It’s almost that time of year where your children—especially your toddlers—start getting excited for Santa’s big visit. And we can’t forget about Rudolph and the other reindeer, either.
One way you can make Christmas—or Christmas Eve—even more exciting for your toddler is by surprising them with a Christmas Eve box: A box containing a few items to keep them busy on Christmas Eve while Santa starts making his rounds.
Although we all know that Christmas is not about gifts—even The Grinch admits in the Dr. Seuss classic that Christmas “came without ribbons…came without tags…came without packages, boxes, or bags”—this doesn’t mean that your toddler doesn’t deserve a special treat on Christmas Eve, does it? Especially if they’ve been nice all year rather than naughty.
So, here are five fun items you might include in your nice toddler’s Christmas Eve box.
1.A Christmas Movie
What’s Christmas Eve without a great Christmas movie?
Disappointing: That’s what it is.
That’s why a Christmas movie is a great first item to include in your toddler’s Christmas Eve box.
If your toddler has a favorite Christmas movie, then they will more-than-likely be ecstatic when they open the box and see it sitting there right on top. If your toddler doesn’t have a favorite Christmas movie, then “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Elf,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” are usually safe bets.
2. A Treat
You can’t really watch a Christmas movie without some sort of treat, now can you?
There are so many tasty treats you could include in your toddler’s Christmas Eve box such as a mini tub of caramel corn, a package of fruit-flavored candy canes—toddlers usually don’t like traditional peppermint candy canes—or a small container of chocolates.
If you feel like getting your toddler more involved in the treat-making process—this might help them burn off some extra energy so they can sleep easier, as well—then you can simply include a treat recipe for cookies, brownies, pie, or cheesecake in their Christmas Eve box.
You and your toddler can then spend some time together baking treats before you pop in that Christmas movie.
3. A Pair of Pajamas
This Christmas Eve just keeps getting cozier and cozier!
A new pair of pajamas is an essential for your toddler’s Christmas Eve box, and will only make their movie-watching experience that much better. Your toddler may appreciate pajamas that are durable and comfy, as well as festive. For instance, a pair of flannel reindeer pajamas might suit them perfectly.
And if you want to bump up the coziness factor another level, you could even include a pair of matching slippers in their box, as well.
4. Reindeer Food
In addition to leaving out cookies and milk for Santa, your toddler will probably get a kick out of sprinkling some reindeer food in the front yard for Rudolph and the rest of the gang.
Reindeer food is quite easy to make, and is particularly easy if you have a dog since they will clean up the reindeer food for you when they have the opportunity.
If you have a dog, you can simply place a scoop or two of dog food in a little container or mesh baggie, and then label the container or baggie as “Reindeer Food” or—maybe get a little creative with it—“Reindeer Chow.” Beware, though, if you’re using dog food, you want to make sure it’s wrapped properly so it will not stink up the rest of the items in your toddler’s Christmas Eve box.
Nobody wants to put on a pair of flannel pajamas that smell like dog food!
If you don’t own a dog, you’ll need to get creative with the reindeer food keeping in mind that your child is going to sprinkle it on your front lawn. This means that, whatever you put in that little mesh baggie or container, it should be biodegradable and—of course—non-toxic.
5. A Christmas Book
A Christmas book is the perfect way to end Christmas Eve, and there is one book in particular that your toddler will probably enjoy most of all: “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore. Well, technically it’s a poem that has been adapted into a children’s picture book.
But it is a Christmas classic, nonetheless.
Most know the first line of the story without even knowing that they know it: “Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
The gentle words and accompanying imagery in the book will not only prepare your toddler for a good sleep, but it will also leave them with that warm fuzzy feeling that—yes—Christmas is finally here!