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I’m so excited to do a Christmas Eve box for my toddler this year! He’s three, and he just learned who Santa is. I’m not quite sure he knows what Santa does, but I think a Christmas Eve box will be so much fun for him (more fun for me, but he’ll love it too).
That said, I'm excited to share these Christmas Eve box ideas.
It is, however, important to point out that 31 percent of Americans go into debt during the holiday season because of overspending and poor planning.
So, it’s not a bad idea to start planning your gifts early on. That way, you can be as generous as you’d like without blowing through your budget.
And if you have a toddler just learning about Christmas like me or if you’re looking to add new Christmas traditions for your family, you’ll love these Christmas Eve box ideas for kids. (By the way, we have some great positive affirmations for toddlers too!)
What is a Christmas Eve box?
A Christmas Eve box is a fun little box of assorted goodies you give to your children the day before Christmas.
So there are two ways to make your own Christmas Eve box. You may choose to make one small box for each member of your family, or you can put together one large box for the entire family.
The idea behind these boxes is to start Christmas Eve family traditions that the kids can look forward to year after year. And of course, we’d like to be mindful that the presents are something they can enjoy and use.
That’s why we recommend gifts that center around activities that the family can do together. Things like a Christmas movie, crafts, and games are good ideas.
A Christmas Eve box also makes the holidays even more magical and fun for the kids. It helps build the excitement for Christmas morning.
And it’s a nice surprise for kids of all ages who can’t wait to open presents.
Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers
You can put anything in your Christmas Eve box. The options are endless, but here are a few really fun ideas.
1. Christmas pajamas
Toddlers are the best recipients of cute pajamas. That’s why Christmas-themed pajamas are the first thing on this list of Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers.
Of course, any kind of soft and warm pajamas for winter will also do. But if it’s something you’re into, you can get matching Christmas PJs for the whole family!
Books are great gifts for any occasion. They’re also a great addition to a Christmas Eve box for toddlers. You can put any age-appropriate Christmas book in the box.
But if you don’t have them yet, this is a great way to introduce Christmas classics like “The Nightmare Before Christmas” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to your toddler.
My kid is all about trucks right now. So, I think I’ll get him “The Little Blue Truck’s Christmas” this year.
I can generally get my child to do anything if there are snacks involved. So, of course, snacks are a must for the Christmas Eve box for kids. You can probably fill it with just snacks, and your child will be thrilled.
It's an easy addition because you can shop your pantry. You can add your kid’s current favorite snacks as is or make up a snack bag. You can also use these decorated Ziploc bags for a little Christmas flair.
Some ideas for snacks are pretzels, cookies, mini marshmallows, and hot chocolate as sweet treats.
4. Small toys
Small toys also make great Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers. Play-Doh is always an excellent choice. And these Melissa & Doug Pull-Back Vehicles are great choices for younger toddlers.
Here are more of our favorites:
- Small doll
- Princess figures
- Wooden trains
- Matchbox or Hot Wheels style cars
- Animal figures
- Action figures
5. Puzzles are fun and educational Christmas Eve box ideas
Puzzles are great Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers and kids. Solving puzzles encourages cooperative play. It also helps develop fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities in kids of all ages.
You can also use puzzles to teach your kid colors, letters, animals, and more. You can get a starter puzzle like this Melissa & Doug Farm Animals Sounds Puzzle. There are many options for jigsaw puzzles as well.
6. Bath toys
My toddler used to love bath times, but he has since started fighting it. Sigh. So, aside from giving him plenty of notice to warm up to the idea, I also looked for ways to make bath time fun and engaging for him.
And I think these inexpensive bath toys make excellent Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers:
- Octopus Hoopla Bathtime Fun Toys
- Bath letters and numbers
- Building bath pipes
- Caterpillar stacking cups
- Bath crayons
I can’t promise it’ll work all the time. But try some of these fantastic bath toys to make bath time less stressful. Bonus point: your kid thinks it’s for them, but it’s actually more for you.
7. Stuffed animals
Stuffed animals make for awesome Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers. Because for many, stuffed animals are more than just toys. A kid's favorite stuffed animal or lovey comforts them throughout all hours of the day.
If you’re picking out your child’s first stuffed animal, make sure there are no small pieces or choking hazards. Look for stuffed animals that have embroidered eyes and noses and not beads. You can also opt for one made from washable, natural fabrics like cotton or linen.
8. A letter from Santa
Out of all the Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers in this list, I love this the most. What child would not be thrilled to receive a letter from Santa? I can already see my kid’s big toothy smile when he receives his.
I think it adds so much magic to the Christmas experience. You can write and print one at no cost. But if you're not creative, you can easily get free printable letters from Santa on the internet.
9. Christmas ornament
Christmas ornaments make great Christmas Eve box ideas – even for toddlers. It’s an excellent way to mark a milestone for sure. It's also easy to make.
You can even get your child to help for some quality time together.
If you’re looking for ideas, this Good Housekeeping article offers 78 ways to DIY Christmas ornaments. It also includes tutorials for simple sugar cookie ornaments.
Christmas Eve box ideas for kids
You can make your box as simple or elaborate as you’d like. But to help you stay on budget and not get overwhelmed, you can follow the four-gift rule.
That is, include something your child needs, something they want, something to read, and something to wear. Below are our favorite Christmas Eve box ideas for kids.
1. Winter pajamas
Pajamas will always be a great addition to your Christmas Eve box ideas. Because who wouldn’t want new pajamas?
If your kids don’t have strong preferences, you can get Christmas-themed pajamas. Otherwise, soft and warm pajamas in a color or character they prefer will surely bring a smile to their faces.
As kids grow and experience the world, they pick up new habits and hobbies. But one way to foster the love of reading is to make sure they have access to books that interest them. That's why we always include books in our Christmas Eve box ideas for kids.
You can choose to include a book from your child’s Christmas wish list, or you can pick any age-appropriate book. You can also stay with a Christmas-themed book and make it a part of your tradition to read the night before.
Socks are also a fun thing to add to your Christmas Eve box ideas. Find some cozy socks for your kids to wear on Christmas Eve, and they’ll be smiling from ear to ear.
Of course, you can also keep the holiday theme and get festive designs.
Again snacks are simple Christmas Eve box ideas for kids. They're easily accessible and won't cost you much. Because you can shop your pantry and include some snacks you already have.
But if you're feeling generous, you may pick out a special treat for the occasion.
5. Candy canes
Candy canes are another fun addition to your Christmas Eve box ideas. And you can’t have enough candy canes. They can be used in so many ways that add just a little bit more Christmas magic.
The kids can either snack on them or hang them in the Christmas tree as ornaments. You can also make hot chocolates and use the candy canes as stir sticks. So much fun!
6. A coupon book is one of our favorite Christmas Eve box ideas for kids
A coupon book is such a fantastic addition to your Christmas Eve box ideas for kids. I love the idea of a coupon book so much. I will for sure be making one when my kid is old enough to understand it.
Anyway, the idea is to give the kids a personalized coupon book they can use to cash in on fun experiences throughout the year. Here are some examples of what you can put in a coupon:
- One family trip to the ice cream shop
- 30 minutes of extra screen time
- 30 minutes of staying up late
- A movie night with the movie of their choice
- Dinner of their choice
A coupon book is such a fantastic idea that you can do without spending money upfront.
It might cost you a few bucks to order fillable DIY coupon cards from Amazon. But you can also find free printable coupon books on the internet.
7. A letter from Santa
Keep the magic of Christmas going with a letter from Santa included in your kid’s Christmas Eve box.
For some kids, sending a letter to Santa is serious business. Imagine their reaction if they get a reply back!
With the Santa Mail program from USPS, kids can get a reply back from Santa. When you send your kid’s wish list, include the letter you want them to receive from Santa. And the USPS will mail you back the letter with a postmark from the North Pole, Alaska.
Make sure you send the letter within the recommended time (before December 8th), so they have time to process it. For the personalized letter, you can create one, or you can easily find free, printable templates online.
8. Cookie decorating kit
For a fun activity to prepare for Santa’s visit, you can put together a cookie decorating kit to add to your kid’s Christmas Eve box. You can bake the cookies in advance so you can get to decorating right away.
Ask the children to help you for some additional quality time together. Oh, it would be so exciting for the kids to set out cookies they’ve decorated themselves for Santa before they go to bed.
9. Reindeer food for Santa
Get your kids involved in welcoming Santa and his reindeers by adding reindeer food to your Christmas Eve box ideas.
To make the reindeer food: mix some oats and red and green sprinkles together. Next, put the mix in a decorated Ziploc bag and label it as reindeer food. The kids can then sprinkle it outside for Santa’s reindeer.
Start a new family tradition with these Christmas Eve box ideas!
Start your own holiday traditions with these fun Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers and kids. And remember, you can make Christmas a magical time of the year for you and your family without breaking the bank.
Plan your spending to account for unexpected expenses and look for ways to save.
You can also set up a dedicated Christmas Club account to make saving and budgeting your gifts easier! Be sure to check our 12 days of Christmas gift ideas on a budget as well!