The Ultimate Guide to Tiny Gifts: Creative Ways to Fill Up Your Advent Calendar

The Ultimate Guide to Tiny Gifts: Creative Ways to Fill Up Your Advent Calendar

Ashley Poskin
Nov 10, 2017
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Advent calendars have morphed into many different things over the years, from wall hangings with 24 tiny cardboard doors that open to reveal a piece of chocolate each day, to daily doses of web design tips, but the message is still the same: the countdown to Christmas is on! So if you're filling a calendar for your kids and find yourself bored with the basics, we've got a slew of options below —and many that aren't just "stuff." Check it out – and let us know what you'll be putting in your advent calendars this year.

Printable Coupons

Zero budget for your advent calendar? Coupons are the perfect gift. You can really go any direction with these: thoughtful, sweet, saucy – you name it!

  • Night drive to look at festive lights
  • Dinner at your favorite restaurant
  • Family movie night
  • Baking together
  • Craft day for DIY holiday decorations
  • Homemade pancakes for breakfast
  • S'mores over a campfire
  • Trip to visit Santa at the mall
  • Stay up past your bedtime
  • Caroling
  • Making snow angels
  • Ice skating
  • Breakfast in bed

Gift items

If you've got some cash to spend and are looking for lots of fun little surprises to fill your calendar with, we've got you covered. Just remember, you'll need 24 gifts so you might want to pick a few from our other lists that won't cost you anything.

Craft items

If your family dreams in glitter and glue, we made this list especially for you.

Meaningful gifts

Some of the best gifts can't be put into a box. We came up with a few ideas that are focused more on the reason for the season, from donating and volunteering, to sharing love and cheer.

  • A compliment or love note
  • Love tokens (hugs and kisses)
  • Joke/riddle
  • Donation token (gather up items to take to your local charity)
  • Pick out a gift for someone in need
  • Heifer International donation
  • Red Cross donation
  • Make a purchase to fund hurricane relief efforts
  • Donate to your local radio or public broadcasting station
  • Pay it forward in the coffee line
  • Family volunteer night at a local homeless shelter
  • Go on a walk and pick up litter
  • Family bake-a-thon (bake goodies and give them away to neighbors)
  • Outreach day: bring dinner and blankets to homeless
  • Volunteer at a local animal shelter
  • Visit a nursing or retirement home and spend time with residents

Do you have themed advent calendars? What else would you add to our list? Please share your ideas, we want to know!

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