Note To Self: Start Advent Calendar in November!

I realize it’s a little ridiculous to be posting this so late, but maybe make notes for next year…

It’s the morning of December 3rd and I just finished putting the advent calendar together. This is the one tradition my kids will NEVER let me slack on and they were good sports -opening the first 3 bags separate from the whole display.

I started this advent when the kids were bitty. I made simple little bags from scrap fabric I had and used random pieces of ribbon to cinch the tops closed. The bags are numbered with basic string price tags with vintage Bingo numbers glued on.

In the beginning, the bags hung from clothespins attached to an old crinkly-wire metal garden gate hung on the wall. The last several years I’ve attached them to the clips of an old red Tom’s Chips counter display. These can also be clotheslined from a beautiful long ribbon stretching along the wall or hidden among the ornaments of your tree.

On the first of December, my kids roll the dice to dictate the order of daily bag opening. Whoever’s turn it is to open the bag gets first pick of the items inside (which can differ from color, style, flavor, etc.) and then delves out the other two gifts. Once the bag is open, the ribbon, number tag and bag are placed in a little vintage bowl next to the calendar.

It’s getting a lot harder to find tiny age-appropriate gifts that will fit 3 to a bag now that the kids area pre-teens, so I’ve had to supplement several actual gifts with candy, (they never seem to mind.) And buying 3 gifts per bag times 24 bags gets pretty costly, so some days it’s a big ticket item* and most others its just candy. I won’t divulge the specific contents of this years bags, because little you-know-who’s read my blog, but here are some goodies they’ve found in the past:

  • Individually wrapped candy such as truffles, sugar bubblegum (it’s sugarless the rest of the year!), candy-store fun candy, etc.
  • *Starbucks card
  • A set of magnet toys from one larger set broken up into random bags
  • Little office supplies or art supplies (The office supply store is a great source)
  • A dollar each
  • Tech Decks (tiny skateboard toys)
  • Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars
  • Keychains
  • Mini flashlights
  • Mint tins
  • Button badges
  • Jewelry
  • Dice
  • Marbles
  • Tops
  • Chinese jump ropes
  • Lego figures
  • Mechanical Pencils, Cool Pens
  • Fun erasers
  • Stickers
  • Silly Putty
  • Mini Ornaments (They each have mini trees for their rooms)
  • Army guys
  • Tiny sets of playing cards
  • Little wind-up toys
  • Bouny balls
  • A note leading them to where a larger item (that wouldn’t fit in the bag) is hidden

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