100 Unique and Special Advent Calendar Filler Ideas

Looking for some unique advent calendar filler ideas that aren’t chocolate or candy? Here are 100 ideas to inspire you this holiday season!

Every year my family loves our doing our advent calendars together. Over the years we have purchased pre-made ones but we also have a wooden advent calendar that we are able to fill ourselves year after year. It’s the perfect way to lead up to Christmas morning and get into the Christmas spirit.

Making your own advent calendar is a fun tradition leading up to Christmas day. Filling your advent calendar with small items is a great way to involve the whole family during the holiday season.

As much as we love a little bit of candy, chocolate, and sweet treats in our advent calendar, what other advent calendar filler ideas exist? I had the same questions so I brainstormed 100 unique and fun ideas to inspire you!

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advent calendar filler ideas

What is an advent calendar?

An advent calendar is a special calendar used to count down the days of Advent, which is the period leading up to Christmas. It typically starts on December 1st and ends on Christmas Eve, December 24th.

Advent calendars are traditionally used as a way to mark the time until Christmas and build anticipation for the holiday. Each day of Advent, a door or window on the calendar is opened to reveal a small gift or surprise.

Why do you fill an advent calendar?

There is no right or wrong way to fill an advent calendar, but many people choose to include small gifts or treats each day. This adds an extra element of excitement and fun leading up to Christmas.

100 Unique and Special Advent Calendar Filler Ideas

These ideas make the perfect advent calendar filler. They are all a great idea in my opinion and work great for reusable advent calendars!

DIY ornaments for each day that can be used to decorate your Christmas tree.

Miniature holiday-themed Lego sets for building a scene by the end of the month.

Scratch-off tickets with prizes such as hot cocoa packets, candy canes, or small toys.

Small puzzle pieces that can be put together to create a larger holiday-themed image.

Christmas cookie cutter for a fun baking activity each day.

Miniature bottles of essential oils for a relaxing and aromatic holiday season.

Personalized bookmarks with quotes from classic Christmas stories or songs.

Origami paper with instructions on how to make different holiday-themed figures.

Miniature hot sauce bottles for those who like a little heat in their meals.

Lip balm with festive flavors such as peppermint or gingerbread.

Whoopee cushion for some silly and unexpected laughs.

Friendship bracelets with holiday-themed colors and patterns.

Temporary tattoos featuring popular Christmas characters or symbols.

Miniature paint sets with holiday-themed images to create and hang up as decorations.

Scented candles in holiday scents like pine, cinnamon, or gingerbread.

Craft supplies that make some special Christmas magic.

Baking supplies to make Christmas cookies.

Collectible pins featuring different Christmas movies or songs.

Reusable hand warmer packs for those cold winter days.

Small jars of honey or jam from local farmers to support small businesses.

advent calendar filler ideas

Personalized keychains with holiday-themed charms or messages.

Miniature succulent plants for a festive touch of greenery in your home.

Handmade soap bars in holiday scents and shapes.

Small bottles of nail polish in festive colors for a holiday manicure.

Donation to a charity or non-profit organization in the recipient’s name.

Personalized jewelry pieces with initials or special messages for your loved ones.

Miniature books featuring classic Christmas stories or poems.

Fortune cookies with holiday-themed fortunes inside.

Scratch-off world map to mark all the places you’ve visited or want to visit during the holiday season.

Magnetic poetry kit with holiday-themed words and phrases for creative writing.

Miniature photo frames with pictures of cherished holiday memories.

DIY snow globe kits with mini figurines and glitter inside.

Handmade coasters featuring festive designs or images.

Small packs of tea in holiday flavors such as cinnamon, gingerbread, or peppermint.

Miniature sewing kits for quick fixes on holiday outfits.

Stickers of different Christmas characters or symbols to decorate gifts and cards.

Customized phone cases with holiday-themed designs or pictures.

Magnetic bookmarks featuring popular Christmas movies or songs.

Miniature board games such as tic-tac-toe or checkers for a fun game night.

Personalized luggage tags for those traveling during the holiday season.

Miniature bottles of hand sanitizer in festive scents like cranberry or evergreen.

DIY bath bomb with holiday-themed colors and fragrances.

Small notebooks with holiday-themed covers for journaling or doodling.

Collectible figurines of popular Christmas characters or scenes.

Miniature bags of gourmet popcorn in holiday flavors like caramel or peppermint.

Handmade knit hats or scarves for those chilly winter days.

Packets of flower seeds to plant in the spring and watch them grow.

Fortune telling fish that curl up or move when placed in someone’s palm.

Customized mugs with holiday-themed designs or messages for sipping on hot cocoa.

Finger puppets featuring different Christmas characters for storytelling and playtime.

Personalized phone grips with holiday designs or images.

Miniature packs of playing cards in festive colors and designs.

lighting an advent wreath

Handmade keychains made with beads or charms in holiday colors and shapes.

Energy bars or granola bars for a quick and healthy snack on-the-go during the busy holiday season.

Small packs of stickers with holiday-themed quotes or messages.

Miniature packs of hot cocoa mix with marshmallows for a warm and cozy drink.

Personalized magnets featuring family photos or holiday memories to decorate the fridge.

DIY bath salt kits with holiday scents like peppermint or cranberry.

Handmade bookmarks with tassels or ribbons in festive colors.

Lip balm with SPF protection for those sunny winter days on the slopes.

Miniature bottles of bubble bath in holiday scents like cinnamon or cranberry.

Customized water bottles with holiday-themed designs for staying hydrated during busy activities.

DIY terrarium kits with miniature holiday figurines and decorations.

Personalized candles with scents and messages chosen specifically for the recipient.

Self-watering planters to keep plants thriving even during busy holiday travels.

Miniature bags of gourmet nuts in festive flavors like cinnamon sugar or gingerbread.

Miniature bottles of hand lotion in holiday scents like peppermint or gingerbread.

Wooden puzzle featuring a festive holiday image to challenge and entertain.

Customized reusable tote bags with holiday-themed designs for eco-friendly shopping.

Handmade hair accessories with holiday colors and designs.

Miniature packs different flavored syrups for a customizable drink.

DIY candle making kits with holiday scents like evergreen or cranberry orange.

Small bottles of essential oils in holiday scents like peppermint or frankincense.

Customized water bottles with motivational holiday quotes for staying active during the winter.

Miniature packs of gum or mints with festive packaging and flavors.

Mini camera keychain featuring your own custom photo.

DIY cookie mix kits in festive jars with layered ingredients and instructions.

Personalized travel wallets for keeping important documents organized during holiday trips.

Mini Brands Make It Mini Food kit.

Organize a holiday scavenger hunt.

A family bucket list.

Polymer clay stud holiday earrings.

Gift cards to their favorite stores.

Personalized and handmade mini stocking ornament.

Handmade jewelry with holiday colors, symbols, or motifs.

DIY hot chocolate kits in cute mugs with marshmallows and toppings included.

Customized phone cases with holiday designs or monograms for a personal touch.

Handmade scarves or shawls with cozy and festive patterns for staying warm during the holidays.

Mini beauty products to try.

Christmas activities for the whole family to partake in (for example, making festive hot chocolate).

kids and an advent calendar

Here are some tips to help fill your advent calendar:

Filling an advent calendar can be a fun and creative way to spread holiday cheer. Here are some tips to consider before filling an empty advent calendar for Christmas time:

  1. Plan Ahead:
    • Decide what theme or concept you want for your advent calendar. It could be based on chocolates, small gifts, activities, or a combination of these.
  2. Variety:
    • Mix it up with a variety of items. For example, if it’s a gift-based calendar, include small toys, trinkets, chocolates, or even handwritten notes.
  3. Consider the Recipient:
    • Think about who the calendar is for. If it’s for a child, you might want to include small toys or candies. If it’s for an adult, consider things they enjoy, like small accessories, skincare products, or even personalized messages.
  4. Budget:
    • Set a budget for the calendar. It can be easy to overspend, especially if you’re buying 24 items. Be mindful of your spending.
  5. Size of Compartments:
    • Consider the size of the compartments. Ensure that the items you choose fit comfortably within each space.
  6. Seasonal Treats:
    • Include some items that are specifically related to the holiday season. This could be holiday-themed chocolates, ornaments, or small decorations.
  7. Activities and Experiences:
    • Instead of physical items, consider including activities or experiences. This could be things like “movie night”, “bake cookies together”, or “take a walk to see the holiday lights”.
  8. Handmade Gifts:
    • If you’re crafty, consider making some of the items yourself. Handmade gifts often have a special touch.
  9. Personalized Messages:
    • Include small notes or messages. These could be inspirational quotes, compliments, or personalized messages related to the day.
  10. Healthy Options:
    • If you’re mindful of health, consider adding small, healthy snacks or treats like dried fruits, nuts, or protein balls.
  11. Wrapping and Presentation:
    • Wrap each item individually to add an element of surprise. You can use wrapping paper, small bags, or even tissue paper.
  12. Spread Out the Goodies:
    • Consider the distribution of items. For example, you might want to alternate between small treats and more substantial gifts.

Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and put thought into each item. There is no one “right way” to do an advent calendar. Make it special by choosing little gifts and unique ideas that are meaningful for your family members! An advent calendar is a wonderful way to show someone you care and spread holiday joy.

Final Thoughts on Advent Calendar Filler Ideas

So there you have it, 100 unique and thoughtful gift ideas for the holiday season! From handmade items to personalized gifts, these options are sure to bring joy to your loved ones and make their holidays even more special.

The best part of making your own diy advent calendar is that you can really customize it

Whether you’re looking for something small or extravagant, there’s something on this list for everyone. I hope yuou have so much fun with these advent calendar gift ideas. Enjoy the Christmas season and happy gifting!

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.

Website: genthirty.com