Christmas Eve Boxes 2021: Where can you buy one and what should you put inside them?

Whether you've been doing them for years, or never heard of the concept, here's everything you need to know about Christmas Eve boxes

Updated on 18 October 2021 • Written By

Christmas Eve Boxes 2021: Where can you buy one and what should you put inside them?

Often, it’s not until something shakes up Christmas that it becomes obvious how comforting the festive repetitiveness actually is. Although by 25 December many of us will swear we never want to hear another rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’ again, and actually really hate turkey we (usually) don’t mean it. Part of the spirit of Christmas for many families is its ritualistic nature. Eating the same food, singing the same songs and drinking far too much of the same cheap Prosecco is what makes the festive season festive. 

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After the Covid and isolation filled Christmas of 2020, many families will be hoping to finally be able to celebrate Christmas just as they normally would. Endless Christmas carols and all. If Christmas 2020 meant needing to adapt to change, Christmas 2021 means being able to embrace old traditions. 

However, for others, Christmas 2021 might be an opportunity for new starts. The inevitable need to do things differently in 2020 showed some that change at Christmas can be a good thing. Although they always seem intimidating at first, new traditions can become the best ones. The disruption to Christmas in 2020 may have led some to wonder what else they could try out during the festive season. For those families looking for a new tradition to try, Christmas Eve boxes might be a nice one. 

In the UK presents are opened on Christmas Day. But, in many countries - Brazil, Colombia, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Iceland to name just a few - Christmas Eve is the main present-opening occasion. For others, such as Spain, presents aren’t exchanged until the Epiphany, on 6 January. Curiously, although Christmas Eve is not normally a time for opening presents in the UK, the Royal Family traditionally exchange presents on Christmas Eve at teatime, in the German style. However - at least according to the BBC - the Royals do still open their stockings on Christmas Day like the rest of us. If the idea of a Christmas Eve box intrigues you, read our handy guide to them below.

What are Christmas Eve Boxes?

Christmas Eve boxes are a tradition that started in the UK around 2014, and have been growing in popularity ever since. In essence, a Christmas Eve box is a small shoebox-sized hamper of presents that are opened on Christmas Eve, usually given to children. The idea is that parents can give children several small presents before Christmas Day, which are used to prepare for Santa’s arrival, and worn the night before Christmas. The idea of giving Christmas Eve boxes is a little controversial too. Some feel that the idea of opening presents on Christmas Eve ruins the magic of Christmas morning. And, although Christmas Eve Boxes were originally filled with small trinkets or little gifts, they have begun to grow in size to the point that there is some criticism that they are encouraging yet more commercialism at Christmas. Defenders of the tradition argue that Christmas Eve Box gifts are just things that would have been given on Christmas Day, but which make more sense to enjoy the night before. 

What do you put inside a Christmas Eve box?

Boxes usually contain festive pyjamas, slippers and other cosy things, as well as reindeer food and other gifts for Santa Claus. However, as the idea has become more widespread, Christmas Eve boxes for adults - filled with bath bombs, some chocolates and joyously hideous Christmas jumpers - have also become more common.

Where can I buy a Christmas Eve Box?

Although it's now possible to buy dedicated - or even pre-filled - Christmas Eve boxes, making and filling the boxes at home is still more common. Some families use a small, plain cardboard box or shoe box decorated with wrapping paper and wrapped in a ribbon. Alternatively, festive biscuit tins or painted wooden crates make adorable and durable containers. When giving Christmas Eve boxes to children, families often paint or write the name of the child on the box, as well as decorating it with snowflakes or other Christmassy pictures.

Where to Buy Christmas Eve Boxes and Decorations

 

Seahorse’s North Pole Personalised Christmas Eve Box

What: If you’re not feeling crafty, or want to buy something more long-lasting, this wooden box from the Scottish design company Seahorse is a beautiful gift.  The Christmas Eve box comes with a fully personalisable lid, so that you can choose who plays in the park with the reindeers, goes skating with penguins, and decorates the tree. Each box is made to order, fastens with a silver clasp, and is made from poplar wood.
How much: £39.50
Buy a Seahorse's North Pole Personalised Christmas Eve Box

Kate Slater’s Narnia Luxury Christmas Wrapping Paper

What: Do you have a fan of Narnia in the house? A child who’s constantly hiding in wardrobes? Then this wrapping paper could be perfect for their Christmas Eve box. Kate Slater’s beautiful illustrated wrapping paper is 100% recycled, and can be delivered with a matching card or festive twine for decorating your box.
How much: £7.50
Buy Kate Slater's Narnia Luxury Christmas Wrapping Paper

Heather Alstead Design’s Dogs In Christmas Jumpers Wrapping Paper

What: Heather Alstead Design have combined two decorating steps for your Christmas Eve box into one with personalised wrapping paper. Does your child (or partner!) love dogs? Then they are in for a treat. Heather Alstead Design’s personalised wrapping paper comes in dozens of different dog breed-themed patterns. So, you can make each present match both the receiver’s name and favourite pet.
How much: £1.95
Buy Heather Alstead Design's Dogs in Christmas Jumpers Wrapping Paper

Tuppence Collective’s 12 Days of Christmas Wrapping Paper

What: If you’re looking for something a bit more sophisticated, Tuppence Collective has you sorted with its luxury, double sided wrapping paper sold by the sheet. Each sheet is decorated with a beautiful, botanical design. Although all Tuppence Collective’s wrapping paper is stunning, the 12 Days of Christmas Wrapping Paper series is our favourite.
How much: £4
Buy 12 Days of Christmas Wrapping Paper

 

Where to Buy Christmas Eve Box Fillers for Children

 

MOLO Mars Thomas Pyjama Set

What: Designer children’s clothing brand Molo sells a range of high quality and fun kids’ pyjamas and bath robes. Decorated with everything from vibrant florals to majestic snow leopards, no matter your kids’ interests there will be something great to choose from. The Mars PJ set (age 2-14 years) is particularly special, decorated with flying spaceships and the Mars rover. 
How much: £79.95
Buy MOLO Mars Thomas Pyjama Set

The Little White Company Classic Striped Cotton Pyjama Set

What: On the more old-school side of things, The Little White Company sells several beautiful pairs of children’s pyjamas, decorated with beefeaters, roses and chequer patterns. A particular favourite are the plain white pyjamas, which come with full length elasticated trousers, a Peter Pan collar and ruched waist. They are available in ages 1-6 years.
How much: £26
Buy The Little White Company Classic Striped Cotton Pyjama set 

Reindeer Food


What: This reusable burlap pouch is decorated with an engraved wooden label, and filled with oats and colourful sugar sprinkles for Santa’s reindeer. Leaving some food out for Rudolph and his friends is a lovely activity to enjoy with kids on Christmas eve.
How much: £5.50
Buy Reindeer Food

The Snowman Board Book


What: Another lovely gift for children at Christmas is a Christmas book. And, for many families, nothing says Christmas like The Snowman. Whether the film is already a firm family favourite, or one yet to be discovered, the board book version of The Snowman is a beautiful gift for young children. 
How much: £6.99
Buy The Snowman Board Book

 

Where to Buy Christmas Eve Box Fillers for Adults

 

Desmond & Dempsey Linen Lamba Print Kimono Robe

What: Although known for pyjamas, Desmond & Dempsey also make dressing gowns, slippers and even eye masks.This beautiful dressing gown from Desmond & Dempsey is 100% linen, and decorated with prints inspired by the Malagasy poet Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo. 
How much: £188 
Buy the Desmond & Dempsey Linen Lamba Print Kimono Robe

UGG Scuffette II Slippers

What: Australian footwear brand UGG makes unbelievably cozy slippers. Lined with shearling, these are sure to keep your feet toasty warm (and stylish) for years to come.
How much: £80 
Buy UGG Scuffette II Slippers

Fortnum & Mason’s Ultimate Dark Hot Chocolate, Vegan

What: This is a hot chocolate that is definitely not for children. Fortnum & Mason’s Ultimate Dark Hot Chocolate is a delicious vegan treat for any chocolate lover. Made from cocoa butter and single origin Columbia chocolate, this would be perfect as a delicious, warming drink on Christmas Eve. 
How much: £19.95
Buy the Ultimate Dark Hot Chocolate

Still got more gifts to buy? Check out our list of the best Christmas food hampers of 2021.