Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the gathering season

Well it's here. It's offically the gathering season. That special time of year when I start to gather up all the little gifts for the kid's advent calendar. Tis' the season that I love so much.  I'm constantly on the hunt for small, inexpensive tokens to fill each day in December.  Sometimes it's sweets. Other times I find little trinkets like a yo-yo or lip balm.

Every door in our advent calendar contains a little note. A cryptic messages as to where the children might find their treasure.

This year I am using my Girl's Loft kit to make each gift special.

Do you have an advent calendar in your family?  Here's some ideas of small gifts you can get to fill the days:

lip balm
cocoa mix
chocolate gold coins (gelt)
christmas socks
silly putty
Cracker Jacks
movie tickets
character band-aids (my kids love these)
trading cards
animal crackers
friendship bracelets
fun pencils
Hot Wheels
Crayola tub tints
bouncy ball
candy canes
bottled soda
sprinkles and cookie cutters
card game
craft kit
Christmas DVD
gingerbread house kit
bubble bath

Check the dollar bins and Target and Michael's.  They always have a bunch of fun stuff. Also, coupons for ice cream go over well in our house.

You got some ideas? Let's hear them! Like I said before, I'm on the hunt.

I also used my Girl's Loft kit to create a paper Santa to stand sentry at the advent calendar.  We have some sneaky kids in this family.

The November kit is full of The Girls' Paperie "Tinsel & Twig" line.  If you buy a kit and you would like to make your own paper Santa, email me and I'll send you the pattern.


Sheri (Aunt Re Re) said...

Oh my goodness, that Santa is the cutest! I'm amazed at your creativity! Your packages are so adorable too!

Erika said...

Thanks for the ideas. The advent calendar is one of my kids favorite things about Christmas. Now that they are getting older I put a scripture about Christ on a little strip of paper in each day and they read the scripture before getting their prize. They take turns doing this each day. I do mostly a piece of candy or gum because it's inexpensive. In the past I've done the rubbery CTR rings, jelly bracelets, and hot wheels. For the last day, there is no prize. Just a scripture and a little tiny plastic baby (from craft store) that I put "swaddling" clothes on. Makes advent more special.

Kari said...

I've finally got my advent put together for this year--just six short years after the boy joined us. Not anything like your fabulous cabinet, but a quilt with pockets will have to do. Thanks for the great ideas on filling them . . . just copied your list and sent it to my phone for shopping.

Stephanie said...

Our advent lists look strikingly similar! I add a few notes that I can move around as our schedule changes like - go find the perfect Christmas tree, watch Polar Express, find a game to donate to Toys for Tots, etc. Thanks for the nudge to get it done soon!

lorie said...

Dang, that is cute, April. I love the Santa. But most of all, I LOVE advent calendars. One of my most favorite parts of Christmas. You do the cutest things!

Leslee said...

I so love your Santa. Great job!
Currently collecting goodies for my grandbabies advent calendar. Last year was the first year for them. Glad to find you list of things to add to it.

Leslee in MT

Elizabeth said...

chocolate kisses!

emily said...

after seeing this, i have decided i am ordering my kit today. would love the santa pattern. thanks! my email is

bethany said...

Such a sweet advent calendar! :)

Oddly enough, I'm actually putting together an advent calendar for my guy, who is in Iraq. I, too, hit the dollar section at Target! I also took a little trip to my local dollar store, which was DRIPPING with cute ideas! So many fun little brain games, puzzles and holiday treats that I know he'll love. :)

But you've just made me realize that I'm in desparate need of baker's twine to finish these packages off! :)

Nash said...

where did you get that advent box? i want one.

JENNY K. said...

Your work is always so lovely! I really appreciate the way your mind works and how you create.

laurie said...

Wow, that Santa is so stinking cute! Love the things you can make with paper, I have an advent calendar that looks like yours and I also love to fill it with stuff, can't wait for December to get here, love, love, love the holidays!!

Jen said...

This paper Santa is wonderful! I will need to buy a kit just to get the pattern. My mom (and now me to a lesser degree) collects Santas. Each year the hunt is on for something she doesn't have... it's getting so hard! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have the Santa for 2010!
We don't have an advent calendar yet, but I think I'll need to start doing one this year. My son is 5 now and he knows Christmas is coming. :)
Thank you for sharing!

april said...

I bought the advent calendar from Restoration Hardware a few years back. They might still carry them so check.

Relyn said...

I love this idea and how beautiful you always make everything.

A.HOLLAND.ETC. said...


thank you for the advent gift idea. I decide to incorporate our version, inspired by you, into our home this year. jared and I ha a blast picking out small treasures. and it is such a joy to see how happy our kids really do get over character bandages. thanks for sharing. I look forward to the tradition growing and evolving with the years!!


Anonymous said...

I just saw your Santa on Brain Things blog - I love it - is it possible to still get the pattern? I collect homemade Santas and this one is so adorable. If it is possible, please email to Thanks either way for your inspiration! Happy New Year.