One of the best parts of Christmas, for kids and grown-ups alike, is the anticipation. The anticipation of holiday lights and decorations, family gatherings, Santa visits, Christmas morning, and of course, the presents.
An Advent calendar is a wonderful way to celebrate that feeling of excitement. Waking up each morning to a small surprise can enhance the thrill of the season and make the wait just a little easier. Advent calendars are as fun for grown-ups as they are for kids. And the contents can be as simple or extravagant as you like.
Our top tip for putting an Advent calendar together is to first choose a theme (or, if you’d prefer, multiple themes) that suit your recipient. This makes brainstorming a breeze, and gives your loved one a little hint at what’s to come.
To help get you started, here are a few ideas that go beyond the usual sweets and disposable toys — although chocolates and candy are always very well-received, maybe sprinkle just a few in there.
Clementines, tiny jars of jam or honey, spices, tea bags, sample-sized coffees, olive oil, hot sauce, chocolates (of course!), dried fruits, cookies, restaurant gift certificates or reservations
Nail polish or nail stickers, lip gloss, bath bombs, fragrance samples, hair chalk, gift certificates to the spa or salon, hair ties, barrettes, make-up applicators
Matchbox cars, play dough, silly putty, surprise eggs, yo-yos, keychain pompoms or stuffed animals, bouncy balls, sticker sheets or rolls
Colored pencils, paint, clay, glitter, pompoms, lace, sequins, charms, beads, stamps, origami paper, paintbrushes, pin cushions
YOUNG READER GIFTS:
We’re certainly not the first to suggest it, but we do love this one: consider collecting books in a series or around a particular theme and wrapping them individually. Your bookworm can enjoy the thrill of a new story each day – and no calendar is needed!
Tuck in a clue for where to find each day’s gift. Or – and extra credit for this one – make each small gift a hint that leads up to the big Christmas gift reveal… A concert, a reservation at a favorite restaurant, or plans for a family vacation!
What are your favorite ways to fill an Advent calendar?
Ready to start planning for the season? Check out our collection of Christmas Decor and Advent Calendars.