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

Update your Christmas Eve box ideas for 2021
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • 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

    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

    Merry Xmas 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.

    View Deal

    Keepsake wooden Christmas Eve box

    Personalised Christmas Eve Wooden Box, £38.99, Not on the High Street
    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.

    View Deal

    What to put in a Christmas Eve box for 2021

    1. New pyjamas

    matching family PJS

    Image credit: Matalan; Family Christmas PJS, from £17

    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!

    Kid’s Checked Family Pyjamas set (1-16 years), £13-15. Marks and Spencer
    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.

    View Deal

    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.

    Kid’s Countdown to Christmas Melamine Set, £15, Marks & Spencer
    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’.

    View Deal

    Christmas Eve Santa Treat Plate, £2, Dunelm
    Keep it simple with a budget-friendly porcelain plate that is purely for placing beside the chimney – with clear instructions on where the treats are left.

    View Deal

    Wooden Santa’s Coming Christmas Eve Kit, £7.49, Ginger Ray at Not on the High Street
    This charming wooden set includes a door sign (to guide Santa to the treats), snack tags and matching coaster.

    View Deal

    3. A cookie making kit

    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.

    Christmas Snowflake Cookie Mix baking Kit, £8.50, Katie Bakes at Not on the High Street
    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.

    View Deal

    Elf on the Shelf Christmas Eve Cookie Making Kit, £7.50, Not on the High Street
    Make cookies with the Elf himself, with the help of this Zac and Lily personalised Elf on the Shelf cookie mix kit.

    View Deal

    4. Hot chocolate making kit


    Image credit: 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.

    Twin Pack Nordic Hot Choc and Marshmallow Stirrers, £4, Dunelm
    Simply serve a cup of warm milk and watch little ones stir in a spoon to create a dreamy hot drink, as if by magic!

    View Deal

    Reindeer Hot Chocolate Stencil, £9.95, Sophia Victoria Joy at Not on The High Street
    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.

    View Deal

    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 snow globe

    Image credit: Future/ 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…

    Mini Christmas Snow Globes, £15.99 set of 4, Amazon
    This set of plastic mini snow globes are 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!

    View Deal

    6. Santa’s good list certificate

    Sant's good list certificate

    Image credit: The Laser Studio/

    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

    7. Christmas storybooks

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

    Personalised Christmas Eve Children’s Book, £22.95, Not on the High Street
    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

    View Deal

    The Snowman Personalised Book, £24, Not on the High Street
    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.

    View Deal

    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.

    Elf on the Shelf Bath Bomb, £3.50, Boots
    Filled the bath with festive fun and fizz with this berry scented bath bomb. Drop the fizzer into a warm bath and watch it come alive and fill the room with a delicious scent, that is inviting for little ones to jump in. 3 years plus.

    View Deal

    9. Festive movies

    movie night christmas activities kids children

    Image credit: Future/ 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.

    All the latest from Ideal Home