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Christmas Eve box with hot chocolate stirrer, reindeer food and labelled gifts

Christmas Eve box ideas for kids, teens and adults

Make the night before Christmas even more magical. Read our review of the best Christmas Eve boxes and fillers you can buy, along with ideas for homemade goodies for your family to unwrap.

This page was updated in November 2020.

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Christmas Eve boxes are a lovely tradition to start with your children, or give to a friend. We’ve rounded up the best boxes you can buy for this occasion, including personalised, empty and pre-filled boxes. Also, see our pick of the best edible and non-edible gifts with which to fill your box.

Foodie treats, such as chocolates, biscuits and cheese are sure to be a hit, along with loungewear and a good book, game or film to enjoy over the festive period. We’ve got plenty of ideas for adults’ gift boxes, as well as those for teens and kids, so nobody should feel left out! Whether you want to splash out or find some budget buys, we’ve included a range of different-priced boxes and fillers.

Fancy a bit of DIY? Check out our easy edible Christmas gift recipes below for the perfect box fillers, such as hot chocolate stirrers, popcorn and homemade reindeer food. All you need now is a log fire and the promise of reindeer hooves on the roof after bedtime.

Browse the list for Christmas Eve box ideas, then get more inspiration from our pick of the best Christmas gifts for foodies. We’ve also got plenty more extended guides, including the best food and drink, homeware and gadget gifts, the best hampers, letterbox gifts, baking gifts and our pick of the best Christmas gifts for kids.

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What is a Christmas Eve box?

Christmas Eve boxes are typically wooden or cardboard boxes that you fill with shop-bought or homemade gifts to give to someone special on 24 December. Believed to be related to the German tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve, these boxes are becoming an increasingly popular way to kick off the festivities early. We all know how exciting the build-up to Christmas is, so kids in particular will love receiving a few goodies the night before, whether it’s hot chocolate and sweets or cosy pyjamas, socks and slippers for curling up in front of a film. If you are short of time, it’s also possible to buy pre-filled Christmas Eve boxes, and we have included a few below.

Best Christmas Eve boxes to buy

Personalised boxes:

Treat Republic personalised baubles Christmas Eve box

Dimensions: H29 x W13 x D29cm

Wooden Christmas Eve box with bauble decoration and personalised name design

This durable wooden box is printed with a beautiful snowflake wreath, and can easily be personalised with the recipient’s name. Keep the festive spirit alive by reusing it each year.

Available from John Lewis (£35)

Red Christmas Eve box with reindeer design

Dimensions: Medium – H22 x W22 x D6.5cm; Large – H30 x W30 x D9cm

Red personalised Christmas Eve Box for 'Ella' with reindeer design

A striking personalised cardboard box with a spellbinding design to remind kids that Santa is on the way! The colour of the box and font can be customised – a white background with metallic gold text is beautiful for adults. It’s more affordable than the wooden versions, but should still be long-lasting.

Available from Etsy (from £9.95)

Large engraved Christmas Eve chest 

Dimensions: H37 x W27.5 x D 15cm

Christmas-eve-box---Amazon-2

Looking for a super-sturdy chest to continue the tradition each year? This hard-wearing wooden chest is engraved with a lovely festive design and personalised name. Fill your chest high with treasures to tempt your little ones.

Available from Amazon (£19.95)

Coloured Christmas Eve box with snow scene

Dimensions: H30 x W23 x D11cm

Christmas Eve box with coloured scene on side and personalised name message

Kids will be delighted by the magical printed winter scene on this wooden box. It’s got handles on either side to allow for easy transportation.

Available from Amazon (£23.95)

Non-personalised boxes:

Light-up Christmas Eve box with engraved festive design

Dimensions: H30 x W20 x D16.3cm

Christmas Eve box with illuminated Christmas night design

Light up somebody’s Christmas with a box that literally glows upon opening. Each chest has an intricate hand-finished winter village scene inside that’s illuminated by 11 internal warm white LEDs. It requires three AA batteries, which you’ll need to buy separately.

Available from lights4fun (£16.99)

Dear Santa cardboard Christmas Eve box

Dimensions: H26 x W19 x D15.5cm

Cardboard gingerbread house box with colourful design

Not a fan of the traditional Christmas Eve box? Gift this charming cardboard gingerbread house instead. It’s budget-friendly, made from recycled materials, and easy to open by lifting the lid. Children will love playing with it after unpacking the contents.

Available from Paperchase (£10)

‘Twas the night before Christmas cardboard box

Cardboard Christmas Eve box with treats inside

This fun, festive cardboard crate is a great budget option. With a special Santa mail stamp and various wintry characters, it hails all the way from the North Pole. Kids can customise it further with their own stamps and designs.

Available from studio (£4.50)

Pre-filled boxes

Christmas Eve Santa box for kids

Bring the Santa story alive with a boxful of personalised props. During those few magical years when your little one truly believes in the big guy in red and his flying reindeer, this box provides everything you need to set the stage for Christmas Eve. There’s a certificate of good behaviour, reindeer food, a magic key to let Santa in, and a believer’s bell. The edible bits of ‘reindeer food’, candy canes and hot chocolate are pretty standard, but they’re backed up with the other items that make it all very special. The named cardboard box can easily be reused every year, as could most of the bits inside.

Available from Etsy (£19.95)

Christmas Eve box for younger children

Give your little ones a cuddly Christmas Eve surprise in the form of this friendly snowman box, complete with large toy. You can also add an official ‘nice list’ certificate from the North Pole, signed by Santa himself. This can be personalised with your child’s name, along with a message in the box. It’s filled to the brim with goodies, including magic reindeer food, a chocolate chip cookie for Santa, sweets and chocolates. Also included are the very important magic key for Santa, a Christmas Eve check list, story book, door plaque and colouring book – everything you need to keep them busy. There is an option to include a DVD instead of the certificate if you wish.

Available from Mummy & Mee:
Frosty Deluxe Christmas hamper with DVD (£21.95)
Frosty Deluxe Christmas hamper & personalised nice list certificate (£23.95)

Christmas Eve box for adults

With one of the most unpredictable Christmases around the corner this year, it’s good to have a few gift ideas like this up your sleeve to send to relatives you might not get to see. This box from Lottie Shaw’s is all about sweet bakes and biscuits, with a big nod to winter-warming ginger. Mince pies, chocolate cookies, large parkin cookies, parkin cake and a big slab of oaty flapjack are individually packaged, which gives you the option to give them away as smaller tasty treats or in the box, hamper-style. They would make a great gift for an expat overseas who wanted a taste of home.

Available from Not on the High Street (£25)

Christmas Eve box for teens

Christmas Eve box filled with socks, box, socks and other items

Young adults shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun this Christmas Eve. This box from Dougie and Jarvis is packed with an enticing selection of products, which may include a Christmas colouring pad and pens, cute socks, a scented candle, chocolates and a wooden handmade decoration to hang on the tree. It has the option of including a personalised note card for somebody special.

Available from Etsy (£18.95)

Christmas Eve box to send

If you aren’t able to see loved ones this Christmas, why not send a beautiful ready-made gift, packed with tasty treats? This festive box is designed to fit through your recipient’s letterbox, saving on ‘will they miss the delivery?’ anxiety. It includes a spiced berry and white chocolate bar, Christmas cake, chocolate fudge, hot chocolate spoon, cranberry and spice mini-bites, candy canes, and some roast peanuts. This selection of sweet and savoury is the perfect grazing material for adults or teens over Christmas.

Available from Virginia Hayward (£16.50)

Kids’ essentials Christmas Eve box

Give the kids a little festive taster with this big red box of goodies. It’s a budget-friendly package of everything you need to cosy up on the sofa with a classic Christmas movie, sipping a mug of hot chocolate and munching on a few sweet treats. It also includes  mini bottle to fill with milk and a packet of reindeer food – the perfect fuel for Rudolph!

Available from Funky Hampers, £19.99

What to put in a Christmas Eve box for kids

Keel Eco gingerbread man with scarf soft toy

Little ones are sure to fall in love with this soft, smiley gingerbread man. He’s all wrapped up for winter with a cute red scarf, and he’s great for cuddling with during a festive bedtime story. This cuddly customer is also made from 100 per cent recycled materials, making him a fun, tactile way to teach kids about sustainability.

Available from Selfridges (£10)

Salted caramel popcorn festive cracker gift box (85g)

Pop open this Christmassy cracker of sweet treats to enjoy with a festive film. Joe & Seph’s rich and crunchy salted caramel popcorn is made with British sea salt flakes, and is sure to be popular with kids and adults alike. Vegan popcorn fans needn’t fear, as this flavour is also available as a dairy-free mini gift kit.

Available from Joe & Seph’s (£7)

Magic reindeer food

Let your little ones reward Rudolph for his festive efforts with a magical sprinkling of reindeer food on the doorstep or lawn. Made from from porridge oats and edible sugar crystals, this product is both animal and eco-friendly. It even includes a little poem to spur on your favourite reindeer.

Available from Etsy (£1.90 per tube)

Christmas DVDs

Elf and Frozen DVDs

Get the family together on the sofa and settle down to a classic film, such Elf or the enchanting Frozen series. They will get everyone in the mood for the big day ahead, while allowing you to put your feet up for a bit.

Available from Amazon:
Elf (£2.99)
Disney’s Frozen double pack (£10)

Hot chocolate bombe trio – milk, dark and salted caramel (150g)

Accompany your movie night with a comforting mug of cocoa. Children will be captivated watching these chocolatey balls melt and transform into a creamy drink, complete with a surprise centre of mini marshmallows. You can choose from a selection of milk, dark or salted caramel flavours, so there is something to please all the family.

Available from Lakeland (£9.99)

Shortbread musical house tin (230g)

What’s better than a plain box of biscuits? Answer: A musical shortbread tin that plays festive jingles when wound! Filled with buttery house-shaped shortbreads, these colourful containers will bring a bit of festive sparkle to the snack supply. They are just the right size for a small treat, and kids can reuse the box for filling with smaller gifts they receive over Christmas.

Available from Ocado (£5)

Cosy reindeer slipper boots

Keep tiny toes warm with these cute reindeer slipper boots. Made from soft wool and lined with a warming fleece, they are pure comfort for wearing about the house all day. Suitable for toddlers and kids up to age six, the anti-slip sole provides a stable grip for new walkers and bigger kids.

Available from JoJo Maman Bébé (£18)

Christmas jersey pyjamas

Pyjamas are a classic Christmas Eve box gift. We love the cheery festive patterns on these cotton jersey ones – choose from jolly snowmen and reindeer, or a funky ‘Treerex’ Christmas dinosaur print. Suitable for ages up to six years old, bedtime will become a lot more exciting with this colourful nightwear.

Available from JoJo Maman Bébé:
Jolly Christmas print (£17)
Christmas dinosaur print (£17)

Cadbury Christmas super fun pack 

Fill up your kids’ Christmas Eve box with a sweet selection pack of Cadbury’s best-selling Christmas chocolate items. From mini chocolate snow balls to festive Freddos and a wintry Dairy Milk bar, there’s something for everyone to pick and choose.

Available from Amazon (£14)

Christmas dominoes

Bored of playing charades? These bright and colourful Christmas dominoes will bring a seasonal twist to your games night. They make a great family gift, and kids will love the cheesy Christmas jokes on the back of them!

Available from Lakeland (£5.99)

The Snowman pop-up hardcover book

The Snowman pop up storybook

When it comes to Christmas storybooks, we don’t think you can beat a classic. This new edition of The Snowman brings the Raymond Briggs tale alive with a beautiful pop-up scene and artwork from the much-loved animated film. A perfect bedtime fairytale to capture your little ones’ imaginations, and leave them with sweet dreams.

Available from Amazon (£6.55)

Percy Pig™ glass sweetie jar

Percy Pig makes a comeback this year in a super-sized sweetie jar. Little fans of these pink, fruity gums will delight in a seemingly bottomless treasure trove of enticing piggy faces, also suitable for vegetarians. The collectable glass jar is engraved with Percy’s face and can be re-used for storage when its sweet contents are finally depleted.

Available from M&S in store (£15)

What to put in a Christmas Eve box for teens

Tony’s Chocolonely festive chocolate bars (180g)

Tony's Chocoloney gingerbread and mint chocolate bars

These chunky chocolate tree bars are a pure delight, and sure to vanish quickly. Choose from milk chocolate with crunchy gingerbread cookie pieces, or a palate-refreshing dark chocolate with mint candy cane chunks.

Available from Tony’s Chocolonely:
Milk chocolate gingerbread 32% (£3.98)
Dark chocolate mint candy cane 51% (£3.98)

Festive gourmet marshmallow toasting gift set

There’s little more comforting than toasting marshmallows around a cosy campfire. With these handy kits from The Naked Marshmallow Co, you can now bring the fun indoors. Any sweet-toothed teens are sure to love this gift box, which comes with gourmet marshmallows, a non-toxic gel burner and bamboo skewers. Choose from a range of flavours, including s’mores, cookies & cream, mint choc chip, choc & honeycomb, and choc & hazelnut.

Available from The Naked Marshmallow Co (£22)

Mob Kitchen cookbook by Ben Lebus

Mob Kitchen Ben Lebus

Know any budding young chefs? Inspire their culinary curiosity with a laidback, easy to follow cookery book in their Christmas Eve box. The first book from online recipe platform Mob Kitchen is filled with flavoursome, budget-friendly recipes to feed four people, making it a great pick for food-loving teens and students. As on their social media platform, each recipe is listed with a song to play as you cook, which can be accessed directly through Spotify.

Available from Amazon (£10.99)

See our review for more of the best student cookbooks.

Candy Kittens gourmet sweets Christmas gift jars

Three tubs of candy kitten sweets

Candy isn’t just just for young kids! These vegan gourmet fizzy sweets are perfect for popping in a teen’s Christmas Eve box for snacking over the season. They come in three zingy flavours: wild strawberry, tropical mango and sour watermelon, all complete with fun, festive slogans.

Available from Candy Kittens:

Wild strawberry Christmas (£7)
Sour watermelon (£7)
Tropical mango (£7)

Handmade Alpine woollen slipper socks

Stay warm in style on long winter nights with these super-cool and colourful woollen slipper socks. The beautiful alpine design is hand-knitted and available in seven different colour options and three sizes. Created by a fairtrade organisation in Nepal, they not only look good, but also support small artisan businesses.

Available from Not on the High Street (£14.95)

Hotel Chocolat The Stocking Fillers collection– classic

If you know any chocoholics, this pack of festive favourites from Hotel Chocolat will go down a treat. Complete with chocolate gingerbread men, spruce trees and filled chocolates, everyone will love tucking into these – if sharing is allowed, that is!

Available from Hotel Chocolat (£20)

Fortnum’s water bottle (500ml)

This sleek and stylish water bottle is made from double-walled stainless steel, helping keep drinks super-cool. We think it’s well worth the price for a quality product, not to mention helping to cut down on single-use plastic bottles.

Available from Fortnum & Mason’s (£20)

The Chocolate Libertine chocolate figures