Tiny Advent Gifts
November 12, 2013 8:29 PM   Subscribe

I made my boyfriend an advent calendar for Christmas and I'm looking for tiny (but quality!) gifts to fill it!

There are 24 boxes, each about an inch tall, mostly circular, about 3 inches in diameter. So far, I've filled some with collar stays, fancy salts, fun magnets. I'm looking for more tiny, but useful gift ideas. Ideas for notes, activities, etc. are also welcome. There are a few other advent-style questions here, but they are mostly old, and I'm sure there are many other cool gizmos available now!

This guy likes thrifting, furniture restoration, being a vegetarian lawyer, and movies and TV. Any and all ideas for useful, cute, but TINY gifts are welcome!
posted by brynna to Grab Bag (26 answers total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I received a miniature brass fly reel measuring tape a few Christmases ago and I use it all the time. (It fits on a keychain.) Mine is exactly like this one--it's from Restoration Hardware. They don't sell them online; you have to go to the store. You can get (IMO) slightly less nice-looking ones from Wright & McGill.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:40 PM on November 12, 2013 [4 favorites]

Saffron (the cooking spice) is expensive and sometimes comes in tiny tins - might look in a gourmet store for one of these.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:43 PM on November 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

when i think of advent calendars i think of chocolate. how about some fair trade thin mints or chocolate xmas trees from divine chocolate?
posted by wildflower at 8:47 PM on November 12, 2013

Best answer: Mini Lego sets (take them out of the box - the bag of bricks will fit).
posted by headnsouth at 8:49 PM on November 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: a novelty USB drive (full of something neat)?
posted by The otter lady at 8:49 PM on November 12, 2013

Best answer: Pocketknife? Spyderco makes knives; here's one of their folding keychain knives that is about 2.5" when closed.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:51 PM on November 12, 2013

Silly Lego figurines come to mind for me, especially if your BF used to play with Legos when he was a kid.

Or an adult. I am an adult and I love Legos. Just saying.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 8:53 PM on November 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

Nails or tacks for furniture restoration projects? That might be cute.
posted by k8lin at 9:01 PM on November 12, 2013

Best answer:
  • cuff links
  • fancy chocolate
  • home made candy like caramel or a macaroon (with the rest of the batch somewhere nearby)
  • finger puppet(s)
  • event tickets rolled up
  • a funny or cute poem
  • tiny tiny little soaps (pre de provence makes little ones, but I've only ever seen them in boutiques)
  • knobs for drawer pulls if he's restoring something with drawers. One might not fit in your box, but maybe.
  • tiny g-string panties in your size if you are into that kind of undergarment would probably fit if you wadded them up really tight
  • a nutmeg
  • little usb key

posted by bilabial at 9:29 PM on November 12, 2013

Mini pack of sugru! The smaller packs should fit. So cool and so useful.

Archie McPhee has cute little toys - mini etch-a-sketch or Rubik's cube, funny bandages and that sort of thing.

Keychain. Cufflinks.

These reusable mesh bags are awesome for grocery shopping. They squish down into nothing.

Nice set of carabiners.
posted by barnone at 9:33 PM on November 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

Tattly temporary tattoos, stickers.
posted by Wantok at 10:01 PM on November 12, 2013

Christmas tree ornaments, tea bags
posted by irisclara at 10:39 PM on November 12, 2013

Best answer: I don't know if your boyfriend is a scent person, but the fact that he's a lawyer reminded me of Posset Perfumes' The Man of Law's Tale (as in, the story the man of law tells in The Canterbury Tales). If he likes sandalwood, oude, and incense he might like it.

By the way, this advent calendar gift is such a great idea!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:00 PM on November 12, 2013

La Cuisine has some great pewter jewelry, in the form of chef's knives, cleavers, corkscrews, skillets, wine and martini glasses etc., etc.. Unfortunately they are mostly sold as earrings, but if you get them and swap or fiddle with the hooks, you would have small Christmas ornaments - one for him and the other one for you or someone else. Here's the link to the main online jewelry page.

You also could give him a few of these page nib bookmarks.

If he wears glasses or sunglasses, then a Spudz Mini Lens Cleaner might work.
posted by gudrun at 11:36 PM on November 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Mini flashlight
Mini Level
What about one of those tiny bottles of expensive scotch or liqueur near the checkout in liquor stores?
posted by fireandthud at 11:51 PM on November 12, 2013

I have a keychain that had a working mini Coleman lantern on it. Cooooool.
Really good carabiners.
posted by jrobin276 at 12:43 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't know about a specific thing, but I have a similar idea this year and I am just going to go grazing around the dollar store and then the thrift shop to see what comes up.

This is a situation where it might be better to let the things come to you than it would be to seek them out.
posted by tel3path at 2:02 AM on November 13, 2013

tiny sewing kit, snazzy paper clamps (big box dept. store, office supply store), matchbox car or other small toy, small bottles of liquor, small containers of herbs/spices, tiny LED light for key chain.
posted by theora55 at 5:26 AM on November 13, 2013

I was given the Belomo jeweler's loupe one Christmas several years ago and somehow find a way to use it almost every day. It's not cheap but this one is the best!
posted by Dragonness at 6:44 AM on November 13, 2013


You used to be able to get them out of gumball machines. But you can buy them on line.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:46 AM on November 13, 2013

You can leave a note in the box, telling him where the gift is hidden if you go with a gift or 2 that is too big.

You can donate to a charity, leaving a note something like: "A gift of $ACTIONTOY was donated to $KIDCHARITY..." or whatever would be appropriate in you and your bf's case. (Maybe he has a favorite charity.)
posted by little_dog_laughing at 7:46 AM on November 13, 2013

Response by poster: These are all such good answers, I'm marking the ones that I think fit him personally. Keep them coming if there are any more great ideas!
posted by brynna at 8:23 AM on November 13, 2013

Whiskey Cologne Oil Fragrance
Hemingway After Shave Splash NO ALCOHOL With by QueenBeeTradingCo
Solid Cologne - Tobacco and black tea
Solid Cologne - Professor
PGS Cologne 8 Scent Sampler - this place is awesome. The little tin might be too big, but you could remove the little samplers for the advent calendar.
posted by barnone at 12:31 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh - many possible little origami figures, here is one that I have received and I can vouch for its cuteness: origami shirt made of money - fold a dollar (or a $20 or bigger) into a tiny shirt-and-tie.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:25 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Tiny picture frames with pictures of you and other loved ones in them.
posted by DMelanogaster at 4:23 PM on November 15, 2013

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