Makers have gotten creative with Advent calendars, taking things beyond chalky chocolate, goofy socks, and LEGO characters. I’ve been searching for a new calendar to suit each kids’ interests this year, and I think I’ve started looking early enough to find the jackpot. Hope you have the same luck!
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Kim’s note: I try to keep this list updated but as December nears, these calendars do tend to sell out.
Choice of either biodegradable pyramid tea bags or traditional loose leaf, as well as the choice of blends for the calendar (Christmas seasonal blends, Breakfast blends, Caffeine Free or Supreme Single Origin).
This calendar serves up 24 days of heat in 12 fiery hot sauce flavors, including abanero, cayenne pepper, sriracha sauce, chipotle sauce, scorpion sauce, tabasco sauce, jalapeno, Naga Jolokia, Louisiana style sauce, Caribbean style, scotch bonnet and orange habanero hot sauce.
The official Lindt Advent calendar containing 24 truffles, including milk chocolate, white chocolate truffles, milk chocolate with hazelnut, white chocolate with strawberry & cream, milk chocolate coconut, swiss milk chocolate with caremal, and milk chocolate truffles with a white chocolate filling.
The Cabinet of Holiday Curiosities for those looking for something a little different this holiday season - I'm talking curious gifts focusing on unusual holiday customs, odd celebrations, and world-wide traditions on the creepier or quirkier side. For ages 10+.
The Advent calender has a minimum of 12 random, handmade miniatures (11 medium size and 1 large or huge), There are two options to choose from -- prepainted miniatures or unpainted miniatures.
Price: $65-$75 (Etsy)
DIY Advent calendars
I know some of you are crafty types, so making your own Advent calendar isn’t a stretch. I’ve done a 12 Days of Christmas Countdown, without all the pretty Etsy packaging, so it can be done on the cheap.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Small gifts either fitting a theme or just totally random. Advent calendars are typically 12 days or 24 days, though some are 25 days.
Omaha friends, you can find calendar fillers locally, and not just at the Target Dollar Spot.
Candy theme: Find small, individually-wrapped candy or novelty candy at Hollywood Candy in the Old Market. If you want artisan chocolates — I’m talking pieces so pretty you may not want to eat them — go to Chocolat Abeille in Bellevue or The Cordial Cherry at Shops of Legacy.
Food & drink theme: Beyond candy, look to places like The Asian Market near 76th and Dodge streets for truly unique snacks and foods. Got a coffee fan? A Hill of Beans in West Omaha sells 4 oz. bags of their roasts. The Village Grinder at Countryside Village also has small bags of coffee for sale. A hot cocoa bomb or two would also be a great item to include.
Locally-made theme: The obvious first stop should be one of the Made in Omaha locations, where they’ll have keychains, toffees, and all sorts of other small items that can be used. Etsy is my other go-to, whether you want a locally-made bookmark, pin, sticker or toy.