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'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house... rang the sound of children pleading to be allowed to open "just one present".
If you want your home to be as peaceful as the one in the classic poem by Clement Clarke Moore in the run up to Christmas, then there's one festive tradition that can really help to keep kids contented.
Christmas Eve boxes are small parcels filled with an assortment of sweet treats, perhaps something cosy to wear (think pyjamas or slipper socks) and/or a Christmas movie, book, game or activity to keep the children busy while parents get on with last minute preparations, (or if this is the year you finally manage to be super organised, something you can enjoy together as a family).
Once bought, a Christmas Eve box can be refilled and used year after year. We've rounded up six of the best pre-filled and six of the best refillable options available to buy in 2021, with prices starting from just £10.
6 Christmas Eve boxes to fill with your own goodies
Candy Land Christmas Eve Box | £10 at Paperchase
This brightly-coloured gingerbread house shaped box is a bargain. Made from recycled Kraft card with multicoloured pompoms lining the roof and candy canes at the door, little ones can peek under the lid to see the presents that lie within. Measuring 22cm tall by 19.3cm wide and 26.3cm deep, this is on the smaller side, so instead of pjs you may want to look for slipper socks to pop inside.
Treat Republic Personalised Jolly Holly Christmas Eve Box | £35 at John Lewis & Partners
Rather than getting individual Christmas Eve boxes for each child, in the spirit of sharing why not get a family box that can be filled with goodies for siblings. This wreath decorated box can be personalised with your family name, (up to 15 characters).
Personalised Red Christmas Eve Box | £40 at My First Years
This brightly coloured box stands out from the crowd. Crafted from wood and adorned with an easy-open shining star clasp, this personalised box is designed to hold a ‘special delivery’ that will make Christmas Eve even more exciting.
North Pole Personalised Christmas Eve Box by Seahorse | From £39.50 at Not On The High Street
The map on the lid of this box charts a child or family's adventures at the North Pole. It can be personalised to record who helped Santa load his sledge, or who played with Rudolph the Reindeer, to tell a little Christmas Eve story.
Made from poplar wood, it is available in three different sizes, depending on the size of the gift you want to put inside. One shopper wrote in a review that their two-year-old granddaughter loves her box, adding: "The design is so cute, the colours look so pretty and my granddaughter loves tracing the trail with her finger whilst being told the story and hearing and seeing her name."
Personalised Engraved Christmas Eve Box by The Hoolaroo Store | £34.95 at Amazon
If you're after a larger box, this vintage crate design is a great option, with 170 reviews rating it on average 4.7 out of 5 stars. Measuring 37cm by 28 cm, it can be engraved with the name, or names, of your choice – there's plenty of room for multiple siblings on this one.
Personalised Christmas Eve Box Wooden House by Betsy Benn | £130 at Not On The High Street
If you're looking for something really special, there is a remarkable level of personalisation and detail on this box made from sustainable cherry veneer wood.
As well as having the recipients name engraved on the side and on the wreath on the front door, you can even choose the door number and street name, plus you can have a pet cat or dog added to the front. There is even the possibility of having the design modified to more closely match the front of your house, with the correct number of windows (for an additional fee). When Christmas Eve is over, you can fill this box with battery-operated LED lights and watch the light twinkle away through the windows and stars on the roof.
6 Pre-Filled Christmas Eve Boxes
Night Before Christmas Treat Box | £10 at John Lewis & Partners
If you already have a festive film and pjs lined up for Christmas Eve, then this ribboned box filled with festive cookies, mini mallows and hot chocolate will be the icing on the cake. If you're feeling generous, you could even leave one of the cookies out for Santa.
Tartan Christmas Eve box | £80 at Selfridges
This luxury box contains a real treat for younger children, with a Jellycat teddy bear and the classic Janet and Allan Ahlberg book The Jolly Christmas Postman - plus they'll look cute as a button in the red tartan pyjamas (in sizes for children aged two to seven).
Personalised Wooden Pre-Filled Christmas Eve Box by A1Personalised | £19.99 at Etsy
This engraved wooden box is designed to be used for years to come, while also saving you the task of looking for gifts to fill it this year.
Inside the 30cm by 20cm by 13cm box you'll find an Aero Bubbles hot chocolate sachet, mini marshmallows, a Christmas design pencil, Christmas puzzle book, Christmas jigsaw, candy cane, bag of chocolate coins and a bag of Reindeer food.
It is available in seven different engraved designs, including a Christmas tree or a snowman, as well as Santa on his sleigh (pictured), and there is the option to personalise it with an individual or family name.
Orchard Toys Christmas Eve Box Game & Jigsaw Puzzle | £13.25 at John Lewis & Partners
Orchard Toys has been making popular children's games for over 40 years, so it's no surprise that this Christmas Eve box is a big hit. It contains a festive 20 piece puzzle that's just right for children aged three to six, as well as a Christmas List game, in which two to four players race to be the first to fill their stocking with items on their Christmas list.
Filled Christmas Eve Box by TrulyMadlySweetlyCo | £12 at Etsy
Start the Christmas overindulgence early with this box containing milk or white chocolate coins, a Rudolph hot chocolate cone, and a pick n mix sweet bag, as well as a colouring book with crayons, Santa's magical key and a sprinkle of reindeer food.
Santa's Sack of Christmas Treats | £30 at Marks and Spencer
Another option for chocolate lovers - this is a Christmas Eve sack rather than a box, which comes stuffed with M&S treats including characterful Snomballs, festive friends chocolates, a waggle of Walter sausage dog chocs, mini shortbread trees and two milk chocolate bubbly Santas, as well as Christmas jokes and a Christmas cupcake kit to keep kids busy baking.