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Advent calendar/surprise box ideas


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The socks are such a cute idea! I'm definitely making a note for next year. :) 


OP, I don't know how old your adult kids are or whether they're male/female, but here are things we've done. It's usually a theme thing from year to year.


1. Self-care ... new nail clippers, etc. with added nail polish or make-up for girls and splurge cologne/shaving cream for the boys

2. Book a day ... various themes, all bought (gently) used, these are great to share and pass on ("re-gift" or "re-home")

3. Tour Guide ... when they move to a new city, gift cards with brochures for local eateries, parks, museums, shops, etc. 

4. Rainbow ... one year I did colors of the rainbow and bought whatever I felt like (red scarf, oranges, yellow umbrella, green (cash), etc.) with lots of candy filler

5. Movie ... one movie a week, the other days were accompanying stuff (popcorn, blanket, hot chocolate, socks, related books on the story/actor/locale


This year for my sister I'm doing alcohol. She entertains a lot, and rather than buy her a huge bottle of scotch or yet another bottle of wine, I'm giving her a mini a day - she can have x on hand to share or just branch out herself and try new drinks. The year she graduated college and moved away for her MBA, we did "Christmas in a box" for her. Every day of Advent was something new relating to Christmas - ornament, craft, cookie cutters, gingerbread house, CDs, movies, cocoa, lights, village buildings, smells, stocking, etc.. She wasn't going to make it home for Christmas that year, so several of us flew out to her for her birthday (early Dec.) and set up a tree. Then every day of Advent she got to add to the ambiance in some way. One roommate loved it, one wanted to know why Christmas vomited all over their living room, and could it not do that the next year.  :lol:


This year for my oldest son I'm doing a pasta theme. Carbs make him happy, and the pasta will "keep" for months to come. I have some fun noodles, but also a ramen cookbook (who knew!), pasta cooking utensils, sauces, etc. This child is difficult to shop for, never wants anything, so the advent calendar thing is how I get my fix (I need to give him gifts!) in a way that he's willing to accept and find useful. 


For my other adult son we're doing a college-ish theme. He's still excited about his school, so there will be some school "brand" stuff (school tees, hoodie, etc.) and school stuff (supplies - pens, thumb drives) and stuff in school colors (winter hat, blanket) and misc. (school sticker or magnet ... filler things) ... and an address book with all of our extended family's contact information.

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I opened this thread hoping you were posting Advent calendar ideas, so I'm no help at all, but I'll be watching this thread because I want to do make an Advent calendar for ds17 and aside from IOUs for computer games, I'm at a bit of a loss for ideas. :)


I was hoping to do the same thing. Following.

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Trader Joes now have the chocolate Advent calendars in stock.   $1.  Little chocolate for each day.  First year, I bought one for DD.  Second year I bought one for DD and one for whatever adult is closest when she opens the door for that day.   Now I grab many and we hand them out to her friends.  

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I saw these at target today. They are cute, but they looked too small for an adult. So, I did not get it. I will try to check the sizes more carefully the next time I am there.

The add reads size 9-11. They look fun.

Edited by Starr
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This is my list so far:


boot cuffs (teen/young 20 girls)

Kanoodle game (or a two-player Catan card game for my Catan addict)

Q Knot (ties for cords and such)

screen cleaning cloths (multi-pack to divide)

mini sewing kits so they can sew on a button once in a while

Starbucks gift card

little holders that hold your cell phone up (pack of 8 at Amazon, to divide amongst them)

snacks--always snacks

iTunes gift cards

lip balms 

Wind-up animals (multi-pack on Amazon, also to divide)

their favorite pens or mechanical pencils

ear warmer, perhaps with a ponytail outlet, for my girls who are headed north next year

goggles, batting gloves and white board markers for my swimmer, baseball player and mathematician, respectively


ETA:  fancy Post-it notes


Edited by plansrme
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