This is something we started last year. Hubby and I noticed that all the small gifts we carefully chose and wrapped for the kid’s stocking were, not ignored really, more like overshadowed, by the bigger gifts on Christmas morning. Who could blame them really? A bookmark or some lip balm really can’t stand up to the latest video game or that sweater you really wanted. The Advent box was an attempt to remedy that.
We decided that we wanted to have a gift opened everyday in December but to give everyone a gift every day was going to be expensive. Luckily our family of five divides nicely into the days before Christmas (with one day where hubby and I both open one) so we decided we would get five gifts for each person and alternate opening them. I like this because 1. it lasts all month, 2. it lends a bit of anticipation to things and 3. it lets everyone have the spotlight (and not have it).
Here is the nitty gritty:
1. Gift prices range from $1-$5 with most being $2 and under,
2. In order to differentiate one person’s gifts from another we each have a different wrapping paper.
3. No food (candy and treats are for stockings)
These are just our family’s rules, you certainly can make your own or forgo them altogether! I think guidelines are helpful though so you don’t get one person receiving $10 gifts and others $1.
Now I had to come up with the Advent box itself.
Basically I started by wrapping an open box in wrapping paper. I chose a red paper with tiny white polka dots.
This is last year’s box so it’s a little worse for wear but you get the idea. The unwrapped inside doesn’t matter as you will see soon.
Next you take some of that fake snow “fabric” that is typically used under trees…
and place it into the box so it lines the inside.
There will be some hanging over the sides and that’s OK.
I have to fold my piece of snow fabric in half to make it fit right but you may not have too. It all depends on how big your box is.
I don’t attach the snow at all, but you certainly can if you like. If you want to do that I suggest waiting until after you put the gifts in because they will pull the fabric down a bit.
Next you wrap your gifts…
and stick those puppies in the box!
I like to use paper with all different colors, but you could easily use a color scheme if you like.
and I love these little bows! I got them at Walmart for about $1 for a tube of five.
We have a lot of fun with this! It really makes you think when you have a small budget. Sometimes the gifts lean toward white elephant while other times you really score (like with the black Friday $1.97 DVDs this year).
One of my son’s favorite gifts last year was a set of Angry Birds lip balm. Some other ideas are hand lotion, glade candles, holiday socks, lip gloss, small bottles of booze (for me and hubby), bookmarks, fancy hair elastics (we are a family of cheerleaders after all), dollar tree mugs, colored or holiday pencils and small tools.
Whatever you choose, every gift gets appreciated, and that’s the whole idea!