christmas eve box for the family tied with blue ribbon in front of the christmas tree

17 Delightful Christmas Eve Box Ideas for the Family

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What Do You Put In A Family Christmas Eve Box?

Like many families, when I was growing up, we were each allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve. 

But in recent years, the “Night Before Christmas box” has become increasingly popular, which brings us to today’s topic: Christmas Eve Box ideas for the whole family.

You’re probably wondering…

What exactly do I put in one of these boxes? Or should I just wrap up an extra gift to hand out to everyone on Christmas Eve? 

Don’t worry, I’m going to cover all of that shortly!

wrapped gift in front of tree and text that reads: christmas eve box ideas for families

But First, Why Give A Family Christmas Eve Box?

Rather than handing out individual gifts, a family Christmas Eve box has a little something for everyone – and often contains items to use together that night.

For the last few years, I’ve been putting together little individual gift boxes for the kids to open the night before Christmas, and they typically include things they can use right away:

  • Pajamas
  • Candy or snacks
  • Books that we can read together

Last year, I bought us all some adorable Buffalo plaid one-piece pajamas (so cozy!) and everyone wore them to bed that night.

This year, I’m thinking about putting together one big box that includes both individual items for everyone in the family, along with some shared gifts – perhaps a game and some snacks to share.

By the way, you can go with either individual boxes for each person OR one big family box. There’s no right or wrong here!

Opening a gift on Christmas Eve is not only a fun family tradition, but it’s a great way to get everyone into the Christmas spirit a little early.

And, best of all, it provides an opportunity to spend quality time together, whether that’s on Christmas Eve or at a later date. 

Now, let’s move on to that list of family Christmas Eve box ideas!

1. Cozy Matching Pajamas

I already mentioned this one, which is why I wanted to put it first on the list. Matching Christmas pajamas have been huge in recent years!

Honestly, some of the patterns are a little cheesy, but if you know where to look, you just might find some cute, cozy pjs for the whole family!

FYI: I’ve not only seen them on Amazon, but at Target, Old Navy, and even Sam’s Club, to name a few.

2. Warm Slippers

I like to get my kids new slippers every couple years when they outgrow theirs (or wear them out!). Warm slippers are the perfect gift to add to your Christmas Eve box because they can be used right away, yet they’ll last all year long.

3. New Blankets

I know some households (like ours) have waaay too many blankets, but if yours doesn’t, then a new blanket for each family member could make a great addition to the box. 

Or, perhaps, a huge family blanket would be perfect for snuggling up together while you watch a Christmas movie!

4. Fun Fuzzy Socks

Who doesn’t love soft, fuzzy socks to warm their feet at Christmastime?! I love fuzzy socks in the winter! They’re both a fun and inexpensive gift, plus they’re small enough to fit inside any size box.

Grab some fuzzy Christmas socks to get everyone into the Christmas spirit!

5. Magical Reindeer Food

If you’ve never left magical reindeer food for Santa’s reindeer, you’ll definitely want to grab a bag to sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve! 

6. Card or Board Game

Board and card games make the perfect Christmas Eve gift! Dim the lights and light the fireplace (or a few candles), brew some hot cocoa, and play a new game or two. 

A few of our family favorites (our kiddos are six and under):

And even if you don’t play them on Christmas Eve, there will be plenty of winter nights ahead, so really, any night can be a family game night.

7. New Christmas Books

New books are always a hit in our house! My girls love reading stories together, especially those with holiday themes. 

Some magical children’s Christmas books to consider:

And a couple chapter books for the family to enjoy together:

8. Feel-Good Christmas Movie

Perhaps obvious, but it’s a fun family Christmas Eve box idea nonetheless! We love putting together a plate of yummy treats and hunkering down to watch a Christmas movie.

Of course, there are all the classics… A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street….

Here are a few that might be a little less obvious:

9. Hot Chocolate Spoons

When putting together a box of gifts to use on the night before Christmas, you can’t forget the hot chocolate (or hot chocolate spoons)! And, of course, marshmallows.

10. Your Family’s Favorite Candy Canes

Because candy canes are one of the most popular Christmas candies, naturally, I couldn’t leave them off the list.

Add a box of cane-shaped candy in whatever flavor your family prefers – or go with peppermint and use them as stirring sticks for your hot chocolate.

(Or you could just go for the edible peppermint spoons.)

11. Cute Christmas Mugs

To go with the hot cocoa, add a Christmas themed mug for each family member. Then brew up that cocoa (or some apple cider or your preferred hot drink) and use the new mugs while enjoying your Christmas Eve festivities.

12. Christmas Craft Kit

You could take this one a number of different directions:

  • Come up with a Christmas craft idea, then put together a craft kit with enough supplies for each family member.
  • Buy Christmas-y supplies and let everyone come up with their own crafts.
  • Buy a done-for-you Christmas craft kit (enough for the whole family, of course!).
  • Get a premade cookie decorating or gingerbread house kit for making edible crafts.
  • Buy a non-Christmas themed craft kit or even a monthly craft subscription box for year-round fun.

Working on a craft kit or pre-planned crafting activity is a fun way to spend Christmas Eve, whether you have younger children or teens.

13. Holiday Jigsaw Puzzle

Working on puzzles together is a great way for the family to bond! Obviously, the size depends on the ages of your kiddos.

Or… You could go with a family jigsaw puzzle that has different size pieces for family members of different skill levels. (We’ve done ours together a couple times already!)

14. Reusable Sticker Books

Sticker books are really popular with younger children, especially if you can peel them off and re-stick the stickers over and over again.

Check out these sticker activity books – do you have kids who might enjoy them?

15. Print-at-Home Coloring Books

Grab some coloring books or printable Christmas coloring pages to add to the box, and some crayons, markers, or even paint brush pens (the next item on our list!).

And, yes, even the grown-ups in the family can join in the coloring fun!

16. Mess-Free Paint Brush Pens

For kids who love painting and parents who hate to clean up messes…enter the paint brush pen.

They have the desired paint effect with the ease of a pen, and even better – they’re inexpensive and one package is small enough to fit inside even the smallest boxes.

17. Christmas Themed Legos

I don’t know a kid who doesn’t enjoy either the challenge of building with Legos or the fun of playing with them afterward.

Did you know there are Christmas themed Lego sets? I had no clue until recently! Santa’s sleigh and a gingerbread house are two fun Christmas sets that you can grab on Amazon.

Personalized Christmas Eve Box Ideas For Families

First, you need a box or a container of some type. The size you need depends, of course, on what you plan on putting in it – or, you could choose your gifts to fit the box, of course. 

It could be a cardboard box, a crate, a wicker basket… Whatever you like.

You can even decorate the box with ribbon, garland, mini ornaments….

Or, go the simple route and buy a premade Christmas Eve box, like these boxes on Etsy. Using your special box year after year will make an amazing Christmas Eve tradition.

What Do Families Usually Do On Christmas Eve?

Looking to start some new Christmas Eve traditions with your family? Here are a few ideas to get started.

  • Make ornaments.
  • Have a family Christmas photo shoot.
  • Hang stockings.
  • Attend Christmas Eve services.
  • Write a note for Santa.
  • Read the Christmas story.
  • Decorate Christmas cookies.
  • Watch Christmas movies.
  • Go for a Christmas light drive.
  • Go Christmas caroling.

Want more magical ideas? Check out my list of 25 Christmas Eve traditions to start this year.

Christmas Eve Box Ideas For The Family

So… What are you going to put in your Christmas Eve box for the family? This article covered some of the most popular ideas, but of course – the options are endless!

Do you have a baby or toddler?

Check out my list of things to put in a Christmas Eve Box for one-year-olds. Because babies and toddlers typically don’t need much, I decided to add gifts that are both useful and fun to the list.

Read More:

75+ Christmas Gifts for Kids That AREN’T Toys

“12 Days of Christmas” Gifts for Kids 

21 Fun and Unique Christmas Gifts for Preschoolers

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