The Christmas Eve box seems to have become more and more popular over the last few years. I first saw the idea online a few years back and thought it was a lovely idea and so each year I make up a box for the boys. I started when Seb was one, so this will be my seventh year making one. I used to use a cardboard box covered in wrapping paper but this year I picked up a cute tub in Home Bargains which we will use from now on.
I have seen people questioning Christmas Eve boxes and wondering why people do them. Well I do it simply because it is fun and because I like doing it. It is an extra bit of joy for my children and I have found that having a warm milky drink, a festive story and leaving out reindeer food is a nice way to wind down before bed and calms them down on the most exciting night of the year for them. In fact last year on Christmas Eve all three were asleep by 8pm!
What goes into our Christmas Eve box?New pyjamas I get the boys matching pyjamas, they are always in need of new pyjamas.
A festive book or two I always pop our copy of The Night Before Christmas into the box, often I will add a new festive book in too.
Hot Chocolate and a tasty treat Some hot chocolate before bed with a couple of chocolate coins each.
Father Christmas's plate We reuse this each year for leaving 8th a mince pie and carrot for rudolph.
Key We have no chimney so we have a key that goes into the box ready to be left out for easy entry.
Reindeer food We love to sprinkle some reindeer food out. Either porridge oats or bird seed in a little bag,
Stockings The boys empty stocking arrive in the box, ready to be hung up before bed.
And that is our basic box. I have seen people talking about the expense and spoiling children but I don't see new pyjamas as an extra expense as they wear them all year. When they grow out of them they get passed down. I never begrudge buying books for my children and the hot chocolate and gold coins cost a couple of pounds.
As the years go on our Christmas Eve Box will likely change. I can't see three teenage boys wanting matching pyjamas (maybe festive socks instead?!). The book will likely change to become a DVD or board game but it is easy to adapt to your family and I hope we continue to make Christmas Eve a special family time.
And if you don't like the idea of a Christmas Eve Box? Don't make one! They aren't for everyone, the same as many other traditions, I am not a fan of Elf of the Shelf so we don't do it in this house. It doesn't bother the boys and I have always told them that families have their own ways of celebrating and some don't celebrate Christmas at all.