Thursday, October 11, 2012

Things to Put in an Advent Calendar

Inexpensive Ideas for creating/filling a special Advent Calendar....
Doesn't it seem like kids are totally bombarded on Christmas by expensive gifts?
Why not create a unique, more personal experience that the child can savor for weeks on end?!
And best yet, it doubles as decoration and gives you a reason to live through yet another winter day...

But for many people, it is quite hard to think of 25 different little gift ideas, especially ones that don't involve cavities and don't end up costing more than a trip to Disneyland. Plus, for most advent calendars, items need to be teeny tiny (but items that poke out are lots of fun, too!) Think of gifts as really small stocking sutffers...
Here are some of my ideas, give me yours!

I. Candy
II. Non-Candy!
-stickers (get a bigger pack and break it apart and cut it up to fill more than one calendar)
-fake tattoos
-a love note (even if the child cannot yet read, many pre-schoolers love to have notes read to them from people they loved. And of course then it goes into their memory box!)
-coloring sheets (break apart a coloring book or print free ones from the net!)
-x-mas ordiments for the tree
-tiny vintage figurines! (a Swedish friend stashed some in my son's advent calendar and we had loads of fun hiding it throughout the house and playing "warm...cold...bird, fish, or sea?" We even named them!)
-x-mas socks (maybe divide up the pair)
-toy cars (break up a bigger pack to get them cheaper or better yet get them at a car boot!)
-'coupons' for a special thing, like an extra-long story time, or even a trip out ice-skating, or what not! The advantage is since you know which day it will be you can plan it ahead on your calendar!
-yummy chapstick!
-crayons, markers (one per day?) or tiny pots of playdough. Have you tried those markers that draw on windows?
-trading cards

Have you seen the Lego or Playmobil advent calendars where everyday the child receives a piece of the final project that they will finally be able to make on Christmas?
Why not create your own?
Some themes:
-a jewelry project- you could include beads and tools
-a scrapbooking project
-get a pack of his/her favorite toys such as Little Pet Shop where there are a thousand little pieces and divide those up! Better even still, get them at a garage sale!
-puzzle pieces (break them up into logical lots so that everyday you can work on parts of the puzzle)
-gingerbread house supplies! Gumdrops, candy canes, the works!
-a treasure map with clues!

Why not break the cycle of receiving and give the gift of giving with a Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar? In each day have a paper with an idea of a random act of kindness the child or teen can go out and do to spread Christmas cheer...Code Name: Mama has some great ideas on this.

Or make an activity calendar where everyday there is an idea of something holiday to do like making cookies, going to see Santa, Christmas karaoke, etc! The Organised Housewife even has some ready you can just print off!

Now let's talk adults...
-miniature alcohol bottles
-lottery tickets
-$5 gift certificates to their favorite joints
-chapstick, winter socks, anything x-masy that you can find at the checkout of the grocery store (good thing I'm here with all of these amazing ideas...)
-sexy undies?
Ok I'm done.
Except I'm not.

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