How to Make a Night Before Christmas Box + Printables!
These Christmas Eve box ideas give you an EASY meaningful family tradition. One that BRINGS your loved ones together!
What is a Christmas Eve Box?
This special present is a gift that kids open the night before Christmas. It centers around family items that can be shared. And it’s a fun little tradition that adds magic to the holiday without stuff.
First, there are two ways to do the box.
- Make a small box for everyone separately.
- Make one large Christmas Eve box for the entire family. In my home, I choose one family box because it’s easier with three kids.
Either way, surprise and engage your kids on Christmas Eve as they eagerly await Santa!
This post contains affiliate links, and I may earn a commission at no cost to you. See my disclaimer for more.
What Can I Put in My Night Before Christmas Box?
I’ll give you TONS of Xmas Eve box fillers for every age. So make your box as simple or elaborate as you’d like.
If you need guidance, keep these general ideas in mind:
Use it as a Family Night Box
Fill your Christmas eve box with activities that promote quality time together.
Follow a Rule
Go by the four gift rule – something they:
- read (see great age book lists)
Or use the eight gift rule, adding something used, made, to do, and played.
Help Kids Wind Down
Are your kids a little hyper on Christmas Eve? Use your box to help your kids calm down. Put in items that are soothing or that fit with the bedtime routine.
What We Put in Our Christmas Eve Box
First, I always include the same things in our Christmas Eve box for kids. Staying consistent every year makes things manageable. Plus, the kids look forward to what’s inside and know what to expect.
Here’s what goes into our box:
Soft Winter Pajamas
The kids love how cozy it feels to get new jammies on Christmas Eve. And I love that we’re indulging in something that’s useful for future winter nights too.
Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows
After we open the Christmas Eve box, we like to get our fireplace going and drink a nice steaming cup of hot cocoa.
Pro Tip: If you’re really into it, put ingredients for a hot cocoa bar into your box!
A Fun Christmas Book
A Small Treat
Include fruit snacks, popcorn, fruit, or a small chocolate.
A New Family Game
An Updated Family Photo
I’ve noticed that my kids love having a picture of our family on their nightstands.
Warm Socks or Slippers
This item is useful and super easy to slip in! I alternate between socks or slippers, depending on what they need and their preferences.
Amazing Fillers for Any Age:
The following Christmas box fillers work for ALL kids, and can even be things you already own.
Bright, festive, and always a winner. Want to get more creative? Try these cool peppermint spoons!
A Small Nativity Set
Include a nativity set that the kids can play with. Or add in a nice one that the kids can gently set up in a special spot.
Simple Reindeer Food
All you need is oats and sprinkles to make great reindeer food.
Cookies for Santa
Buy cookies to leave out for Santa or put a mix in the box to make that night.
Bright Christmas Socks
Get into your most festive spirit with these fun Christmas socks.
Give your kids new Christmas mugs that they can use on Christmas Eve. Then, when the holidays come around next year, you’ll be ready!
A Christmas Ornament
Mark every year with a beautiful or fun Christmas ornament. Use the ornament to mark any special occasions or events that happened during the year.
Fun Toothbrush and Toothpaste
This will make the bedtime routine more fun on Christmas Eve.
Holiday Activity Books
These work especially well with young kids, but even older kids enjoy solving puzzles and coloring.
- For toddlers: Christmas Hidden Pictures Puffy Stickers
- For older kids: How to Draw Christmas for Kids
A Christmas Craft Kit
Do you have crafty kids? Buy a Christmas craft kit that will keep your kids busy for hours.
A Sweet Handmade Gift
A Christmas Eve box is the perfect opportunity to show your kids you care. So, share what you love about them, make a craft, or bake something delicious.
A Movie to Watch Together
Make this a Christmas movie, a movie you adore, or even one you haven’t seen. You have lots of options with this one!
*Try Christmas movie trivia too!
If you don’t have room for a full board game, try slipping in a new card game or deck of cards.
A Christmas Joke Book
Spend the evening building a manger, Santa Claus, or Christmas tree out of Legos. (You don’t even have to buy new Legos for this!)
A Letter or Note to Santa
Include this blank Santa Claus letter template so the kids can write something last minute to Santa.
You can also include a letter from Santa to get the kids excited!
A Handwritten Letter or Note
The kids can write a short note telling Santa they hope he has a great night.
A Kids Coupon Book
Encourage beautiful experiences with a coupon for…
- A family trip to the ice cream shop
- One “get out of chores” pass
- 30 minutes to stay up late
- A family game night
- A family bike ride
Find a free printable for your kids coupon book.
Holiday Game Printable (Free Ideas for Your Christmas Eve Box)
You’ll laugh until your bellies hurt with these:
- Would you rather Christmas questions
- Xmas ice breaker questions
- This or that Christmas printable
- Free Christmas scavenger hunt printable
Holiday Pencils or Pencils
Now, younger and older kids can be a bit tricky, so here are some ideas for them:
Christmas Eve Box Ideas For Babies
These are all sweet ways to introduce your baby to the holidays!
- Baby’s first toothbrush
- Baby snacks
- A Christmas stocking
- A special Christmas outfit or bib
Night Before Christmas Box Ideas for Toddlers
Anything that keeps these kids BUSY will work beautifully for your toddler Christmas eve box!
- Decorate your own Christmas tree advent calendar
- Christmas coloring pages or books
- Christmas craft kit (pictured above)
- Snowman soup (find how to put it together and a great poem HERE)
- A snow globe
- Bath toys and other fun bedtime routine items
*See the best stocking fillers for toddlers and babies for more ideas!
Christmas Eve Box Ideas for Teenagers
Next, tweens and teens are HARD! But these ideas will put a smile on their faces!
- Cookie decorating kit and cookie mix (spend the night making creative treats!)
- A personalized mug with their name or zodiac sign
- New pajamas
- Winter undies or socks
- Crossword puzzles and mind challenges
- Ingredients to an epic hot chocolate bar
- Supplies to make photo booth props (spend the night taking fun holiday selfies!)
- A movie theater gift card (go as a family, but your teen gets to choose the movie)
- 1,000 piece Christmas puzzle – see if the family can get it all done on Christmas Eve!
- Music gift card
- Christmas Themed Charades (a must-do free printable!)
- Xmas or winter bookmark
- Bath bomb and lotion for teen girls
- A fun fiction book for teenagers
- A winter decoration for their bedroom (they’ll love making their own space more festive)
And before we get to the adults, get the free kids Christmas calendar for lots of fun things to do!
Christmas Eve Box Ideas for Adults
Next, if you’re doing separate Christmas Eve boxes, then you’ll need some ideas for adults in the home. These are also great to gift a neighbor or friend! Here are a few:
- Popcorn or kettle corn for your Christmas Eve box snack
- A DIY alcoholic drink mix
- Socks, slippers, or a robe
- A Christmas mug (picture above!)
- Christmas kitchen or bath towels
- New loungewear
- A Christmas classic movie (Christmas Vacation, the Elf, or the Jim Carrey Grinch)
- Christmas dinnerware
- Gourmet sauces, jams, and condiments
- Fancy or funny eggnog glasses
- A whiskey taster/glass
- A winter candle
- A bag of coffee and fancy syrups (great for Christmas morning!)
- Crossword puzzles and mind challenges
Don’t Forget your Pet!
Do you have a pet that is an important part of your family too? Include them in the Xmas Eve box fun! Here are a few ideas:
- A sweater or something to keep them warm
- A blanket for your pet
Beautiful Gift Boxes
Next, the presentation. There are two options:
- give your gift in a crate
- or an actual present for the family to open. They are both beautiful!
Pro Tip: Try to get this gift under the tree early to heighten the anticipation. They will get excited when they spot it!
And if you want a unique Christmas Eve box that’s super cute, but without the work, check out these package ideas:
Personalized Children’s Christmas Eve Crate
First, this beautiful crate is super durable and the perfect item to use year after year for your special tradition.
Christmas Eve Box Parcel
And finally, these fun Christmas Eve boxes are both low-cost and unique. They are sure to brighten your kids’ faces when they see them!
You can find TONS more creative box ideas on Etsy HERE. There are so many cute options!
Here’s our 2020 Christmas Eve box from Youtube if you’re curious about what we’ve done in the past!
Looking for more fun holiday traditions?
Check out my unique ebook filled with 260+ of the best year-round family traditions! The holidays are the perfect time to build unbreakable family bonds. And gain memories that last a lifetime. So, don’t miss out!
To Consider With Your Night Before Christmas Box
There you have it! Tons of ideas to start your special Christmas Eve tradition this year!
Have you ever done the Christmas eve box for kids or adults? What do you put in it? And what are other favorite Christmas Eve traditions? I’d love to know!
Other Family Christmas Posts You’ll Love…
- 5 Steps to a Truly Magical Christmas
- 6 Fun & Easy Christmas Family Movie Nights
- 23 Meaningful Christmas Traditions to Start