87 Best Christmas Eve Box Ideas for Kids & Adults (2023)
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, babies, toddlers, adults, and pets can do just that!
What is a Christmas Eve Box?
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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.
First, 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 guidance, keep these general ideas in mind:
Use it as a Family Night Box
Fill your box with activities that keep you busy and having fun while you wait for Santa!
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.
Help Kids Wind Down
Are your kids a little hyper on Christmas Eve? You can also use your box to help your kids wind down. Put 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
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. (If you’re really into it, put ingredients to a hot cocoa bar into your box!)
A Christmas Book
The Night Before Christmas Book is our favorite, and the last book on our favorite countdown! But you can also find excellent nativity books for kids here.
A Small Treat
Include fruit snacks, popcorn, fruit, or a small chocolate.
A New Family Game
With younger kids, we did Clue Jr., Monopoly Jr., and Candy Land. This year, my kids are bigger and Codenames is on the list!
*Read here for family game ideas
An Updated Family Photo
I’m awful at taking and printing photos. But I’ve noticed that my kids love having a picture of our family on their nightstands.
Socks or Slippers
This item is useful and super easy to slip in! I usually alternate between socks or slippers depending on what they need and their preferences.
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).
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 onesthat the kids can gently set up in a special spot.
You’ll need oats and sprinkles to make great reindeer food. And you can find more instructions and a cute printable here.
Buy cookies to leave out for Santa or put a mix in the box to make that night.
Get into your most festive spirit with these fun Christmas socks.
Give you 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.
Christmas Activity Books
These work especially well with younger kids, but even older kids will enjoy solving puzzles and coloring. Try this Christmas activity book for ages 6-10.
A Christmas Craft Kit
Do you have crafty kids? Buy a Christmas craft kit that will keep your kids busy creating for hours.
A 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 them 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!
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
Get the family laughing with this joke book. Or, my family prefers the crazy things you can find in Weird But True Christmas Edition.
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!)
Write a Letter or Note to Santa
Include this blank Santa Claus letter template so the kids can write something last minute to Santa.
A handwritten letter or note
And even without the template, 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 here. (Or check out these fun Christmas coupons in the shop)
Include a Christmas Questions Printable
You’ll laugh until your bellies hurt with these would you rather Christmas questions or Xmas ice breaker questions.
Holiday Pencils or Pencils
Try these scented gel pens to get your child in the Christmas spirit. Or opt for #2 smencils instead.
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, older kids and young adults 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 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 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 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 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!
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 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!
Before you go, print the free Christmas gift tags, Christmas wish list template, and Shopping list tracker to help with all of your gifts this year!
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