Our Family Christmas Eve Box 2016

Creating a Christmas Eve box will be a new tradition that we are adding in to our lives this year. The idea has been around for a while now, with many different interpretations of how to create it - and what to include inside. What I have included in our box is a mixture of ideas from others as well as putting my own spin on things.

The Box

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There are so many options when it comes to creating your Christmas Eve box. Some people opt for decorating a shoe box and using one for each member of the family. Others prefer to purchase a pre-made and reusable one.

I decide I wanted to have one that was ready to go and personalised. Once I had made that decision, it didn't make my life any easier! There are so many different types, sizes and designs; from basic open top crates to boxes with lids.

In the end, the decision was made for me when I went for a trawl of tonnes of different websites and looked for one that was as big as possible. We now have this gorgeous personalised wooden box by Hoolaroo, sold by Designer Kids and Baby. They can be found both on Amazon and eBay. They offer different sizes, but ours is 36 x 26 x 15 cm and has a handle on either side. The perfect size for a family of four.

What's Inside?

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Stuff as a Small First Gift

R doesn't usually like to wear headbands, however I thought this year we would try again. 

These two cute headbands I bought on Etsy are perfect for semi-matching our girls - and I'm hoping that when she sees her little sister wearing one, R will wear hers too! 

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We also got the girls a little soft toy each. There is a little penguin, and a little Santa... I guess R will choose her favourite! 

Finally, I ordered them each a personalised etched glass bauble for the Christmas tree. Something special they can keep forever and won't grow out of!

The ones I ordered were from Timberscrafts and were such great value. You can find them in their Etsy store

Stuff for Family Time

At Christmas, family time is super important. There is nothing more special than seeing the look on my daughter's face when she notices everything from the amazing lights in the local neighborhood to the visits to Santa that we have made. Christmas Eve would usually be the time that we host a party, and have a load of friends over; complete with a buffet and home baked goodies.

This year, as we will be celebrating as a family of four - and trying to settle into a routine with a newborn - we have decided that we're going to have a quiet one. Due to this, I have popped in a DVD with two amazing Christmas movies included for us to watch together.

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There is nothing nicer than snuggling up on the sofa in front of the TV, watching a Christmas move with a nice hot cup of cocoa (with a sprinkling of Bailey's for mummy of course!) The next selection of items I have included in our box are for this exact purpose.

I popped to our local Matalan and bought each member of my family an awesome Christmas mug - to add to our growing Christmas crockery collection.

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Inside each mug is the items that we need to be able to make up our Christmas Eve tipple - including a hot chocolate sachet, mini marshmallows, a candy cane and some chocolate. I purchased these items packaged up ready to go from Box of Memories; a small business that is run through Facebook. I love to support small businesses, so it was great to be able to order these from them - plus it saved me the job of putting it together myself while on bed rest!

Stuff for Bath Time

One thing that I wish existed - and doesn't seem to anywhere - is bath items in a Christmas theme. I searched high and low, both in stores and also online.

In the end I had to settle for a set of four Christmas rubber duckies - which isn't all bad as I could put one for each of my girls in the Christmas eve box and also had two left over to pop into their stockings. As we have collected rubber ducks over the last couple of years for R, they're quite fitting really. They are available in a few places, but the cheapest selection I found - and therefore purchased - was on good old eBay.

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Stuff for Bed Time

After having a bath, the first thing to do is get into nice snuggly pyjamas. You would not believe how hard it is to find matching clothes for a newborn and an almost-three year old. They just don't seem to exist. The closest I could get to matching Christmas pyjamas are these adorable penguin sets, which I purchased from George at Asda.

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We always make sure to read a book or two with R once she is in bed - and Christmas eve will be no different. I invested in a couple of new Usbourne books this year. There is one for each of our daughters, and I am so excited to read them together.

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I know that Little L will be too young to enjoy the whole concept, however I also know that if we don't treat them equally, R gets very upset - she always insists that L gets whatever she does.

Stuff to Prepare for Santa

There are a few things that have become traditional when it comes to preparing for Santa's visit - from putting out your stocking to leaving out a mince pie (and of course a carrot for Rudolph!) I decided that I would include a few items inside our Christmas eve box that would help our little girl get ready for the man in red.

Firstly, we want Santa to be able to find us. Thanks to The Polar Express, the, "I Believe" bell has become a popular addition to people's Christmas traditions - and we are no different. I ordered a gorgeous handmade bell from Pringles Beadi Creations, a small business I found through a networking site that I am a part of. The lovely mummy behind the business was great - offering choices and allowing me to personalise my order.

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Once he knows where the good believers live, Santa has to be able to get into the house, doesn't he? As we don't have a chimney, I included a "magic key". This gorgeous key has a hand sewn tag and was a fabulous buy from yet another small business, Bumblebee Home Treasures.

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Once the stockings are filled, we need to make sure that we leave a treat for the big man in red, so as a special treat we are going to be leaving a glass of milk and a homemade mince pie. I decided rather than go for the usual plate - which often people have personalised - to place Santa's treats on to, I would buy a wooden board instead. There are different designs available, and many can be personalised just as the plates can be. Ours was purchased from Feature Wall Art, and I love it.

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Finally I ordered a personalised letter from Magic Santa Letter for each of my girls. R's can probably sneakily be resused for a couple of years, as it is relatively generic. Little L's however, is for her first Christmas, so I will include it in her scrap book when Christmas is over.

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I am so pleased with these beautiful letters, and they are even better than I expected.

They are printed onto gorgeous double sided 'scroll effect' A4 paper with the company's unique Santa signature, and his magical seal added to the base of the letter. Not only that, but there are there plenty of options to suit different budgets, and you can write your own fully personalised message or use a template.

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Some - including the ones I ordered for my girls - also come with extras. Each of my girls now has a 'Good Child Certificate' complete with seal, a pouch of 'Magical Reindeer Food' , and R has "Santa Stop Here" door hanger and finally colouring designs (which I know she is going to very much enjoy!)

These little extras have made great final additions to our Christmas Eve box - and I can't wait to share them with my girls. The best thing of all about this company is that they offer free postage & packaging in the U.K. and you can choose your dispatch date!

So, there you go - that's our Christmas Eve box! Writing this post has gotten me all excited for the big day now - I guess it's a good job that there is only ten days to go until we can open our box and have some lovely family time.

Do you have a Christmas Eve box that you like to fill up? What do you usually include?