The Advent Calendar is one of my most anticipated Christmas traditions. It’s a fun and festive way to celebrate the holiday season and one that any age can enjoy, including adults.
I began our Advent Calendar tradition about 8 years ago, the 1st Christmas after beginning my career as a flight attendant. I was away from home so much I wanted a way for the girls and I to feel connected even though we were in different cities. The little daily gifts counting down to Christmas are my sweet little surprises to show my love and to share in making every day leading to Christmas special. The anticipation of each gift brings them such pleasure.
In the beginning the calendar I used was small and made from paper. I think I got it from Ikea? It had little cubes just big enough for a chocolate kiss or tiny bottle of nail polish. May and Xia LOVED even the smallest tokens of affection. As they grew older I wanted a larger reusable calendar. I found my current one at Pottery Barn and it’s PERFECT. Sadly, Pottery Barn no longer carries this version, but I’ve shared some other great options below.
Advent Calendar Ideas
Advent Gift Ideas for Teen Girls
The 3 gifts I always do from year to year include:
- $5 dollar bills & candies; by the 24th they each get $50 bucks and enough candy to give them a cavity!
- Gift Cards: $5-$10 valued cards to a variety of places, usually food
- Notes detailing an activity like baking cookies or decorating the Christmas tree. With my busy travel schedule, the girls and I really cherish our Christmas activities.
Here are some other Advent gift ideas I have added in the past that are great for Teen Girls:
- Victoria Secret Christmas undies
- Inexpensive Jewelry from Dogeared
- Tickets to see Lion King
- Small beauty items like Glossier Balms or Essie polishes
- Hair Cuts
- Movie date
Advent Calendar Gift Ideas
You can adjust the gifts for age appropriateness and of course they must fit in the Advent calendar.
Advent Calendar Tips:
Some years I fill in the calendar before December 1st and some years I sorta go along daily adding the gifts, it all depends on my work schedule. I randomly fill the month in with the $5’s first. Then I add in the activities based on the days that I’m home this way I can plan for us to do something like bake cookies. Honestly, doing a daily adding is easiest. Usually the last 2 weeks of November I’m running around try to prep all the Advent stuff often time in another city while in my hotel room…it gets a little crazy!!!
I like to build up the gifts, like I don’t jump it off with 3rd row tickets to Lion King. I save the good stuff for like the 23rd or 24th if possible.
The best things about the Advent is it’s not about the money you spend, but on the thought and care you put into each individual item. Maybe you wrap your gifts with hand painted paper you did yourself; even if there’s a chocolate inside it will be the BEST chocolate because of the love you put into the packaging. If you’re like me it’s so much fun coming up with different ways to wrap or tribute each day. Like this year, all the notes with activities will be hand written (of course) on a 5”x7” note card then rolled up like a little scroll then tied to a candy cane. I mean truly the presentation is all for my pleasure, the girls know how happy it makes Mommy! OMG I cannot tell you how much I love coordinating all the wrapping from year to year.
For the past 3 years I’ve bought my wrapping paper from Target. Actually, I use tissue paper. It’s so much easier and cheaper. I use the same twine from year to year, some I got from Paper Source or I’ve even used kitchen twine which we have loads of!
Gift Wrapping Preparation tips:
- Pre-cut all wrapping that will be repeated. For example, I cut the paper into squares large enough for each folded $5 dollar bill and whatever candy I’m wrapping with it. Trust me after like the 5th or 6th little package I’m like chanting this is fun…I love my girls…this is fun…I love me girls!
- Pre-cut twine lengths as well
- AND lock the door when you’re prepping! The surprise is half the gift…and twice as fun!!!
Most of all, enjoy creating wonderful memories with you family. Also, I’d love if you tag me on Insta with your own Advent calendar photos!