We have now arrived at one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Advent! For practical reasons I love advent season because I don't have to drag my kids out of bed, they hurry down to open each little pocket. Also, it's has become a bit of a personal tradition of mine to set aside part of a day to shop for what goes inside. (You can see some past advent fillers in this post, as well as get some filler ideas.) I just grab a coffee and head out looking. We are still using the hanging advent calendar I made for the kids a few years ago. There have been last minute advents that have graciously filled in, but the hanging one is the permanent one. Its a fun challenge for me to find tiny things that will actually fit in the pockets (I swear I could put a frozen pea in their and they would ooh and aah over it, they just love the tiny part of it.)
A favorite local store is Top Ten Toys, they have a section full of small party favor type toys that I have completely gone through in years past. I also love getting a few funny things at Archie McPhee's (bacon flavored mints anyone?). I also mix in some advent "experiences" again, we'll set aside one night to drive around and look at the Christmas lights, or pick a Christmas movie and have popcorn, or go downtown to Seattle Center to see the huge model train. Christmas Eve's advent has always been new pjs. Here's some of what's going in the pockets this year:
Arrowheads, amethyst rocks, double dice
Straw ornaments, plastic zoo animal rings
There will also be decorating gingerbread houses, a couple of suprise small Lego sets, stickers, and whatever else I can think of.
What can you think of that's super tiny and fun? I'm still looking for to fill a few more pockets! Wish I had a couple of those gold dollar coins (maybe I'll check at the bank tomorrow, maybe they have a couple in the back vault).
Here are my favorite advent calendars-
Kathleen's printable/magnetic one is so genius.
a felt version at Purl Patchwork
Rosa's advent from 2005 is still one of my all-time favorites.
I *love* the Kaffe Fasset colors and fabrics in this one.
Leslie's is so bright.
I am thinking I may make another advent of sorts, a quilted version, really more to add decoration than actual advent. The holiday fabrics this year are so lovely, Kathy has Michael Miller Christmas fabrics that are kind of awesome.
Happy Advent everyone!
Edited to add- Grace has just put up an amazing list of advent ideas here.