What non-food item should I put in my Advent calendar
November 10, 2009 5:28 PM   Subscribe

What non-food item should I put in my wooden advent calendar?

This particular calendar is 18x15 inches. Candy is out. I am looking for a funky, reusable holiday item to put inside. What non-food item do you put in your Advent calendar? Where do I find collections of 24 funky holiday themed items that fit in a small cubby hole?
posted by crazycanuck to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Silver charms?
posted by fire&wings at 5:34 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

How deep is it? Can you get a Smurf in there?
posted by GuyZero at 5:35 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]

Lego bricks or people?
posted by advicepig at 5:39 PM on November 10, 2009

Our advent calendar (felt and pins) has pennies, bells, and all manner of hand-sewn holiday imagery. I think it would be nifty to work some of the "12 days of Christmas" gifts in, such as 5 linked 'gold' rings.

Another idea that ties into the theme of the calendar-

Buy some walnuts. Carefully open them up, remove (eat) the nut, put a trinket inside, reseal the nut (hot glue? super glue?) On each day, crack a nut, and take out the trinket!
posted by potch at 5:46 PM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]

+ to walnut idea.

Snap-together locket/ring pair
Tiny nutcracker figure
Miniature Santa Sack
Tied scroll filled with holiday wishes
Small vial of evergreen oil/other aromatic scent
Festive bottle opener

posted by Khazk at 6:22 PM on November 10, 2009

We have a cloth pocket calendar and do the quarter and dollar coin thing. Not terribly original, I know.

If I had time I'd finish an idea I had where each pocket contained something that helped to get the item in the next one; e.g. a small magnet which is used to pull out a miniature screwdriver, which is used to open a little case, which holds... I don't know, but you can see how the sequence would go. Someone with more mechanical or electronics knowledge could finish the job and make this challenging and fun.

Or to flip it on its head, each window could have a piece of a jigsaw photo.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 6:22 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

'jigsaw photo puzzle,' that is.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 6:23 PM on November 10, 2009

Hie thee unto a bead store. They have so many little, funky things, and I'll bet they'd have some holiday-themed stuff if that's what you need.

Also: Here is a cheery red marble. It also happens to be a representation of the planet Mars.
posted by amtho at 6:32 PM on November 10, 2009

Those funky little Wade china animals from the Red Rose Tea boxes.
posted by media_itoku at 7:33 PM on November 10, 2009

We had a non-candy advent calendar when I was a kid that had a tiny Christmas tree ornament in each box - ours were little wooden angels (we lost the calendar somewhere along the line, but a number of the ornaments make an appearance every year.) This was the most fun when/if the tree was already up so we could immediately hang the ornaments each day (otherwise they got displayed on a window ledge, if I recall.)
posted by heyforfour at 8:22 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

I don't know why I didn't think of ornaments! That's perfect, it gives my daughter something to do with the trinkets once they are out.
posted by crazycanuck at 8:30 PM on November 10, 2009

Small dreidels.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:15 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

I was going to say coins, but its already been said. It could be any kind. Old, new, foreign, commemorative, etc. What about those pretty stones that are smoothed and polished. I think they are sometimes used for crafts and home made jewelry.

The walnut thing is something I actually did one year. I put the glued-back-together "nut" in the family stockings. I folded up a large paper bill ( money) and sealed it inside. It worked out kind of neat, but keep your eye on the ones opening it. They might just throw it away.
posted by Taurid at 11:22 PM on November 10, 2009

I posted this AskMe question when I was trying to think of things to put into our wood advent calendar a few years ago, and there were a number of great responses.
posted by booknerd at 8:26 AM on November 11, 2009

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