As if advent calendars and Elf on the Shelf weren’t enough to keep you busy in December, another festive tradition seems to have squeezed its way into the schedules: the Christmas Eve box.
The trend comes from America, but is based on the continental European tradition of exchanging gifts on 24 December. The idea is to give your kids a box of presents filled with cosy gifts and little luxuries they can enjoy on Christmas Eve.
It might seem to ladle more pressure on parents at this busy time of year (as well as taking up time you don’t have and money you don’t need to spend), but if you want to get on board, you can still do it for cheap.
This is just the container where the gifts go. Sure, there are extravagant boxes you can buy (see here), but wooden personalised boxes can cost as much as £55 and aren’t really necessary.
Instead, decorate an old shoebox or cardboard box with festive wrapping paper. To personalise it, cut out your kid’s name in glittery card or coloured paper.
If you can’t be bothered with the faff of making one, Asda have boxes for £2 and give you the space to write your child’s name on them too.
The Fillers: Pyjamas
Every Christmas Eve box has a set of PJs in it. If you’ve already bought your child pyjamas for Christmas then it’s no added cost – just add them in!
If not, you can pick up kids’ festive PJs for pretty cheap anyway.
1. Unicorn love, Matalan, £6
2. Little Bear, Aldi, £4.99
3. Festive jumble, Asda, £5
The Fillers: Hot Chocolate
The idea is to put things in the box that kids can enjoy on Christmas Eve. If you have a huge tub of hot chocolate, separate out a bit into a small sachet or freezer bag and tuck it into a mug, ready for them to have a drink in front of a film. You could also buy a small hot chocolate set.
1. Reindeer set, eBay, £1.75
2. Chocolate spoon, Cocoa Loca, £1.79
The Fillers: Christmas Films Or Books
Can you be sneaky and get your kid’s favourite Christmas DVD from the cupboard and nestle it in the box? They’ll hardly notice, and probably want to watch that one anyway. If not, you can pick up festive films for a couple of quid on Amazon, and festive books for cheap from The Works Christmas store.
The Fillers: Reindeer Food
Reindeer food (that you sprinkle outside the house on Christmas Eve night) can be made pretty easily – combine porridge oats and glitter in a small sandwich bag, and then put a label on front. Or, buy it online for less than £2.
Reindeer food tube, Merry Christmas Company, £1.99
Reindeer food with glitter, Etsy, £1.79
The Fillers: Something Cosy
Whether it be a fluffy blanket or a hot water bottle, the last piece in the Christmas Box puzzle is something your child can snuggle up with on the sofa.
1. Hot water bottle, Wilko, £4
2. Grey blanket, Ikea, £4
3. Microwavable hottie, eBay, £5.99