The Christmas Eve Box: Our Family’s Annual Tradition


What holiday traditions do you and your family hold dear? Our Christmas Eve box is something I look forward to every year.


Christmas pajamas and Christmas books are how our tradition began. When my oldest was a toddler, we would wear Christmas pajamas and read Christmas books on Christmas Eve. As he got older, we added hot chocolate, popcorn, and kids’ Christmas movies to the mix. Once my second child was born, our tradition was solidified in a box.


On Christmas Eve, I place a large box under the tree. It’s been the same box for going on seven years. I’ve only rewrapped it once or twice. I wrapped the lid and bottom of the box separately, so the kids can just lift off the top to reveal what’s inside. (This means no cleaning up paper, and we can reuse the box year after year.)



What’s Inside Our Christmas Eve Box


Christmas pajamas. Every year, I get the kids new pajamas. For the last few years, we’ve done matching family pajamas. I watch for Target’s pajama sales and score 30-40% off.


Hot Chocolate. I include mugs, cocoa, and marshmallows to represent the hot chocolate we’ll make. I use the recipe on the side of the Hershey’s cocoa tin to make the most delicious hot chocolate. If I’m running out of space, sometimes I just include one mug to represent the hot chocolate (five pairs of pj’s takes up a lot of space!).


Popcorn. My husband is in charge of making a giant batch of popcorn. He pops it in a large pot on the stove with just enough oil and kernels to cover the bottom of the pan. This is another thing that is left out of our most recent boxes due to space constraints. But we still always make the popcorn.


Christmas books. I place some of our favorite Christmas books in the box, and we read them together while we wait for the snacks to be ready. I like to add a new Christmas book each year. Then, I choose 2 or 3 more depending on their length. Some of our favorites include The Birds of Bethlehem, Song of the Stars, Penguin’s Christmas Wish, That’s Not My Reindeer, Little Blue Truck’s Christmas, and Merry Christmas, Little Pookie.



Christmas Movies. When we first started our Christmas Eve tradition, I picked up some Christmas movies from the library. Now we watch A Charlie Brown Christmas after purchasing the digital version. This year you can catch it on Apple TV+. If you don’t have a subscription, it will be free from December 11-13th. You can also watch it on PBS on December 13th.


Other Ideas to Add


Ornaments. Some years, I put new ornaments in the box. Either a special new ornament for the family or one for each child.


Board games. Some of my friends have a Christmas Eve tradition of playing new board games. I love the idea of adding this to the box.

Instead of one big giant box, you could always do a smaller box for each child (and parent if you so choose).


What would you add to your Christmas Eve box?