Advent Calendar Roundup!

This year the kings of the holiday gift basket, Fortnum and Mason, have hidden jelly beans and artful confections behind 25 numbered doors on a wooden Dickensian townhouse.

This calendar from Garnet Hill makes a festive garland of mini stockings to be stuffed with gifts of your choosing. Chocolate is tradition, but personal notes, healthy snacks, trinkets, and charms make for equally special events.

This gorgeous pop up scene depicting an Amsterdam street is hand crafted on thick watercolor paper. Available from Etsy.

Stocked with samples from various bottles of rare and artisan whiskies, this is a grown up advent just for you and dad. Spoiler alert: one of the surprises is a 50 year-old scotch, a whole bottle of which is worth $400.

Legos brings fans 25 tiny characters from Star Wars to build up to a complete collection.

A teacher in Italy made this crafty calendar with her students. The simple yet elegant design looks ready to replicate with construction paper. Cutting or tearing away long strips of paper seems an appropriately dramatic way to build up to the big day.

Ideas Magazine hung colorful wrapping-paper cones on a tree. They even provide a printable template for getting started on your own.

Another great craft idea, this one gets mounted on magnets for decking the fridge.

A matchbook calendar from Martha Stewart is perfect for filling with little notes or tiny trinkets. Moms might fill each “drawer” with a new idea for a festive activity each day.

There Are Countless Ways to Count to 25…

If your kids are anything like I was, they appreciate a nice, slow build toward December 25th. To make the most magical time of the year last for as long as is reasonable, no daily ritual quite beats the advent calendar. The little thrill of trailing a hand along a Christmassy scene to feel for the opening and punch out a prize will stick with kids long into adulthood. This year there are gorgeous options in the classic model, novelty calendars for special interests, and more ideas for DIY versions swirling on the web than snowflakes in the North Pole sky!