How to Make a Night Before Christmas Box + Printables!
Need an EASY meaningful family tradition for Christmas Eve? One that BRINGS your loved ones together?
Look no further! These Christmas eve box ideas for kids, adults, and pets can do just that!
What is a Christmas Eve Box?
This post contains affiliate links, and I may earn a commission at no cost to you. However, I only mention items I love! See my disclaimer for more info.
This special present is a gift that kids open the night before Christmas, and centers around family items that can be shared. It’s a fun little tradition that adds magic to the holiday without necessarily adding stuff.
Also, there are two ways to do the box. You can make a small box for everyone separately, or one large Christmas Eve box for the entire family. At my home, I choose one family box because it’s simply easier with three kids.
Either way, surprise your kids and keep the whole family busy Christmas Eve while they impatiently wait for Santa!
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 more guidance: Here are ideas we love!
Follow a Rule
Go by the four gift rule – something they need, want, wear, or read to put in your Christmas eve box. Or use the eight gift rule, adding something used, made, to do, and played.
Use it as a Family Night Box
This is what we do, which means our box is filled with activities that keep us busy and having fun!
Help Kids Wind Down
Are your kids a little hyper? You can also use your box to help your kids wind down for the night by putting in items that are soothing or that fit with the bedtime routine.
Now, what you put into the box is up to you!
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 easy. Plus, the kids look forward to the contents inside and know what to expect. Here’s what goes into our box:
- New winter pajamas
- Hot chocolate and marshmallows
- Fruit snacks or another fun small treat
- A new family game – read here for family game ideas!
- An updated family photo (they keep a picture on their nightstands)
Often, I’ll also add slippers, more food, or another small surprise (see below!) to mix it up just a little bit.
Other Awesome Fillers for Any Age:
The following Christmas box fillers work for ALL kids, and can even be things you already own (like the legos).
- Candy canes
- Cookies to leave Santa (or a cookie mix to make)
- Fun toothbrush and toothpaste (to make bedtime more fun!)
- A handmade gift
- A movie to watch together
- Playing cards
- Legos (so the family can build a Santa or Christmas tree together)
- A Blank Santa Claus letter template for a last minute write to Santa.
- A handwritten letter or note
- Kids Coupon Book – one family trip to the ice cream shop, one day out of chores, etc. (Find fun Christmas coupons HERE)
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
- Baby’s 1st Christmas ornament
- 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!
- Christmas coloring pages or books
- Christmas craft kit (pictured above)
- Snowman soup (find how to put it together 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, older kids and young adults are HARD! But these ideas should 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 Christmas 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 festive must-do free printable!)
- Christmas or winter bookmark
- Christmas or winter bath bomb and lotion for teen girls
- A winter or Christmas decoration for their bedroom (they’ll love making their own space more festive)
Need even more ideas? Check out this GIANT list of non-toy Xmas gifts for all kids, or stockings stuffers for girls and fillers for boys>>
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
- An 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 eggnog glasses
- A whiskey taster/glass
- A winter candle
- 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 fun! Here are a few ideas:
- Pet treats
- Pet toys
- 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!
Also, try to get this gift under the tree early to heighten the anticipation, as 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, then 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 – Special Delivery
This creative red box is a great size to hold lots of goodies, and has a fun decorative stamp.
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!
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