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This is why a Christmas Eve box is the new tradition we should all buy into – whatever your age

The Christmas Eve box has been a steadily growing trend. At first, it was something the odd person with small children did, but now it’s growing into a new festive tradition – and it’s really rather wonderful.

What is a Christmas Eve box?

Personalised Christmas Eve Box, £18, notonthehighstreet (notonthehighstreet/PA)

Essentially, it’s a box of goodies – an extra gift, if you will, which is given on Christmas Eve. Each person in the family might have their own box, or you can create a family box, which is often cheaper, and gathers you all together.

“T’was the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse… but if the kids are running riot and buzzing with excitement about the big day, it’s probably not very quiet,” notes Wendy Miranda, customer brand ambassador for Lakeland.

“Why not make it more magical with a Christmas Eve box? Find a lovely box or a hamper – you can personalise one for each child – and fill it with special treats for them to open on Christmas Eve.”

What started as a small trend has now become a festive mainstay for many people in the UK, says Holly Harper, head of inspiration and new partners at notonthehighstreet. “We’ve seen an increase in popularity of personalised boxes over the years, and in the last week alone, searches for ‘Christmas Eve Box’ have risen by over 50%.”

How do you make one?

What your Christmas Eve box looks like is entirely up to you. Pop down the high street or look online and you’ll find plenty of ready-made options to choose from. Or you can make your own. If you’re handy, you can knock some up from old pallets, you can get the kids involved and transform a cardboard box, or you can make use of an old hamper or box you’ve held on to – because it looked too good to throw away.

Personalisation does make them a little more special, so you can do that by decorating them. You could get crafty on cardboard, while Cricut fans can go to town with vinyl lettering and designs, or good old marker pens will do the job on wood (Stabilo’s new Free Acrylic Markers, from £3.99 each, Ryman, are perfect for this). And if it’s a hamper, you could create a label, write a Christmas message on it, and tie it to the handle.

What should go inside?

Handmade Linen Folk-print Child’s Pyjamas, £48, notonthehighstreet (notonthehighstreet/PA)

Again, what you decide to put inside the box or boxes, is entirely up to you. What would you like to be gifted the night before Christmas?

“You could fill it with anything, from some new festive pyjamas and a pair of cosy socks, to a new game or a DVD – and don’t forget some yummy snacks to nibble on,” suggests Miranda. “We’ve got lots of lovely little Christmassy treats, which make a lovely addition to the box, including our delicious Rudolph Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Melt (£3.49, Lakeland) – melt it in a mug of hot milk and watch as the mini marshmallows pop to the top… magical! And it even comes with a sachet of gold shimmer to sprinkle over the top for a truly festive finish.”

Harper suggests filling the reusable boxes, which can be brought out year after year, with pyjamas, a special letter from Santa and sweet treats, creating new traditions that add some extra magic to Christmas Eve night.

Matching PJs are a good gift for a family box, and available pretty much everywhere on the high street (Chelsea Peers has  a great range that are still in stock). But Christmas Eve boxes aren’t just for families. Make one for yourself for the perfect quiet night in – gift yourself some cosy sleepwear and a new book, or couples can create a date night gift box containing everything they need for the evening, whether that’s cocoa and biscuits, Champagne and ingredients for a three-course meal, or underwear and bubble bath.

When do you unbox it?

The clue is in the name. A Christmas Eve box should be opened on Christmas Eve. It can act as a great way to get the kids to bed – if they’re well behaved all day and promise to go to sleep on time, they get to open it in the evening. But you can unbox it at any time of the day – it often depends on what you have planned and who’s around.

As new traditions go, this is one we think is here to stay. It’s a lovely idea, creates some magical new memories, and can cost as much or as little as you like.

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