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Christmas Eve boxes on a budget

Want to put together a Christmas Eve box but have no clue what to put in it, we have the lowdown on some great budget gift box ideas.

Christmas Eve Boxes

What family traditions do you have at Christmas time? One tradition that has become very popular in recent years is the Christmas Eve box.

While some parents give them to their children on 1st December, along with an advent calendar and bits for them to enjoy throughout the month, others prefer to give a Christmas Eve box with treats to help build (or calm!) the excitement of the big day.

Whatever your plans for Christmas Eve, creating a box with little edible treats, activities, games and final touches you can enjoy, will add some magic and build even more excitement amongst the little ones (as if they needed any encouragement)!

Of course, Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but Christmas Eve boxes don’t have to be extravagant if you’re on a budget. Here are some fabulous low-cost ideas to include in your Christmas Eve boxes for your kids to create some magic and make amazing memories this Christmas.

Food & drink

Christmas mug with marshmallows

Many families like to settle down and watch a Christmas movie together on Christmas Eve. So fill a box with treats to have with the film – like hot chocolate with marshmallows and a Christmassy mug to enjoy it in, as well as popcorn and sweets. You could also make it a family box and include a bottle of wine for the grown-ups to enjoy.

To add a little budget personal touch, why not wrap a hot chocolate sachet in tissue paper or cellophane, along with a mug and a few marshmallows. You could even measure out the right amount into a little bag and pop it into a mug you already own.

If you want to be a bit more adventurous try melting chocolate (slowly) in a bowl over some simmering water, or in the microwave (just a few seconds at a time then stir). Put some lolly sticks or the inside of Calpol tubes into small cups or lolly makers (if you have them.) Ice cube trays work well too. Pour melted chocolate in and allow to set in the fridge. Hey presto - a super budget hot chocolate, chocolate stirrer or cube! Experiment with toppings like sprinkles or mini marshmallows.

If you like the thought of making some homemade Christmas treats, some Christmassy cookie cutters are perfect for a spot of Christmas Eve baking. Alternatively, how about making and decorating your own gingerbread house as a family?


girl with Christmas pyjamas

What better way to spend Christmas Eve than a chilled day at home in your pyjamas? Whether you choose some matching Christmassy pyjamas for the whole family or a new set for the kids with their favourite characters on that they can wear all year round, pyjamas are a great addition to a Christmas Eve box.

You could even throw in a new dressing gown or oversized hoodie for some extra-snuggly comfort, but if you need to keep costs down some fluffy Christmas socks to keep those tootsies toasty will do just the trick!

Christmas crafts

Christmas Crafts

If you still have some final preparations to do on Christmas Eve, like wrapping presents and peeling the veg, a Christmas colouring book, activity book, or something crafty – like making your own Christmas tree decorations – is a great idea for a Christmas Eve box to keep the kids entertained.

Alternatively, some stickers and a note book from the pound shop or a copy of their favourite magazine will hopefully keep them occupied for a few minutes.


Make sure everyone is ready for the big day with some pampering fun for all the family. Some Christmassy bath bombs and face masks are fab ideas for a Christmas Eve box. A new flannel and some bubble bath from your local supermarket, Wilkos or Boots could be a very low cost option. Wilko's recently had bath bombs for under £1 (individually wrapped) so there are some very low cost options out there. If you want to fancy it up a bit, add some tissue paper and a small lip balm or nail varnish and you have a quick-fix pamper kit for just a couple of pounds.

Have some fun with a pamper session to ensure you’re all set for Christmas Day. Any excuse to lay there while your children attempt to paint your nails! Let's face it - anything that makes you stop and relax for five minutes is a winner in our eyes!

Low cost Items you could add to a pamper kit on the high street:

  • Bath bomb our top pick is Wilko - 3 for £2.80 here

  • Flannels, Asda do a good range from just £0.70 here

  • Nail file. Your local pound store is often a good choice for these.

  • Nail polish. Superdrug has a good range from under £3

  • Face masks. Boots has a really wide range suitable for all different skin types. They have masks starting at just £1.

Some festive hair accessories or other accessories like fun headbands or glasses also make a great gift for their Christmas Eve box.

Final Christmas touches

Santa stop here sign

Making sure your home is ready for Santa’s arrival is one of the best bits about Christmas Eve. And there are some cute accessories you can include in a Christmas Eve box for kids, to make it even more magical.

If the Elf on the Shelf has been causing mischief in your house throughout December, chances are you’ll be thankful for the arrival of Christmas Eve, as it means the elf can go away for another year. Including a goodbye letter from your elf is a nice touch for a Christmas Eve box. The elf is also often the one to leave the Christmas Eve box out for the kids.

Your little one may be worried how Father Christmas will be able to get in to leave the presents if your home doesn’t have a chimney. Give them a magical Santa key they can leave out for Father Christmas so he can come through the door without needing to use a chimney. Want to make your own? Find a really old big key and loop some ribbon through it! If you don;t have one, old vintage keys can easily be found on Etsy or ebay for just a pound or two.

A personalised ‘Santa, Stop Here’ sign will make sure the big guy remembers to stop at your house. And don’t forget to leave out some reindeer food for Rudolph and his friends.

Reading The Night Before Christmas is also often a popular tradition for many families, so including the book in your child’s Christmas Eve box is a nice touch and the perfect read before bed. Shops like The Works do some great deals on books, or charity shops have an amazing selection of books so it is worth popping into your local shops to see what you can find!

Whatever you include - even if it is just a book or just a chocolate bar, we know that your children will love having a little something to open on Christmas Eve - but if you don't or can't or just don't think you have time - do not put pressure on yourself.


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