What should go in a Christmas Eve box and when should you open them? Tradition explained

The countdown to Christmas is well and truly on

Can you hear those sleigh bells? It is almost time for Santa Claus to arrive!

Each family will have their own traditions and unique spins on how they celebrate 25 December. But a new trend that is becoming more wide spread is the giving of Christmas Eve boxes.

The boxes are opened by children and families on 24 December and are the perfect way to get into the festive spirit before Father Christmas sets off on his lap around the world. It is a fairly recent tradition in the UK and you might be unfamiliar with it.

The giving of gifts on Christmas Eve might not be a common one on the British Isles, but many nations across actually open their presents before 25 December - and some may even wait until after Christmas Day. What traditions do you have in your family?

If you are intrigued by the idea of a Christmas Eve box and are wondering what exactly one is, where to get them and waht to put in them. Here’s all you need to know:

What are Christmas Eve boxes?

A Christmas Eve box is exactly what the name says on the tin. It is a box which you open the night before Christmas.

It is a more modern tradition, at least in England and the United Kingdom. With the BBC first reporting on it in 2016.

Christmas Eve boxes are a fun way to kick start the festive feeling with a few treats the night before Santa Clause arrives.

Christmas plans have changed dramatically across the UK today. Picture: PAChristmas plans have changed dramatically across the UK today. Picture: PA
Christmas plans have changed dramatically across the UK today. Picture: PA

What should you put in a Christmas Eve box?

Obviously it is up to the individuals to decide what to put in your Christmas Eve box. But the idea is to raise the excitement ahead of the big day.

Surprises like new pairs of Christmas pyjamas for the family, slippers, Christmas tree decorations, chocolates and the likes. It is a little bit of fun before the glut of presents on 25 December.

When should you open a Christmas Eve box?

Unsurprisingly the boxes are usually opened on 24 December. As the festive treats often include Christmas pyjamas, it could be an option to open them before bed - although you might not want to get your kids too worked up before going to sleep, so early evening could also be an option.

Where to get a Christmas Eve box?

Pre-made Christmas Eve boxes can now be purchased from retailers in the UK. The likes of Home Bargains, Asda, The Works, Amazon and more all offer their own versions.

When do other countries open presents?

In the UK it is tradition to open your Christmas presents on 25 December. Although differing circumstances may result in other traditions in your family.

A number of European countries traditionally open presents on Christmas Eve. Including: Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Traditionally in Spain, presents were given on 6 January - which is the date of the epiphany. It was even said that the Three Wise Men brought the gifts not Santa. Although many Spanish families now give gifts on 25 December.