Christmas Eve Boxes: The Complete Guide For Aussie Families
With Christmas just around the corner, kids are already giddy about opening gifts and cannot wait for Christmas Day to find out what’s inside. Preparing for Christmas and gift buying are the most stressful tasks for the parents – but of course, opening the presents is the most exciting part for the kids! To break up this anticipation, Christmas Eve Boxes will keep the kids entertained until Christmas morning arrives. Why should giving a Christmas Eve Box be part of the family tradition every year?
Christmas Eve Boxes are not only about what you put inside the box – it’s also a lovely way to add another special memory to your holiday celebrations, and a tradition your children can continue when they have their own families. It’s also a great strategy to keep little hands from opening Christmas presents before the main event.
In addition, Christmas Eve Boxes aren’t just limited to kids: they can be also gifted to anyone you like, including adults. If you are worried about spending even more money on presents, the things that go into a Christmas Eve Box are likely the things you buy anyway during the festive season. Lastly, if you are short on time making your own Christmas Eve Boxes, there are personalised and pre-filled Christmas Eve Boxes ready to be purchased online.
Keen to learn more about Christmas Eve Boxes for your family? Read on for everything you need to know.
What is a Christmas Eve Box?
In recent years, the gifting of Christmas Eve Boxes has become a trend across various countries worldwide. What’s involved in this new festive tradition? Essentially, it involves gifting someone a box full of memorable Christmas presents on the 24th of December and is usually given to kids by their parents. These boxes range from a decorated cardboard box to a personalised wooden chest that can be reused year after year.
However, not all parents are keen on this new gift-giving occasion. In some regions, such as Australia, Christmas Eve Boxes are a fairly new idea and opinion regarding these boxes is divided. Some parents deem it unnecessary because according to them, kids already get plenty of gifts on December 25th. One parent even said that it only adds pressure and stress for them to come up with extra Christmas gift ideas on top of what they’ve already purchased for their family.
But other parents argue that Christmas Eve Boxes are a way of breaking the ice before Christmas morning, particularly when they give over-excited little ones something to do in the meantime. This new tradition can heighten the Christmas for adults as well as children, making it more sentimental and giving the family more special activities to do together in the lead up to the big day.
Whatever your opinion is, Christmas Eve Boxes are rapidly gaining popularity and are becoming part of family Christmas customs in Canada and the UK. As families share their Christmas stories and photos on social media, the trend is continuing to spread across other countries like the USA and Australia.
After all, Christmas is all about giving and sharing – so why not find another special way to share the magic of Christmas with your family
Origin of Christmas Eve Boxes
It’s often said by skeptical parents that Christmas Eve Boxes are not an Australian tradition – but it’s safe to say that all of our Australian Christmas activities originally came from elsewhere!
The origin of Christmas Eve Boxes themselves stem from German festive traditions. In Germany and other European countries, Christmas is primarily celebrated on December 24th rather than on Christmas Day. This means presents are typically opened the ‘night before Christmas’ rather than on December 25th. On the night of December 24th, families feast on huge Christmas dinners and open presents during that same family gathering.
So why has the Christmas Eve Box started to spread into a worldwide phenomenon? It’s safe to say one reason for the popularity of the Christmas Eve Boxes include the inability of kids to contain their excitement! Younger kids especially may be too impatient to wait to open their presents – and Christmas Boxes not only give them a little preview of what’s to come, but often includes activities to keep little ones occupied on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve Box could also be an extension of the advent calendar, which is a more likely explanation of this tradition. Aside from the traditional chocolates, advent calendars have expanded into a range of different versions for kids and adults – even including expensive gifts like jewellery for every day of the advent. It’s possible this tradition may have evolved further into ‘’Christmas Eve Boxes’’ filled with small presents like festive books or toys to be enjoyed before the morning of the 25th.
When do you give a Christmas Eve Box?
When to give Christmas Eve Box really depends on your personal preference and what suits your family’s Christmas Eve routine. Most parents opt to give it after dinner on Christmas Eve, as a way to wind down and get the kids ready for bed.
On the other hand, other families prefer to open Christmas Eve Boxes during the morning of the 24th. This is a great way to keep the family busy and entertained while waiting for Christmas Day. A Christmas film or board games are often added to the box, so everyone can sit down together for a family activity – or the kids will stay occupied while the parents prepare for their Christmas Day festivities.
It is important to remember the reason you are giving a Christmas Eve Box is to make Christmas more memorable. So, it is up to you when to give it during the 24th of December – it all depends on how you’d like your family to spend the day and enjoy the gifts together.
Is a Christmas Eve Box from Santa?
There is no need to worry about the correct answer to whom the Christmas Eve Box came from or who is gifting it. The answer to this question also depends on your family’s traditions (as well as the age of the gift recipient!)
If you would like your Christmas Eve Box to come from Santa, you’ll need to have a story ready to explain this ‘early delivery’. However, some parents see a Christmas Eve Box as an opportunity to give the child something special from themselves, particularly when all the gifts on December 25th are from Santa Claus.
If your family has been enjoying the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ tradition together, another option is to make your ‘Christmas Eve Box’ a special delivery from the elf, complete with a letter from Santa commenting on their good behaviour (or warning them to behave on Christmas Eve to get their presents the next day!). This is applicable mostly for kids, of course, but it’s a nice way to tie together all your family’s special festive activities.
Christmas Eve Boxes can also be an excellent gift from other friends and relatives, including those who can’t be with the kids in person. Receiving a special Christmas Eve Box from Nanna or a godparent each year is a wonderful tradition and puts more emphasis on the gift than having one more box to unwrap on Christmas Day.
How to Make a Christmas Eve Box
Christmas Eve Boxes can be categorised as either DIY or pre-filled for a convenient option. You can choose to buy empty Christmas Eve Boxes and decide what to put inside, similar to filling a Christmas Stocking. Filled Christmas Eve Boxes are also available where the box is filled with small gifts beforehand. The gifts inside the box didn’t have to be expensive, small and thoughtful presents are enough to make the experience special.
What size should a Christmas Eve Box be?
Christmas Eve Boxes vary in size and it depends on how much you are going to put inside. You can choose between medium size boxes for individual gifting or a large one for the whole family to open together. When you purchase online, you have the option on what size box you want to buy.
Where can I buy a Christmas Eve Box in Australia?
While not usually stocked in stores, there are a few websites where you can order Christmas Eve Boxes in Australia, including those who ship to Australia from overseas and some that are made (or engraved) here. Christmas Eve Boxes sold online can be already filled or the box can be purchased alone, giving you the opportunity to choose your own gifts.
Personalised Christmas Eve boxes have become very popular and are the most sentimental option, something that can be treasured as the child grows older. There are some personalised cardboard boxes available with the child’s name or family’s name printed, but these are far less durable and most likely can only be used for the one occasion.
Wooden Christmas Eve boxes are durable and reusable for many years to come – arguably, gifting a beautiful personalised Christmas Eve box is more important than the selection of gifts inside it! You have the choice to engrave your child’s name or family’s name on the lid of the box, establishing a special tradition and keepsake.
The best thing about these personalised Christmas Eve Boxes is that they are reusable, making them bost cost-effective and eco-friendly. Using a wooden Christmas Eve Box is more sustainable than any other way of wrapping Christmas gifts and can help avoid waste during your family’s holiday celebrations. When choosing your own gifts to fill the box, you can change the selection as your child grows, while reusing their special Christmas Eve Box year after year.
If you are looking for a more convenient option, pre-filled Christmas Eve Boxes are also available to buy. There’s a wide variety to choose from, so you’re able to pick something that suits the recipient or often the gifts inside are suitable for kids of all ages.
Purchasing pre-filled boxes are also good for long distance gifting, so you can deliver your gift safely to a family or relative from afar. They’re a great way for grandparents, godparents and other relatives to have a special part in the children’s Christmas experience even if they can’t be there in person.
There are some personalised Christmas Eve Boxes that are pre-filled and ready to buy online – all you have to do is choose which details you’d like engraved and the box will be posted completely ready to gift.
Christmas Eve Box Checklist
Busy parents can end up feeling stressed about what to put inside the Christmas Eve Box in addition to the usual Christmas Day gifts. However, these are often presents you’d buy during Christmas shopping anyway and it’s just a matter of setting them aide for this special tradition. There’s no reason to be stressed or worried about the right things to include – what you put inside the box can be anything with a festive feeling.
Here are some suggestions to put or add inside your Christmas Eve Boxes:
- Something to eat (Gingerbread people, hot cocoa mix, chocolates)
- Something to wear (Christmas pyjamas or onesie, cosy Christmas socks)
- Something to read or watch (Christmas movies, Christmas books)
- Something to decorate with (Christmas ornament, festive mug)
- Something for Santa’s visit (reindeer food, cookies, letter from Santa)
Do you wrap presents in a Christmas Eve Box?
If you are giving Christmas Eve Boxes individually, there’s no need to wrap each present in the box. Arrange the present nicely inside the box and add a ribbon on top. Just so it won’t get mixed up with the big presents, put a label on top of the boxes saying ‘to be opened on Christmas Eve.’
For a family Christmas Eve Box, you can wrap the pyjamas, slippers, and socks individually. If you are tired of wrapping, you can just tie these all these presents with a ribbon. For Christmas goodies, do not put anything that might get crushed or melt easily, particularly when celebrating a summer Christmas.
Another idea is to put the presents individually in a gift bag. If you and your family are travelling for the holidays, you can put any travel essentials like a neck pillow, travel snacks, sleep mask, reusable water bottle, and travel towel in it. This is actually a clever idea because the gifts are something all the family will be able to use. Give these presents when the family is about to leave for their trip!
What goes in a Christmas Eve Box?
As mentioned before, gifts inside the Christmas Eve Box don’t have to be extravagant or expensive. The purpose of this tradition is to add a memorable experience for the family and create a festive, cosy vibe. Small presents like matching pyjamas, Christmas films to watch together or Christmas books to read will suffice.
However, if you are giving gifts according to their age group, giving these boxes should also take into consideration the person’s interests and preferences. Generally, you can put anything in the box from the checklist above, but it helps to consider the receiver’s age to decide which presents they’ll like most. You can follow the guide below for presents you can include in the box:
Christmas Eve Boxes for babies
Giving a Christmas Eve Box to a baby is quite memorable for the parents as well as the child. It may be the child’s first Christmas or first Christmas Eve Box, or maybe even the first Christmas celebrated as a family. To make it more memorable for little ones, you can add Christmas songs to be listened to together and maybe even sing along.
Aside from pyjamas you can include a personalized Christmas decoration that has their name on it, which can be hung as part of your Christmas decorations each year.
Of course, the box itself can be an important gift, especially for the personalised wooden Christmas Eve Boxes with the child’s name engraved. This can be reused every year and will add sentimental value as they grow up.
Baby Christmas Romper from HoneybeeBabyShoppe (https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/887724027/baby-christmas-romper)
Christmas Eve Boxes for toddlers
If it’s the kids first time to receive their Christmas Eve Box - or the one they’re most likely to remember – a pair of comfy Christmas pyjamas is perfect for them. You can add a small Santa hat for the outfit, giving them something to wear on the big day. Christmas goodies like gingerbread men and Christmas cookies are also a great addition and a treat for them.
You can also continue adding Christmas ornaments with their names on it and hang it together on the Christmas tree. Reading Christmas books before going to bed can wind them down and help put them to bed easily.
Koala family Christmas ornament from RibbonAndClay (https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/888756813/koala-family-christmas-ornament-add-own)
Christmas Eve Boxes for under 10’s
Kids at these ages are always more excited to open their big presents. To keep their sneaky hands away from wrapped gifts, put board games inside the box to play with their siblings. You can also engage them in a treasure hunt to keep them busy the whole day, starting with a treasure map or clues tucked into their Christmas Eve Box.
Add some reindeer food in the box too and a letter from Santa that assures them that they are on the ‘nice list.’ Colouring books with pencils or crayons can entertain them while you are busy preparing for Christmas Day. For the evening, you can give them hot chocolate and read them their Christmas themed books before sleep.
Personalised Santas Magic Key Christmas Decoration Ornament from LittleDesignShed (https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/868273504/personalised-santas-magic-key-christmas)
Christmas Eve Boxes for tweens
Gift ideas for tween girls may include cute Christmas pyjamas and matching slippers. You may also want to give them a Christmas mug with hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. For a sentimental touch, you can also add a Christmas card with a special message from you.
For the boys, on the hand, you can also give them Christmas pyjamas and socks. Board games may be included to play with their siblings or friends over the school holidays. Toothbrush and toothpaste can also be used before going to bed.
Twist & Sprout Family Christmas Game from LuckandLuck (https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/736555786/christmas-games-christmas-table-family)
Christmas Eve Boxes for teenagers
As kids grow, the contents of the Christmas Eve Box should reflect their new ‘grown-up’ tastes. Include a Christmas bath bomb for the teen girls, helping them relax for the evening ahead of the big day. A Christmas bookmark to stay in and curl up with a good book is also a wonderful idea. Gift cards are nice gifts too, if the girls are starting to shop on their own.
A personalised pillowcase is a cool gift for the teen boys. Also add a giant chocolate bar for them to enjoy and a deck of cards for them to learn magic tricks (and show off their new skills to the family on Christmas Day). You may also want to give them cinema tickets and let them choose the movie to watch with the family. Teenagers tend to be picky sometimes, but the generic gift ideas listed above can still be enjoyed for all ages, especially the edible gifts.
Christmas Tree Candle in Enamel Mugfrom ForagedFlames (https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/746092147/christmas-tree-candle-in-enamel-mug)
Christmas Eve Boxes for adults
Choosing Christmas Eve Box gifts for the adults is the easiest task. Adults are very practical, so you can choose presents that they can use every day, or something fun for the festive season. Matching pyjamas and slippers or socks are most likely presents they want to receive. A personalised mug and scented candles can be on the list too. To make it more sentimental, a Christmas card with family photos or a heartfelt letter can be a good addition to the presents.
A Christmas ornament like mistletoe can be given to someone you really love, adding a romantic touch to the holiday. If you want to give them a treat, champagne or any sparkling refreshment can be appreciated – mini bottles are the perfect size for a Christmas Eve Box. Be a little sneaky and add some chocolate liqueurs too!
For parents and grandparents, give them something that will remind them of their childhood. Candy canes and chocolate coins can be nostalgic for them, as are mini Christmas puddings and other traditional treats. Include a bottle of fizz or miniature bottles of spirits to help them enjoy the night. They will also enjoy a matching mug with a hot cocoa mix, so make sure to include it.
Christmas adults pyjamas shorts from AniDaBoutique (https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/745586619/christmas-pyjamas-shorts-unisex?ref=shop_home_active_3&frs=1&crt=1)
What are some good Christmas Eve traditions?
There are many different ways to celebrate the holiday season and make Christmas every year memorable. Christmas Eve traditions like making a hot chocolate together can be a good start to practice every Christmas Eve. To add a competitive element to your Christmas Eve, you may hold an annual treasure hunt with the whole family. If you are more into charitable acts, you can organise a toy drive around your neighbourhood to collect gifts for less fortunate families or volunteer as a group.
When should you open your Christmas stockings?
Some people open theirs on Christmas Eve while others open it before opening presents. However, the most popular time to open your Christmas stockings is on Christmas morning after opening your presents. It is always a great moment to open other goodies after realizing you have opened all your big presents, and keeps little ones occupied for longer. But if you want to keep kids busy on Christmas morning, opening their stocking gifts ahead of their bigger ones can keep them quiet until parents are awake!