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Using an Advent Calendar to count down the days of
December is a long-standing holiday tradition that, along with putting a wreath
on my front door and threatening my children with the Elf on the Shelf, is one
more thing I'll probably forget to do until it's nearly Christmas Eve.
Originally, the purpose of Advent was to highlight
a period of pious reflection on the birth of Christ, which was achieved by
revealing different Bible verses or religious pictures each day of the holiday.
However, the modern Advent Calendar serves primarily to—note by note, gift by
gift, sugary treat by sugary treat—remind our kids that NO, IT ISN'T
CHRISTMAS YET BUT LOOK IT'S GETTING CLOSER SO PLEASE STOP ASKING.
These days, the most important part of the
tradition, aside from ensuring that you've lovingly crafted the calendar
itself from an impossible-to-replicate picture you saw on Pinterest, is
selecting the gifts to go inside. I've noticed that many Advent Calendar
inspiration lists lean either toward the overly extravagant (sorry kids, but
you're not getting diamond-encrusted charm bracelets for 24 days in a row) or
toward the overly antiquated (even a tragically un-hip mom such as myself knows
that no real-life child is going to play with a top in the 21st century).
That's why I've put together these lists of realistic Advent items for kids of different ages—gifts that won't break the bank and that your children will actually appreciate! Tuck one of these goodies
behind each door of your Advent Calendar and watch the beautiful magic of the
season get dragged out over the course of the entire month of December (much
to your children's delight).
Realistic Advent Calendar Gifts for Toddlers
1. Mommy's lipstick
2. A Sharpie
3. Permission to wear diapers for life
4. Loose change found in a parking lot (to be
5. 24-hour Dora marathon
6. Your smartphone
11. Chocolate candy
12. Tissues that haven't been wadded up in Mom's purse
13. A handful of pebbles (for inserting into nose)
14. Something to throw
15. Something to flush
16. ALL THE KITTIES
17. A sucker from the bank
18. Their favorite shirt, which you heartlessly took away because it was
size 6-12 months and cut off the circulation to their arms
19. Magical plastic fork that never dares to be the wrong color