How to Create a Christmas Eve Box!


Christmas Eve was never an incredibly exciting time in my home growing up so when I saw the idea for a Christmas Eve Box for the kids, I was immediately intrigued.

By not incredibly exciting, I mean that we (my sister and I) were incredibly excited for the following day but we had nothing that happened on that day to be excited about in and of itself or to distract us from the fact that as we slept Santa and all of his reindeer were going to fly to our house, come down the chimney (or break in the door, either or) and drop presents off under our tree.

I remember lying in my bed trying desperately to go to sleep so Santa could come because I was scared if I couldn’t sleep then I wouldn’t get any presents! One night when I was around 7 I could have sworn I heard the sleigh bells flying over head …

When I had my own kids I decided I wanted to do something to make Christmas Eve a significant day for them too, to stretch the holiday cheer out and start a new family tradition. So I turned to Pinterest (as you do!) and discovered the Christmas Eve Box tradition.

In America and the UK, Christmas is of course in the middle of winter so the ideas I came across consisted of winter goodies like hot chocolate and fudge pudding. In the middle of summer this was not going to work so I had to come up with my own ideas for our box.

So what is it?

A Christmas Eve Box is a big box dropped off by Santa’s Elves on your doorstep the night before Christmas. It contains items to keep the kids busy and entertained that evening and sets up a chance to relax as a family before the mayhem of the following day.

If you have something you need to do that night (like help ‘Santa’ put up a trampoline say, then start the movie portion of the box early or you too could be up till 11.30pm on Christmas Eve putting it up with a head lamp!). That is if you are like my husband and think that you know better than the instructions and cut corners only to discover that their was a reason to the order and you have to take it all down and do it again! Men!

We did our first Christmas Eve box last year and it contained these items:


This was last years book for the box and the kids love it!

I stumbled across Father Christmas Needs A Wee on the Book Depository last year and I thought that was right up the alley of little boys, especially given one was toilet training at the time. I had no idea what to expect but it’s actually a really fun rhyming little book that we now have to read year round. Short and easy (key word: short!).

‘Father Christmas needs a wee. He’s been drinking drinks since half past three …’ At each different house that he visits Father Christmas drinks and eats all the goodies left out for him. Before long he really, really, really needs a wee. So much so that he even forgets to leave the presents behind. But he dashes back, delivers all the pressies and flies home at high speed to avoid an embarassing accident …there’s just one tiny problem …he’s lost his house key!

This year we have Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Crackers from the ever charming Hairy Maclary series which my boys have just recently fallen in love with. I’ll let you know what they think!


Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Crackers is a hilarious rhyming story by New Zealand author Lynley Dodd. ‘Christmas was coming. Out came the tree, dressed up in finery, splendid to see. Trinkets and tinsel with baubles and bows, a mouse with a hat and a very red nose…’ So begins Lynley Dodd’s cracking Christmas tale told in her usual rollicking, rhythmic rhyme. Festive preparations are being made in Slinky Malinki’s house and the rapscallion, mischievous cat is most curious about the Christmas tree. With its reindeer, ribbons, baubles and bells, it’s too tempting a treat for Slinky not to investigate. So Slinky Malinki, with mischievous glee, creeps out from the shadows to climb up the tree…



Out with the flannelette (we live in a cooler part of NZ so yes, we do wear flannelette right up until Christmas!) and out with the summer PJ’s! There cute boys pajamas are from Charlie and Me. The idea is that the kids get dressed up in their brand new PJ’s for the evening, who doesn’t love hopping into brand new jammies!

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere then flannelette and cute fleecy onesies or dressing gowns (robes!) may be the go for you!


The entertainment part of the box is of course the family Christmas movie to watch as a family that evening. We don’t have a DVD player so I just chose one that had been on TV and recorded it ready to watch that night. In place of the DVD (video in our day – boy that makes me fee old!) I pop a ‘movie voucher’ to view the movie of choice in the box but if you have a DVD player you may like to just buy one and start a Christmas collection.



Christmas Eve is the perfect opportunity to have a few special treats in the box to enjoy with your family movie! Whether it be some chocolate Santa’s or gold coins, popcorn, chippies, cookies or marshmallows, choose things that they don’t get every day so there is some novelty to it. Last year we did chips and popcorn kernels to pop our own popcorn. This year I am putting in all the makings of the perfect ice-cream sundae – chocolate sauce, sprinkles (AKA hundreds and thousands!), wafers, chocolate drops, waffle cones … the kids can create any ice-cream creation they desire (and so can I!). Yum!

For those huddled inside against the winter elements then cute mugs and hot chocolate sachets would be a cool addition!


The reindeer have to figure out where to land somehow!

Make some reindeer food out of rolled oats and coloured sugar or edible glitter and add the following label to your jar or bag:

Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home.

Then take the kids outside and let them scatter it on the lawn so the reindeer know where to land and can have a snack while Santa delivers the presents!


Just before they hop into bed, after the reindeer food has been scattered and the milk and cookies (or homemade truffles in our house!) have been laid out, hang out the key that arrives in the pack outside one of your doors. This is a very special key, for the elves have sent it just for your house! The poem attached to the key (use an old skeleton key if you can find one lying around somewhere!) is:

This key is very special you see,
It won’t work for just you and me …

Hang it just outside your door,
Go to bed and worry no more …

Close your eyes and close them tight,
For Santa Clause is coming tonight.


If you’re not a movie family then there are so many other things you can put in the box. Why not make it the opportunity to collect a new family board game every year and play it for the first time that night? From a cheap packet of dominoes to Uno, to Jenga and Twister. There are also downloadable Christmas themed colouring in pages that you could print and include with new crayons or felt tips or anything along those lines! We are going to make thank you cards for Santa with some new crayons and paper to leave with the milk and cookies this year as an added afternoon activity.

Do you do a Christmas Eve Box? Does this post inspire you to think about starting one as a new family tradition? What Christmas family traditions do you have?

*Free printable Reindeer Food and Santa’s Key available! CLICK HERE or on the image for your free PDF.


100 thoughts on “How to Create a Christmas Eve Box!

    1. Thanks Jody! You totally should, the fact it comes in a wrapped box make it all the more exciting and it’s really not an expensive thing to organise (mind you, more kids = more pairs of PJ’s!). I’d love to know if you decide to give it a whirl 🙂

  1. This is a gorgeous idea! When I was little I would hear a bell ringing in the evening. I was certain it was sleigh bells and it felt SO DAMN MAGICAL. I think I was 9 or 10 when I went tearing around looking for the sleigh and found Dad crouched around the side of the house with a porcelain bell and a red face 🙂 I wasn’t upset, in fact I loved him for giving me that bit of magic each year! After that, Christmas Eve became the big night at our place- a huge party. I loved it and miss it so much now that Mum has passed. Maybe I’ll start this up instead for miss 3 – thanks 🙂
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted…Women of Words Blogcast: FeminismMy Profile

    1. Oh that is so awesome! I might have to do that! I feel ya, I think part of my desire to really get into Christmas and create family traditions has to do with wanting to have my boys experience the joy of Christmas and recreate some excitement myself. It’s yet another occasion that the loss of my mum is felt profoundly so I’m trying to make something NEW. You get it. x

    1. Yay! I’m so glad, writing it got me excited too! I ordered their PJ’s yesterday, I looooove choosing the boys pyjamas! Weirdo 😉 Do it and let me know how you go!

    1. You could do a trial run this year Toni so you’re on par next year! You’d be surprised how much she gets excited even at 2, my 1 year old was excited last year just with the whole ‘newness’ of it all! And a box. Boxes are awesome to 1 year olds 🙂

    1. This is an easy one to start, compared to say creating an event for an advent calendar for 25 days of the month! I took on the lazy mums guide to Christmas traditions! Haha.

  2. Oh I just love this idea. I only wish my kids were little again. I’m going to hang onto this idea until I have grandkids, (which is still a long way off) We have our big traditional Christmas dinner on Christmas eve, as my family originates from Holland where Christmas is celebrated on the 24th. We love that we have extended celebrations.
    Nicole @ The Builder’s Wife recently posted…My Very First Live Presentation Masters Love Your HomeMy Profile

  3. What a great idea, I’ve never heard of it before. My BFF did get a proper ‘key’ to put out for santa with his mince pie, carrot and drink though so I think that’s a lovely idea if you don’t have a chimney. Our traditions are Christmas jammies, movies and popcorn #brilliantblogposts xo
    Lizzie Roles recently posted…Weekly Happy ListMy Profile

  4. We never did anything in particular as kids, except lay out the mince pies and carrots for Father Christmas and Rudolph (the other reindeer never get a look in!), but I really want to do a box for Marianna as she grows up. I’ve got an Elf on the Shelf too so my plan is that it will be his leaving present every year. 😀 #brilliantblogposts
    Jessica Powell recently posted…Christmas at DebenhamsMy Profile

  5. This is such a fantastic idea! I’m going to make a box this year. I love what you put inside too! I’m pinning so I can refer back again when I go to make the box. I remember trying to fall asleep Christmas eve too, it’s so hard when you are so excited! I’m visiting from brilliant blog posts x
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…My Interview With Santa ClausMy Profile

  6. I had not seen these until recently and I think they are a brilliant idea! I think Mia is a bit young this year but its definitely something I will be starting up for her next year! 🙂


    1. I’m sure he’ll love it, my youngest is just about to turn 3 and was nearly 2 last year and still enjoyed it (at the very least he loved dumping the reindeer food in a pile on the grass! Haha).

  7. Here again with #TheList we had now bought the Father Christmas Needs a Wee book as part of their book advent and I’ve bought their Christmas Eve pyjamas, far less practical than yours as they’re Christmas themed and will probably only get worn for the holidays and then disappear. Thanks for this post again. It’s good to remember what to put in their boxes xxx
    Alexandra @imeverymum recently posted…24 Things to Put on Your Advent CalendarMy Profile

    1. Hi Alexandra! What do you think of the book? My youngest makes me read it 5 times a day! Haha. Christmas jammies are a good investment for photos at least! 😊

  8. Such a great detailed post, thank you! I’ve been toying with the idea of doing this for a year or two, now my son is 4 and my daughter is nearly 2 it might be the year to start going for it, I think they would love it. x

  9. this is such a fab idea! Christmas eve for me growing up was mainly abut food! haha! and then as i got older – drinking. But now we have our own little family christmas eve at the pub is long gone so i am looking into little traditions we can start in our family to make christmas eve almost as exciting as the day itself. So thanks for the ideas – they have really been so helpful! #TheList

    1. Hehe, yep, those relaxing days with a cold drink in your hand and no worries or responsibility in the world … gone! But with it comes a magical aspect of Christmas that you probably haven’t felt in years! I get so excited I can barely sleep and that’s just because I know what’s in store for the kids! Have a great one! 🙂
      Haidee recently posted…A Birthday Letter To My Littlest ManMy Profile

  10. This is such a lovely idea. I love the idea of spending Christmas eve reading christmas stories and watching a christmassy dvd. I love the reindeer food! My little one is too small to really appreciate something like this this year but maybe next christmas. xx #TheList

  11. I think I’m in love with that twinkly graphic you have at the beginning. Totally signals christmas for me!
    DVD and popcorn, great idea! Totes doing this now, Cheers! And merry christmas! #thelist

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