Christmas Eve box ideas – to make the night before even more magical

Update your Christmas Eve box ideas for 2022

We all have our own little family traditions on Christmas Eve, from watching festive movies and hanging stockings to leaving out mince pies, carrots and a tipple of sherry for Santa. In recent years the joy of Christmas Eve box ideas have become one of the most popular night before Christmas traditions to add a touch of extra magic to festive celebrations.

Christmas Eve boxes are the latest craze to find their way to our shores in recent years. With everyone from the big supermarkets to independent retailers stocking Christmas Eve gifts boxes, it's never been easier to embrace this growing trend.

The newest trend among parents is to give the children their Christmas Eve boxes on the first day of advent, going against what the name would suggest. But the first day of advent ties in with the arrival of the Elf on the Shelf and also gives little ones a whole month to enjoy the treats inside.

Christmas Eve box ideas – new family traditions

Christmas eve box with Santa's sleigh and reindeer print

(Image credit: Wilko)

The idea behind the Christmas Eve box is to create a gift set of all the things required to ensure the perfect family night before Christmas. You simply buy one of the specially design boxes and fill them with treats – from matching pyjamas sets, drinking chocolate, a festive DVD, Christmas story book, bath time treats and seasonal crockery for Santa's treats.

Where to buy: Budget Christmas Eve box

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Merry Xmas (opens in new tab) Eve Box, £2.50, Wilko

This 30 by 30 cm box offers plenty of room for all your festive treats. A complete bargain too, meaning there's more to spend on the contents to pop inside.

Keepsake wooden Christmas Eve box

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 Personalised Christmas Eve Wooden Box, £38.99, Not on the High Street (opens in new tab)

Make the investment to reuse every year. This is a luxury wooden, timeless design with personalisation – to be used year after year. The gift that keeps on giving. 

What to put in a Christmas Eve box for 2022

1. New pyjamas

Matching Family Christmas PJS in blue and pink

Matalan; Family Christmas PJS, from £17

(Image credit: Matalan)

A set of pyjamas for the Christmas Eve box is a classic choice, to ensure the last sleep in done in style.

For those looking to fully embrace the fun of the festivities family Christmas pyjamas have been trending in recent years! With matching sets there's a festive PJ for the whole family – to make it all the more magical!

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Kid's Checked Family Pyjamas set (1-16 years), £13-15. Marks and Spencer (opens in new tab)

A classic red check design is ideal for festive vibes, but they will see little ones through the rest of winter - because they aren't just for Christmas.

Made from brushed cotton this set will offer comfort and warmth.

2. Plate for Santa's treats

Get little ones excited about the arrival of Santa with a dedicated treat plate to leave the traditional offers of a mince pie, carrot and a glass of milk.

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Kid's Countdown to Christmas Melamine Set, £15, Marks & Spencer (opens in new tab)

This seasonal dinner set features a melamine bowl and plate and a plastic cup with a curly straw. The set is beautifully illustrated with festive decorations and the words 'Treats for Santa & Rudolph'.

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Wooden Santa's Coming Christmas Eve Kit, £7.49, Ginger Ray at Not on the High Street (opens in new tab)

This charming wooden set includes a door sign (to guide Santa to the treats), snack tags and matching coaster.

Enjoy some family bonding time over an afternoon of baking festive tasty treats, with a simple cake or cookie kit will do the job. You can pick up easy-to-make kits that you simply add eggs and water and then bake – quite literally a piece of cake! You could even bake in the morning and deliver your sweet treats to friends, family and neighbours – to spread the joy.

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Christmas Snowflake Cookie Mix baking Kit, £8.50, Katie Bakes at Not on the High Street (opens in new tab)

Get the kids involved with baking edible snowflake-shaped treats to enjoy later with the hot chocolate. This sweet kit comes complete with a shortbread biscuit mix, star cutter and icing to bake delicious biscuits.

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Elf on the Shelf Christmas Eve Cookie Making Kit, £7.50, Not on the High Street (opens in new tab)

Make cookies with the Elf himself, with the help of this Zac and Lily personalised Elf on the Shelf cookie mix kit.

4. Hot chocolate making kit

Christmas hot chocolate bar

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

Warm your cockles and get cosy with a steaming hot mug of drinking chocolate. Buy them a new mug, then pick up a sachet or a jar of Hot Chocolate and some mini marshmallows. Add them to the box for an easy way to make everyone's favourite bedtime drink.

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Reindeer Hot Chocolate Stencil, £9.95, Sophia Victoria Joy at Not on The High Street (opens in new tab)

Add the perfect finishing touch to your evening hot chocolates with the help of this cute reindeer stencil. Simply place over the cup and sprinkle cocoa powder over the top to create a reindeer face.

A trend for last year's boxes was to make adorable hot chocolate reindeer cones...

Fill a food bag with hot chocolate mix, topped with chocolate sprinkles and mini marshmallows. Tie them up with a pretty ribbon, add a pipe cleaner as antlers and some eyes and you've got yourself a reindeer hot chocolate treat.

5. Magical snow globe

Home made Christmas snow globes

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

The mesmerising snow globe is a Christmas favourite. Shake things up this year with a wonderful Christmas scene to capture little imaginations. You could make an afternoon of it and make your own snow globe, simply adding the things you need to your box. Alternatively of course there are a wealth of brilliant designs to buy online...

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Mini Christmas Snow Globes, £15.99 set of 4, Amazon (opens in new tab)

This set of plastic mini snow globes is ideal for little ones, to shake without the fear of broken glass. The small size makes them ideal for Christmas Eve boxes and stockings – even table settings!

6. Santa's good list certificate

The Laser Studio Christmas nice list certificate in gold foil

(Image credit: The Laser Studio/lanapalmerphotography.com)

A lovely idea to get the kids even more excited for the morning, a certificate to say they made the good list! What better night to give little ones a nice list certificate, so they know Santa will be arriving in a matter of hours with presents. It doesn't get much more exciting than that really, plus they get to keep it and be proud of being good all year.

Buy now: Nice List Certificate in Gold Foil, £18, The Laser Studio at Notonthehighstreet.com (opens in new tab)

7. Christmas storybooks

Build the excitement of Christmas each night by reading the children festive stories, filled with Christmas characters and seasonal joy.

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Personalised Christmas Eve Children's Book, £22.95, Not on the High Street (opens in new tab)

Engage children with a personalised book by Lucy & Co, that see them save Christmas, becoming superheroes in a festive world of make believe. A beautiful treat for little ones to treasure for years to come

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The Snowman Personalised Book, £24, Not on the High Street (opens in new tab)

Make this classic Christmas story all the more magical with a little personalisation, with thanks to this brilliant Penwizard book – where you can add a name to the story.

8. Bath time treats

Whether you're opening the box early or saving for the night before Christmas, you'll need to ensure little ones are fresh and ready for the big day. Keep some bath time treat to one side to run a bubble bath of fun before the last sleep.

9. Festive movies

Christmas movie nights snacks popcorn purple glass purple napkin

(Image credit: Future plc/ Paul Raeside)

Sit as a family and enjoy a feel-good Christmas movie. Whether you're watching the most loveable Elf of all time find his way around New York city or Kevin causing chaos in Home Alone, laughter and feel-good vibes are guaranteed in equal measure with a much-loved movie.

With online searches reaching higher than ever before, this year is expected to be the year we all think outside (or should that be inside) the box for the Christmas countdown. We're throwing everything at making Christmas 2021 as enjoyable as possible, to make up for last year. Before you know it Christmas will be here, meaning it's time to start thinking about the goodies to fill these popular gift boxes.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas already.

Tamara Kelly

Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.