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10 Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas – Plus What to Put in the Drawers!

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If your family loves to keep track of how many days until Christmas morning, take a look at these 10 Christmas Advent Calendar ideas!

Christmas Time is upon us. We pulled all of our holiday decor out recently and have been really busy trying to get our home decorated! But, I must say, one of my kids’ favorite things about Christmas each year is our countdown to Christmas calendar.

Take a moment and pin this to your favorite Pinterest Christmas board so you can remember it later!

Evergreen garland and red and silver ornaments on white washed wood back drop with words "Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas, Plus suggestions of what to put inside the drawers!"

See more Christmas posts here!

I’ve included child specific Advent calendars as well as a few that adults will love, too. I’ve also provided ideas for special treats or other fun things to put inside the Advent calendar drawers!

Side Note / Confession: I got on a major Advent Calendar kick after trying to snag the Aldi wine calendar this year. Like the majority of people in America, I tried to get one early to no avail.

Our Aldi store opens at 9:00am. I was there at 9:08 and a gentleman working there said they passed out all of the tickets for the wine calendars (25) by a little after 8:00am. What!?!

Apparently people were in line over an hour before store opening to get this wine Advent calendar. They went like hot cakes!

Who knew?

If you want a wine Advent calendar, I suggest you make your own! Pinterest can likely give you lots of great ideas.

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Back to the family friendly Advent Calendars!

10 Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas for the Entire Family

  1. The Lego Advent Calendar is a great option for kids that love to build. There are a few different options to choose from, including one geared more towards girls.
  2. Pockets of Learning Merry Christmas Tree Advent Calendar is a great calendar that could be used year after year. It is made of fabric and has 24 small toys that are intended to be placed on the Christmas tree when opened.
  3. Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar is a magnetic tree with 25 magnets. Perfect for preschoolers or young school age children.
  4. Byers’ Choice Nativity Advent Calendar is a beautiful wooden nativity with 24 small doors within the manger scene to place your special Advent surprises.
  5. The Advent Storybook: 25 Bible Stories Showing Why Jesus Came. While this is not an actual calendar, it would be a great way to spend time talking with children about Jesus at bedtime. The true meaning of Christmas!
  6. The Advent Storybook: 25 Bible Stories Showing Why Jesus Came. While this is not an actual calendar, it would be a great way to spend time talking with children about Jesus at bedtime. The true meaning of Christmas!
  7. Holiday Advent Tea Calendar for Christmas, 24 Tea Days til’ Christmas, Countdown Calendar for Anyone on your List. If you are a tea lover, this is a perfect way to count down each day until that special morning!
  8. 12 Days of Christmas Gourmet Coffee Gift by Coffee City. While we are on the beverages theme, you need to take a look at the coffee countdown. If you are a coffee drinker, this will definitely give you something to look forward to each morning leading up to Christmas!
  9. Wooden Gingerbread House Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar 10.5 x 8 x 9.5. Put your own special treats in each tiny drawer.
  10. Sand Mine Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar (24 Drawers). Another option for adding your own treats to the small drawers.

What to put inside the drawers of the Advent Calendar?

As you likely noticed, some of the above calendars were all inclusive such as the Lego Advent Calendar. However, many of the Advent Calendars have empty drawers so they can be reused year after year.

The trouble with these is you have to have some level of creativity in deciding what to put inside the drawers!

I’ve got you covered!

These ideas are simple, but can help you fill up your calendar fairly quickly without spending a lot of money. Note, I did include a section of items that are more pricy as well.

You’ve got options;-)

FREE Items for Advent Calendars:

  • Hand written Bible scripture referring to your favorite part of the Christmas story. OR just a favorite Bible verse. ThoughtCo.com gathered some beautiful Christmas scriptures you might enjoy.
  • Invitation to watch a nostalgic Christmas movie. Use my guide to help select the perfect Christmas movie.
  • Write a funny Christmas joke the entire family might appreciate. Boys’ Life has some fun, family-friendly jokes!
  • A written prayer you’d like to pray over your family this holiday season. Crosswalk.com has some wonderful prayer ideas for families.
  • Christmas riddles from Humoropedia. Write out your favorite and fold to fit the drawer.
  • Invitation for family game night.

Low Cost Items for Advent Calendar drawers:

  • Small photo of something special for your family.
  • Written directions to a larger treat hidden somewhere else in your home.
  • Hard candy.
  • Chocolate.
  • Cash for something specific with a small note included.
  • Small Christmas ornament.

More Expensive Items for Advent Calendar:

  • Passes for the family to a local amusement park.
  • Gift card to a fun, local restaurant.
  • Movie Tickets.
  • Tickets to watch a production of A Christmas Carol in your city. If you aren’t sure where it’s playing, simply Google it!
  • Gift certificate to a store the entire family might enjoy – Good luck with that one as I know my family all seem to have very unique tastes! Alternatively, you could get a gift certificate for each person in the family to their favorite store. This would be a great way to get some holiday attire for Christmas parties!
  • Concert tickets.

Another Advent Calendar I love:

You’ve likely seen the next idea floating around FaceBook lately, but I really love it.

A Reverse Advent Calendar!

The idea is instead of receiving something each day, GIVING one item each day of the Advent Calendar instead.  Food banks would be an obvious place that could benefit from this gesture.

For more ideas for a Reverse Advent Calendar, take a look this recent post at Goodtoknow.co.uk.

Are your wheels turning, thinking of Christmas Advent Calendars that will fit your family perfectly?

I certainly hope so. Christmas Advent Calendars are great ways to get the family together, practice patience, and enjoy the anticipation of what tomorrow brings.

Do you have an Advent Calendar? If so, what do you include in yours?

Best of luck planning your Christmas Advent Calendar! I’m looking forward to getting mine together for our family!

Other Christmas Ideas:

See more gift and buying guides here!

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  1. These are such great ideas! I’ve been looking for non-candy or chocolate advent calendars—my son has enough energy! Will have to check these ourt

  2. We never really did Advent calendars growing up but since they have become so popular I love the concept.

  3. This is a great post April! I love your idea of reversing the calendar and giving. In the past few years I have mixed up little gifts with simple acts of kindness that my kids need to complete. I also like your ideas about activities to do as a family. I am going to check out that bible story advent calendar. I need to sit down and plan out our 25 advent days so will pin this to refer back to!

    1. Thanks, Jessica! Advent calendars do require a decent amount of planning ahead of time, but the family time is so worth it. My husband, kids, and I all put # 1-24 in a hat and draw an equal number of days. We are each responsible for filling the drawers on the days we draw. It’s a fun way to get the entire family involved!

  4. The Lego and gingerbread advent calendars are my favorites on your list. I also love the idea of a reverse advent calendar. That may be something we try this year!

  5. We love advent calendars in our house and our Elf on the Shelf always brings one each year for the kids. This year I’ve been looking for a non candy one for the kids and your post has so many great options. I especially like the lego one. That one is sure to be a hit. I might try the give a gift advent calendar for myself!

  6. I absolutely LOVE advent calendars and just last night I was looking for some ideas for this year. My kids usually want a traditional chocolate calendar, but last year I had an advent calendar for myself for the first time in years. I was super excited as it was a tea advent calendar similar to the one you shared above. It was a bit pricey so I’m trying to decide whether to splurge on one again this year. Thanks for all the great ideas!

    1. Thanks, Yolanda! I love them, too. I realize we have several Christmas countdowns at our home…maybe it’s me that loves them more so than my kiddos! Hope you find the perfect tea Advent calendar!

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