Get a Box to Last
Find a Box that LastsThere are a lot of lovely small businesses out there that will create a personalised Christmas Eve Box that will last for years to come so do shop around and remember when you shop small you really do make a difference. If this option is a little too pricey for you then a sturdy carboard box can be decorated at home. One with a lid is ideal and covering it in simple brown paper and either using stamps or simply drawing little decals on can be an effective way to decorate it. Pinterest is full of ideas and remember your children are not nearly as critical of you as you are of yourself. You could even get the kids involved and start with adding a few fingerprints that you then turn into reindeer noses or snowmen. Or a Handprint that you can add to each year as they grow.
If you are short on time and just want something quick and easy, then a gift box from a shop will do the trick. Or even an old biscuit tin or that chocolate tub that was supposed to be put away for Christmas but has somehow already been emptied!
What to Add Inside
You can let your creativity run wild here and there are so many options for what to put into your Christmas Eve Box. This often depends on the age of your child and will change over the years. Hot Chocolate is a great idea but not practical for a baby, although it's great for parents! Any favourite warm drink is good though as it is a nice little wind down before bedtime option. If you are packing a family box you can add everyone's favourite even that is a mini bottle of whiskey for Daddy.
Timeless options are a lovely little book. A story to read on Christmas eve while snuggling up together. A festive story is great but it can be any book you know your little munchkin will enjoy. Remember to have a look at charity shops, it is way better for our planet to reuse. Another great option is a little bottle of bubble bath, a nice soothing scent that might help them wind down and fall asleep with all the excitement going on. We use a little mini bottle from a hotel stay that has been jazzed up specially for the box.
Another idea is a movie token. Gone are the days of DVD's but a little handmade movie token allowing them to pick a movie from whatever streaming platform you have means that it feels a little special. A bag of popcorn and a few chocolate coins makes for a lovely movie treat.
A mini board game or card game is great for older children or if you have kids of various ages. They can all get involved and have a bit of fun.
If you are building a tradition, then why not start by taking a family photo that you get printed out and put in the box for next year. It is magical to see how everyone changes in a year and a lovely way to help children look back and reflect on how far they have come in a year. Every year you will have more years to look back on and smile, remembering the sticky fingers and dummies that are now replaced by school age children who can read and write.
PJ's and Slippers
Lots of people include Christmas PJ's and cosy slippers ready for Christmas morning. This can be expensive so remember you can just add a clean pair into the box without having to buy a brand-new set! If you are looking for slippers, then our slippers are comfy and cosy all year round. You don't have to buy a pair that is festive season themed. Slippers that are designed for growing feet and made from a natural material are ideal.
Reindeer Food is another favourite for adding to these boxes. They are usually a mix of glitter and oats that you sprinkle outside for Santa's reindeers but glitter isn't great for wildlife. The RSPCA has a lovely recipe and ideas for some wildlife friendly food which is worth a look. Putting your birdseed and oats in a paper bag and adding a little poem is a lovely idea.
"Sprinkle on your lawn on Christmas night and the moon will help make it sparkle bright. As Santa's reindeer fly and roam, this magic food will guide them straight to your home."
Other ideas are a letter from Santa, bath toys or a cuddly toy for bedtime. Some colouring in books or craft books or a little sensory toy. The reality is you can put anything into the Christmas Eve Box. It is your box to create and your tradition to start. If this all feels like one more task then don't feel you have to take part. With Elf on the Shelf, pantomime, visits to Santa and Christmas photo shoots all put onto social media this time of year can feel very overwhelming and the pressure to keep up can get a bit much. The festive season can also be a time to slow down and appreciate what we have and the people we spend our time with, it doesn't always have to be jumping on the trends and keeping up with the rest. Breath and enjoy the memories, however they are made.
Happy Memory Making,
The Dotty Fish Team