The 10 Best Items to Put In a Christmas Eve Box for Toddlers

Hey Mama! Ever heard of a Christmas Eve Box?  I love the idea of gifts leading up to Christmas (like these Advent Calendars), but this will be the first time I try out the box idea. 

Any box can be used.  Some people go all out with the tradition and have custom made boxes they can reuse each year.  Etsy has a wide selection to choose from.  Others just use the leftover Amazon box that half the things came in (’cause let’s face it, your know you ordered from there!). 

So what do you put in the box?

Well, it depends on the age of the child, likes of the child, amount you want to spend, and Christmas Eve activities you have planned. If you have teens, check out my top 10 items to put in a Christmas Eve Box for Teenagers

Below, I’m going to share with you 10 of the most popular items to put in a Christmas Eve Box for Toddlers.  

*DISCLOSURE: I only recommend products that I would use myself. This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my Disclosure for more information.

Red Circle with the word Pajamas and Christmas lights in the background

1. Pajamas Add Cozy Comfort to Your Christmas Eve Box

A lot of families traditionally get new Christmas pajamas each year.  So, they are a great item to put in a Christmas Eve Box. 

These Fleece Footed Pajamas from Carter’s are perfect for keeping your toddler’s toes warm while they tiptoe to the Christmas tree.

Here are two pro tips:

  1. Wash them ahead of time, so they can be worn when opened 🙂
  2. Buy them ahead of time, like way ahead of time.  The best time to get great deals on Christmas stuff is right after Christmas.  Watch for those after-Christmas sales, buy the next size up, and have one less thing to buy next year.  Or, shop for some barely worn PJs on Mercari.  If you have some you need to get rid of, check out my post on how to sell on Mercari.

Red Circle with the word Snacks and Christmas lights in the background

2. Snacks to add to Your Toddler’s Christmas Eve Box

Consider what time of day you are planning to give your toddler the box.  You probably don’t want to jack your kid up on sugar before you try to get them to go to sleep on the most exciting night of the year…just sayin’.

Here are some good ideas for snacks for toddler Christmas Eve Boxes:

1. GoGo Squeeze Applesauces

2. This Saves Lives Granola Bars for Kids

3. Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks

4. Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies and Bunny Grahams

5. KIND Kids Granola Bars


Red Circle with the word Toys and Christmas lights in the background

3. Add a small toy to the Christmas Eve Box

Yes, they will probably get a ton from Santa in the morning, but a small toy may be just the treat that gives you a little “free time” to finish wrapping those last minute gifts.  Verywell Family has made choosing a toy a lot easier in their 31 Best Toys for Toddlers in 2021 article.


Red Circle with the word Games and Christmas lights in the background

4. Games are fun for the whole family

Games can be added your toddler’s Christmas Eve box for them to play alone or for whole-family fun! has 37 suggestions for Games and Activities that will keep everyone entertained. 

Red Circle with the word Movies and Christmas lights in the background

5. Something Festive to Watch

I know screentime is a highly debated topic (just look at how I handled it over the summer), but it is Christmas Eve!  There are a BAZILLION Christmas movies and even more Christmas/Winter themed episodes of almost any show.  

Buy the DVD or just put a picture of the show/movie in the box if you’re going to stream it.  So, you don’t even have to spend money on this gift 🙂

Need some ideas?  Here is a massive list of 55 Best Christmas Movies for Kids from Good Housekeeping.  Some may be for older kids, but you can’t go wrong with #27!

Red and White Christmas Gift Boxes
Red Circle with the word Books and Christmas lights in the background

6. Books are perfect for a Christmas Eve Box

We LOVE books in our house. Some of our favorite Christmas/Winter themed books are from our Advent Calendar a few years ago.  (Read about our favorite Advent Calendars here).

If you are looking for a great place to get books at a discounted price, check out  Use my referral link and you’ll get $5 off your first order of $25 (oh, and I’ll get $5 credit, too).  Seriously, you can get a ton of books for that small amount of money.

Everybody loves the Little Golden Books.  This set of 5 Christmas Little Golden Books can be separated and given at different times or to different kids.

Red Circle with the word Ornaments and Christmas lights in the background

7. A Meaningful Ornament will make a great keepsake

Ah…ornaments.  My Mama was the ornament giver in our family.  Every year, she would pick out an ornament for me and my brothers and all of her nieces and nephews.  After she passed away, those ornaments became even more cherished.

So, when I became a Mama, I made sure to start that tradition with my own kids.  I love picking out just the right ornament that captures the interests of my kids from each year.  It is fun to see how they change as they get older.

Some of my favorites our Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, like this “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” muscial ornament.  Yes, it actually plays music!  How cute is this thing?!

Red Circle with the word Polar Express and Christmas lights in the background

8. Ticket for “Polar Express”

You may not be able to ride on the real “Polar Express” but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own magical traveling machine!

Give your child a ticket to ride, snuggle them in their new pajamas, hand them their special snack, and take off to look at Christmas lights.  Throw in a bit more fun with a scavenger hunt.  When it’s time for the fun to end, don’t forget to see “Santa’s Sleigh” flying through the air.  Cell Towers make great Rudolph noses 😉

If you want to go all out, get this Polar Express Bell and Ticket.

Or you can find a freebie printable online, like this Polar Express Tickets Coloring Sheet from

Red Circle with the word Stickers and Christmas lights in the background

9. Stick some Christmas Stickers in your Christmas Eve Box

Who doesn’t like stickers? Get this pack of 200 Christmas Stickers and divide them up as needed, or save some for next year!

Red Circle with the word Crafts and Christmas lights in the background

10. Craft Materials can be bundled up and included in your Christmas Eve Box

There are so many crafts you can make with your toddler.  Find one that you already have the materials for.  Let them get creative.  Better yet, let them give their creations to someone for a Christmas gift.

Here is an awesome roundup of cute Christmas crafts your toddler can make from my friend Susanne at


What are you going to put in your Toddler’s Christmas Eve Box?

Tell me!  Do you already give a Christmas Eve Box to your kids?  What are your favorite things to include?  Will you try it for the first time this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts!



  1. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! It’s fun to shop for the little ones 🙂

  2. Marilyn Southmayd

    Cool ideas. Might use some of them for my great-granddaughter.

  3. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thank you!

  4. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to the fun 🙂

  5. Carrie Peek

    I love this idea! So much fun!

  6. ilse

    lovely ideas! thanks for sharing

  7. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! Brake lights also work great as Rudolph’s nose 😉

  8. Debbie

    Loved these ideas, especially the Polar Express one. I’m gonna use the cell tower as Ruldolf’s nose with my little one.😂

  9. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! Kids change everything, and make the holidays more magical 🙂

  10. Britt | Not Your Mom's Gifts

    These ideas are so cute! I love the little pajamas😍 I don’t have any kids yet but it seems like they make the holiday season way more fun!!

  11. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks so much!

  12. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thank you 🙂

  13. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks 🙂 They are awesome PJs!

  14. Lifebetweenthedishes


  15. Grace This Place

    Great ideas!

  16. Anna

    These are great ideas, my daughter loves those carters fleece pjs – I need to pick up a couple more for her in the next size

  17. Emotions Chaser

    These are definitely good tips to keep in mind!

  18. Lindsay P

    These are such fun ideas!

  19. Lifebetweenthedishes

    You’re welcome 🙂 It can be tricky sometimes. I hope this list helps!

  20. Aimie phillips

    I love this!! I’m always stuck for ideas on what to put in my little ones stockings, thank you for your help!💖

  21. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Bryan! Don’t we all need both? 🙂

  22. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Liz 🙂 Yes! Fill those shoeboxes!!

  23. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Cynthia! I know I would love several things from this list 🙂

  24. Cynthia

    My kids are grown and I know one of them would love that dancing Hippo. These are great tips for folks with toddlers or those of us with toddlers at heart. 🙂

  25. Liz

    What an awesome idea for toddlers the night before Christmas, there are also some items in here that I can put in the Samaritans Purse Christmas shoebox.

  26. Bryan Carey

    I like that you include a few practical items and some fun items. Toddlers need both!

  27. Lifebetweenthedishes

    I’m glad you liked it 🙂 I hope you and your kiddo have a great holiday!

  28. Nandini

    This is a really good idea! I’ll be doing this for my 5 year old! Thank you!

  29. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Victoria 🙂 I will be posting a similar list for TEENS soon. Check back!

  30. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Cori 🙂 I’m trying for the first time this year and I hope my kids enjoy it!

  31. Cori

    I love this! I have never heard of a Christmas eve box but it would make a great tradition!

  32. Victoria Prasad

    I don’t have a toddler (my kids are 17 and 18😊) but these are really good ideas that you have shared! I’ll be sure to pass them along to friends and family with toddlers.


Hi! I'm Misty, the imperfect Mama behind Life Between the Dishes.  My goal is for you to find tools, tips, and resources here to help you maintain sanity through daily mom life!

Stay In Touch!