Today, they’ve become a fun way for kids and adults alike to count down the days in December — and they offer you a chance to add to the holiday excitement by providing loved ones with a small daily treat leading up to the Big Day.
Giving children chocolate advent calendars is a great holiday tradition to start; kids open a little paper door with the date on it to get a piece of chocolate candy every day — and they love it! Calendars are widely available at major retailers and grocery stores for less than $5 each.
I first heard about chocolate advent calendars from a 27-year-old family friend whose mother gave one to him each year — and he passed his calendar on that year to my toddler son!
Although people usually give advent calendars to children, the gift-a-day concept is also ideal for adults. It’s especially thoughtful when someone moves away from home or to a new city, has a traumatic life event (breakup, job loss, illness, etc.) or isn’t able to make it home for the holidays.
Preparing an adult advent calendar for someone to open every day through Dec. 25 lets him or her know that he’s thought of and loved every day in December (and all year round).
And putting together a gift-a-day treat can be as much fun for the person giving the gift as for the one receiving it!
Last year, my son and his wife spent their first Christmas season in a new town, away from where they both grew up. So I searched on Pinterest for adult advent container ideas, and ordered several dozen white take-out boxes inexpensively on amazon.com. Then I typed and printed numbers and glued them and red sheets of paper on, decorating the boxes to match the Pinterest photos.
(You can also simply wrap gifts and number them for each day, or choose other types of containers, depending on the size and type of the gifts you plan to buy.)
I had a lot of fun shopping for items that (1) were small enough to fit partially or completely in the boxes (2) generally cost $5 or less and (3) would be useful for one or both of them. (I was a little off on estimating the box size when choosing gifts and ended up wrapping quite a few of them and tying them with a string to the boxes — so my advice would be to get the biggest take-out boxes you can find, just in case!) And I ended up buying quite a few gift cards, too — which easily fit in the boxes and were probably their favorite presents!
The photos below show my “gifts of the day” (except missing Day 13) and will hopefully give you ideas for fun and practical treats you can buy for your loved ones if you decide to do an adult advent calendar this year.
#13 is missing! Sorry…
Check this new blog post for 21 additional adult advent calendar gift ideas!
Holiday blog posts: