients for a magical Christmas Eve. Many of the things you pack also help make this exciting evening peaceful and calm and magical so that little ones head off to sleep afterwards ready to sleep soundly until they wake up to find Father Christmas has been.

But – what’s in the box?

We always pack it full of things to make Christmas Eve snuggly and magical.

Here are some of the things we suggest packing into your boxes – the perfect ingredients for a magical and calm Christmas Eve which get the children in the mood and looking forward to snuggling up in bed whilst they sleep and wait for Santa to arrive.

New pyjamas – snuggly wintery new pyjamas  – which can be unwrapped and change into right away as children get ready to snuggle down for Christmas Eve

xmas eve jamasNew slippers or slipper socks – get everyone wrapped up and cosy.

Christmassy mugs and some hot chocolate sachets and marshmallows. Make everyone a scrummy treat of hot chocolate.

xmas eve mugA Christmas DVD – we love the classics of Raymond Briggs – ‘The Snowman’, ‘Father Christmas’ and ‘The Bear’ – all a perfect length and all so wonderfully charming to snuggle up together and watch on Christmas Eve. Find more Christmas DVD ideas here.

xmas eve dvdA Christmassy book – The Night Before Christmas is the perfect one to read aloud on Christmas Eve – however big or small your children are – it’s just magical and can never lose its charm and its ability to bring a bit of extra magic on this special night. Or find more Christmas book ideas here.

the night before ChristmasReindeer Dust – make some reindeer dust by adding glitter to a bag of porridge oats or even crushed Weetabix- add a special tag with a poem to explain that the children must sprinkle the dust on the step or path to guide Santa’s reindeer to the right place to deliver their presents. Wrap your dust in a cellophane bag tied with ribbon.

reindeer dustChristmassy activities – pop in some new felt tips and a Christmassy colouring or doodle book so the children can enjoy a quiet moment before bed colouring Christmassy scenes. Find some lovely free print outs here.

xmas eve drawingWith Christmas Eve boxes a bit of extra magic is added to this special evening.

Don’t forget to also hang your stockings above the fireplace and leave out some treats for Santa and Rudolph.

Then once the kids are tucked up happily in bed in their new pyjamas you can sit back, enjoy a glass of mulled wine, pop some festive carols on your iPod and relax (or if you are anything like us) – run around in a blind panic trying to find the gifts you stored in a safe place and cursing as you run our of sellotape and wrapping paper as you have a last minute wrap up session!.

Find out more about Christmas Eve traditions here

And read our jam packed Christmas guide - with everything from gifts, crafts, recipes and cooking tips, budgeting ideas, ideas for family fun and much much more. We’ve got Christmas all wrapped up!

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This entry was posted in Christmas, Christmas Elves, Christmas Eve, Crafts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Christmas Eve boxes – magic the night before Christmas

  1. Valerie says:

    Please DONT put glitter in reindeer dust, birds eat the glitter along with the oats and it can be fatal for them :(

  2. Clare says:

    Think this is a lovely idea and can’t believe I haven’t thought of this before!!

  3. sarah says:

    This is interesting, the photo shows a box of cookie mix, that’s a good idea only £3 or so. You then go on to suggest new pjs and a dvd etc etc. That’s adding £20-£30 to a parent’s Christmas budget, or leaving less presents for Christmas day
    I’ve never had a Christmas eve off work so for me its just a dream but surely cheaper ideas would be useful instead of making us feel we should spend more money

    • You can make a Christmas box on a budget – new pyjamas are not a necessity – or find cheap ones on Ebay or at the supermarket. You can make a box with reindeer dust (costs pennies) a nice Christmassy book (charity shop maybe?), free Christmas printables from Netmusm to colour, hot chocolate (pennies – add a charity shop bought mug) and we always use the same DVDs and books to add yer after year so it is a one off expense.

      • sarah says:

        I know i can get pyjamas on ebay and i can do a box on a budget, i just don’t think your suggestions are low budget. i feel that you’re encouraging us to do more spending, and if we can’t afford it, how many parents then feel inadequate. i won’t be doing it anyway, mine are teenagers, i just think that so many people feel under so much pressure these days, you could have done a blog about things to do Christmas eve that don’t cost much

      • Fair enough – we did run a thrifty guide to Christmas last week – this was just a nice idea that many mums do. It was more about creating some magic than spending loads – often it’s the little traditions like the reindeer food, watching the same DVDs, reading the Night Before Christmas that make the magic – our intention wasn’t at all to make mums feel inadequate. We had also noticed loads of mum searching for idea for Christmas boxes and what to put in them so wanted to respond to that too.

    • Kalen says:

      I would have done all of these anyway. This is just a different way of presenting it. Hot chocolate for all 7 of us is about £1 or make it special with marshmallows and spray cream for just a couple pounds more. My kids all need pyjamas at some point; I just make them make do beforehand. We really can’t do new mugs x5 every year even if they are only £1 each or we’d be overrun by seasonal mugs in a couple of years! Although I wonder whether it would really matter if I just reboxed the old ones with the rest of the kit.

      My problem with this idea is finding the time on Christmas Eve. From getting ready for church at 3pm to bedtime at 8pm we are non-stop busy. I have no need at all to find more entertainment!

      I started spreading out this sort of thing giving them one item per week during Advent and sometimes making a present of something they would have got anyway, like new clothes they need for Christmas events. One of the things is always to wrap up a ‘movie pack’ with a DVD (cheap ones unless they have a particular wish for one), drink, sweets and popcorn for each of them.

      Yes, this does reduce what they get on Christmas Day. To me, that’s a Good Thing. In fact, that was the original point.

  4. Lesley says:

    Ever since I was little Christmas Eve is sitting with everyone watching Mickey’s Christmas Carol and getting the first chocolate off of the Christmas Tree, they can’t be touched till then. As soon as the film ends (only 15-20 minutes long) it’s straight to bed. Still do this now and I’m in my 20’s!

  5. Brittney says:

    Love those ideas!! Where can you find the Santa mug from? I have been looking for a Christmas plate/glass such as that but have had no luck lol.

    • Margaret says:

      The Range has some great Christmas mugs, bowls, glasses (plastic ones too) with prices for all budgets… I bought plates, bowls and beakers for my 2 year old twin grandchildren, all for less than a fiver in total, and mugs for my older grandchildren for £1.99 each… filled them with chocolates for an extra treat!

      • Brittney says:

        I will look into that store, I think it’s over a hour away from where I live but I will still try lol. Thank you so much!!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Well I think it’s a great idea!! I’m making my own box! I found a large polystyrene box with lid (free from the resource centre) & I’m wrapping it in Christmas paper (leftover from last year) & gluing a few decorations onto the top. I bought most of the contents from B&M bargains! Cheap Mickey Mouse Pj’s a £2.99 DVD etc although I’m also putting his Sulley snuggleuppet into the box that granny bought. You could make it as cheap as possible, ask a grandparent etc to purchase the pj’s, buy some 10p mix ups or a multi bag of sweeties (asda always have good offers on) go to your local carboot sale for DVDs etc. B&M have great toys/colouring packs for next to nothing!!
    Lidle/B&M/EBay/Dunnes/primark/Asda/charity shops & your local carboot all great places to start hunting for goodies!! Some keyboard warriors should maybe do a little costing/research 1st before complaining! Fantastic idea Netmums!!

  7. Ad says:

    If u can’t afford it don’t do it simple! Stop moaning!!! You can afford internet and there for computer/laptop/smart phone? but struggling for Xmas? Well done you!

    My kids are not being spoilt this year but they have a nice amount because I have spread it out over the whole year and they’re getting boxes that have cost me £5 each child inc DVD pj book and treats! I shop in sales eBay etc

    Wish everyone would stop feeling so sorry for themselves and look at the big picture!

  8. Michelle says:

    What a brilliant idea!! Hadn’t thought about doing something like that and know our little one will love it, and we will be looking forward to the mulled wine !
    Also wanted to add it in no way made me feel inadequate or a bad parent you can put as much or as little in your Christmas eve box !!

  9. Rachel Clarke says:

    I agree, I think it is a lovely idea. We don’t have a big family so our Christmas is always quite quiet and this is a nice cosy tradition, which is the kind of things I always loved as a child. I had already bought The Snowman on DVD (we watched it on TV every Christmas Eve as kids) and I am going to add a Christmas book and a colouring book and crayons. I have seen some nice PJ’s in Next I may by if I can afford it before Christmas but if not it is a lovely box either way and she is only 2 so wont care if she has new PJ’s!! I think it is special however much you spend, it is the tradition that counts and a lot of people would spend that fiver on alcohol Christmas Eve anyway

  10. kerry says:

    lovely lovely idea..im off to the shops right away to start on my 3 childrens christmas eve boxes :-)

  11. Sammie fu says:

    Well said Ad, I was just thinking the same thing! Don’t chuffing do it, if you don’t want to! I bought stuff for ours as I went along, got three pairs of pjs for my bambinos, a jar of hot chocolate, some marshmallows, a DVD and a tube of sweets for each of them. Going to crunch a weetabix up and put it in a bag for reindeer food today x doesn’t have to cost the earth, you could even use a current pair of jamas and fold them up nicely with a ribbon around.

  12. Julie says:

    I got a book from Thompsons Garden Centre Shooters Hill (at the till) called “Santa’s coming to Kent.” It’s a lovely colourful story book. Unfortunately my Son found it before I could hide it in the Christmas Eve Box and won’t give it back !!

  13. Kelly says:

    We’ve done something similar, just not in a box. We will be going out Christmas Eve daytime to visit family, and when she gets back there will be a fancy scroll letter telling our daughter that santa popped by and left a DVD (2.99), some pj’s(5) and some hot chocolate sachets (1.50). The note says that he will be back with more presents at midnight if she is asleep and a good girl. It has cost less than a tenner as you can see, but it will make Christmas Eve a bit more special…an hopefully she will want to sleep too.

  14. caroline says:

    i have always had this as a child so its something that i started right away. Everything I put in mine are just little extras which I would be getting my dd anyway so not really any extra pressure or expense. I use it more for getting ready for santa than extra presents (you can just have their normal pjs, a dvd you already have, a list of games to play) I also add toothbrush and toothpaste.

  15. Mands says:

    We always do a box . The elves leave it before they go back to help Santa . We have they same as everyone else.

  16. Mands says:

    U can always re use the DVD as in watch it the. Put away till next year we do.

    • Brittney says:

      If anyone is still looking for inexpensive ideas, I found at Wilkinsons in Harrow-on-the-Hill, on a side rack, paint your own Christmas canvas. It was only 1.25(we already have the paint). Then I found a Christmas Bingo game for .99 pence at The Card Factory.

  17. rosie russell says:

    just made my boxes for my boys , pjs which they both needed as growing so fast..from supermarket,printed of the night before Christmas story for free ,DVD from last year which was in the sale,reindeer food i made myself ,activity books from pound Santa plastic glass from pound shop and some chocolate coins left over from when i made my youngest sons advent calender,
    really cheap but cant wait to give them to them as x mas eve is just as magical as xmas day in our house

  18. leah says:

    This is a fab idea, I give most of these things in the run up to christmas as it is but this way of giving them is better :) I’m going to add one more suggestion,,, because we don’t have a chimney we buy a `key` to the front door for Santa from b n m every year,,it’s a large gold key to hang on your front door so Santa can get in n my kids think it’s wonderful and stopped a lot of questions being asked lol

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