Christmas Eve Surprise Box!

Create a fun, memorable family tradition by making a surprise box for Christmas Eve for everyone to share!

Christmas Eve Surprise Box Tradition!

I’ve just finished putting together a special surprise for the kids and I’m so excited!
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I thought it would be fun to tap into all that magical excitement even more by putting together a big gift box of fun things to be opened and shared together!

Christmas Eve surprise box tradition

So, as the sun goes down, the girls can open up this box and the cosy, fun traditions can begin. Whoop!

Conents of a Christmas Eve surprise box

Absolutely anything could go into this box, and none of it needs to be new or expensive. I’ve been collecting some of these things for a while whenever I’ve seen them in the shops on offer, and others are just from around the house. Everything is exciting when it’s wrapped up, whether it’s new or not!

new pyjamas

Firstly, there are some new matching jammies for the girls to wear! I will post separately about the tops that I made them to go with these. And some snugly socks for getting cosy. Daddy and I will also have our new jammies ready to wear too! (I figured you didn’t need to see those!) We plan to get right into our jammies mid-afternoon and get cosy for the rest of the day, oh yes :-)

Popcorn and a movie

Then there’s a Christmas movie kit. A new film that we haven’t seen before, popcorn, cute little mugs and hot chocolate and marshmallows. Mmmmmmmm!

Christmas stories

Next, there is a pile of books to read together just before bed! I found our current favourite Christmas stories and will wrap these up too, so that they are more exciting to discover! Lucy and Tom’s Christmas is, hands down, my absolute favourite story for this time of year (apart from the Nativity of course!) It is so evocative of a more simple and treasured childhood, delightfully old-fashioned and focused on all the important elements of family, childish excitement, gift giving and special traditions. I love it!

Nativity books

And, most importantly of all for our family, there is the much cherished book about the birth of Jesus, with beautiful illustrations and a really lovely retelling of the Biblical account. We will read this around the tree, near to the fire and then sing some of the Christmas hymns we have been learning. C is very good at teaming “away in a manger” with her own invented dance and Pop has the actions down pat!

There’s also the very last book, number 24,  from our nativity advent calendar called The Story of Christmas (mentioned in the Nativity Small World Play post) which will be a lovely way to end the evening before bedtime and stockings!

I simply can’t wait! Have you got any Christmas Eve traditions? I would love to hear them!

Check all our Christmas Ideas here

How about these for starters:

Handprint Christmas Tree Keepsakes


Easy Salt Dough Ornaments


Christmas Sensory Box


Snow Dough Sensory Play Recipe



  1. Anonymous says

    Ooooh, lovely. We have new pyjamas wrapped up for the girls under the tree but I love your extra things. Have a wonderful Christmas.
    Rachel T

  2. Anonymous says

    We have been looking for a new tradition to start and I think I have just found it! Thank you for a wonderful idea! Merry Christmas.

  3. Anonymous says

    I love this idea! It’s out first year that our son is understanding Christmas, he just turned 3 and we have a 10 month old. We have the same advent calendar and he is so excited that we finally get to read the big one tomorrow. Thanks for your great ideas…merry Christmas!

  4. @bixxboxx says

    That’s so lovely! We’ve got jammies and the dear Santa book wrapped up ready 4 our 1 year old… Will definitely do this when she gets older though! Thanks 4 the tips!

  5. says

    Oh how I love Lucy and Tom’s Christmas! I would spend ages as a girl poring over the pictures, looking at every little detail especially on the first page. I bought a second-hand copy this year to give to my little girl and it has joined a pile of Christmas-themed books on a special area of the shelves. We are just at the stage of starting to choose and develop traditions for our family. I like the sound of your box idea – if only we weren’t heading out to church for my daughter’s first nativity play tomorrow evening then we could get into PJs too :-)

  6. says

    I love it. What a great idea and a fun tradition :)

    One of our Christmas Eve traditions is to go out driving through the neighborhood to see the Christmas tree lights in the area, before bed. And this year, we are starting another tradition of wrapping up a book for our daughter to open on Christmas Eve. This year we bought The Night Before Christmas lift-the-flap book. We call it the “Christmas Eve Scavenger Hunt” because we will hide it and she has to find it! :)

    In the past she never cared about opening something on Christmas Eve but now she’s 4 and while I still think she wouldn’t care if we didn’t, we decided to start the tradition because my husband used to open one gift on Christmas Eve when he was a kid.

  7. says

    You know we celebrate Christmas Eve… so this is right up my street! love the idea though of having lots of cosy snuggly things to sit down together and anticipate Christmas Day!

    Merry Christmas Anna! So lovely to have made friends with you this year!

    Maggy xx

  8. granny smiler says

    when the kids were little we left little messages on there pillows each night of December (reminding them to be good and kind/ help in the house/and smile and laugh as much as possable :). as it got closer to THE BIG DAY there was a little something with the note “a star made of tinfoil?” a bauble for the tree! etc. the notes of love and hugs and decorations were all added till …… ta da !!!! SANTA HAS BEEN !!!!!

  9. says

    I love this idea. We do some of these thing alike new pj’s but I am defiantly going to make a box like this for the kids to open!

  10. Anonymous says

    when we were kids we always got to open ONE gift on Christmas Eve. I think it was to keep us kids busy while Mom finished up all her other Christmas suprises! I am going to share this with my daughter, as her and her family live out of state and I know the time will come when we won’t be able to travel at the holidays or they won’t be able to come here :( But this ought to keep her little guy busy and it is a GREAT idea that they can use as a ‘back-up’ plan!!!!!

  11. says

    Just found this on Pintrest and LOVE the idea. And I also love that you can put in items you already have ie:books and movies.

    NEW TRADITION IDEA: A couple years ago I made an amazingly cute Halloween apron. It had two large pockets in the front. I told my two boys that if you hung out the apron out on the night of the full moon before Halloween the Candy Goblins come and leave a treat. For this is a MAGICAL apron! Then I just put a pack of gum and maybe some stickers or something small that fits in the pockets. My husband even went so far as to draw a picture of one he had seen when he was a kids as proof!

  12. says

    Posted on the christmas eve box – I can’t even begin to say how much I love this idea!!!! Thanks for sharing! We already do pajama’s every christmas eve, but this is much better, such a great way to spend a wonderful christmas eve night!

  13. Anonymous says

    LOVE this! My mother used to get me new pajamas every Christmas and she would give them to me Christmas eve so I could wear them to bed and wake up in fun festive jammies! :) These are the traditions I will love to pass onto my children.

  14. says

    What a WONDERFUL idea!!! I found your site through pinterest. :) It’s making the rounds! I have a terrific Christmas book to share that was my childhood favorite and is now my sons’. It’s called The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher and after many years of out of print, is back in print today! I will incorporate our book with your Christmas Eve present — thank you, again, so much for sharing your ideas and techniques! Love your blog!

  15. Karol says

    I would love to purchase the book about The Birth of Jesus but I can’t find the one you have here. Would someone please give me the name of the author or where I might find this book? Also is it geared for a specific age group? Thank you in advance for any info.

  16. Anonymous says

    I love your idea about the christmas eve pajamas! How about our girls are 21 and 26 and I still give them christmas eve pajamas! They love it! We’re usually at the beach for christmas and every year I act like I forgot but they know that I didn’t! They won’t go to sleep until they get them!I know that I will look back at this time when they are married with children of their own, I’ll then will help them start this tradition with my grandchildren!

  17. Anonymous says

    How I wish I’d instigated more “traditions” when my children were young – they’re now grown and left home. This is a lovely idea. I’ve recently started a new tradition – a Christmas Eve gift of a tree ornament.

  18. says

    When I was growing up my Grandma always made us new pajamas and it was the one gift we could open on Christmas Eve. My mom continued the tradition of giving pajamas for Christmas Eve (although store bought), I continued the tradition with my daughter, and now I am continuing it with my grandchildren. It is a fun and long standing tradition in our family that I hope will continue for generations to come! I may start adding your ideas of books and socks!

  19. Anonymous says

    The Christmas eve surprise box is a wonderful idea! What a good mom you are! I’m probably old enough to be your mother, but am wondering if you would please adopt me?

  20. Anonymous says

    This is an expanded idea of one I’ve done with my children..and now, they are doing it with THEIRS! Can’t wait to pin this, and forward it to them! *grin*

  21. says

    Love this idea. I’m making a christmas eve hamper for my kids this year. With pj’s, socks, dressing gowns, bubble bath, movie, popcorn and chocolates, and a little ginger breadhouse to decorate

  22. says

    I love this and am pinning for future use! I would love to have you come share this or any of your great ideas at the link party on ‘Or so she says…’ There’s one going on right now (and every Saturday – Tuesday). Hope to see you there!

  23. says

    Love your idea of boxing it all up together!

    As part of our countdown to Christmas we have an Advent Calendar and in that include activities such as watching a Christmas movie together and reading Christmas books (all our Christmas themed books get collected together by the beginning of Advent and placed in a basket, including stories about the birth of Jesus and some Aussie Summer versions). Sometimes a new book is wrapped and given to the children to unwrap that day as part of the countdown.

    On Christmas Eve Santa’s Elves leave the children new PJs to wear to bed, with a little note thanking them for being good and reminding them to leave Santa a snack. The children are allowed a little treat with milk before bed (usually a Christmas cookie), whilst they open one gift from under the tree each (which is what my parents and my husbands used to allow us and our siblings to do too) and we read T’was the Night Before Christmas before bed.

  24. says

    My husband remembers two great holiday traditions his mother did when he was little. She would wrap his favorite books from the year, and he got to open one or two each night starting a week or so before Christmas. The other was for Christmas morning (Easter too); she would put a fuzzy poster and new markers in his room after he went to sleep for him to find. He was happily entertained, and she got extra time to deal with gifts (or eggs).
    I think both ideas are ingenious and plan to use them with our family!