Happy December 1st! Can you believe that we are in December already? The countdown is officially on. Every year Christmas gets better and better in our household. As Penny gets older, she gets more curious and excited about the big guy in the red suit. She can now try all the delicious food on offer and dance in her highchair when I blast Mariah Carey. We’ve already made gingerbread playdough and watched Arthur Christmas together. I’ve also booked Santa’s Grotto and a Festive Afternoon Tea at Dobbies for us both next week. To say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement. Although I do love the big day, its over so quickly and I actually prefer the buildup and the preparation beforehand. It’s our visit to the Edinburgh Christmas Market (hello Nutella and banana crepes), the shopping, baking, wrapping and movie nights that I adore. I like to stretch the festivities out for as long as possible. That’s why I fell in love with the idea of creating a Christmas Eve Box for Penny.
Let’s face it, this time of year can be expensive and a little stressful, this box is definitely not about adding to your already overwhelming budget and to-do list. It’s something to open together and enjoy as a family before the chaos of the big day. To sit back and really appreciate what Christmas is about. There are absolutely tonnes of ideas online suitable for every budget and age. I found my box in ASDA for only £2.50 but you can also find personalised wooden ones on eBay and Etsy if you want to invest in something extra special that you can use every year. If you’re feeling crafty and have some free time on your hands, Hobby Craft has everything you need to create one from scratch. Maybe the kids could help and you could make a fun activity out of it? Here are a few ideas that can be adapted depending on your families interests, ages and size:
- Hot chocolate supplies (mugs, marshmallows, cream & syrups)
- A colouring-in book & pens (See Activity Village for free printables)
- Movie night supplies (popcorn, pick ‘n’ mix, cookies, Christmas movie, trivia quiz)
- Ingredients to make brownies/rocky road/cookies/cupcakes
- Decorate a gingerbread man/house kit (sprinkles, smarties & icing pens)
- A board game & snacks
- Pamper supplies (face masks, toe dividers and glittery nail polish)
- Christmas DIY photo booth (selfie props & disposable cameras)
- Ingredients for chocolate fondue
- A Christmas story & soft toy (Moz the Monster?)
- An art activity (Pinterest is a goldmine for ideas)
- A letter from Santa or his magic key!
- New Christmas stockings to hang or/and decorate
- Make your own sundae (Ice cream, sprinkles, sauces & sweets)
- Personalised tree decorations to add to the tree
- Festive jumpers or PJs
- Vouchers to use throughout the year (‘Mum entitled to one hour of relaxation’ etc)
- Mug cake kit (check out some recipes here)
- A game (stick the nose on Rudolf)
- A treasure/scavenger hunt
I also love the idea of creating an adults-only one (nothing dodgy!) with mulled wine or cocktail supplies, a cheese board and a copy of Die Hard (Yippee ki yay!). What would yours contain? I hope these ideas give you some inspiration. Making a Christmas Eve box may seem like just another thing to add to the ever-growing list you may already be trying to get through, but it really doesn’t take a lot of time or money (most of these items can even be found in Poundland or The Works).