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Small Christmas Gifts for Advent Calendars

Updated on September 2, 2013

Advent Calendar Surprises for 24 days

I absolutely love Christmas. And not just the holiday itself but also the time leading up to it. People are getting into a festive mood, there are pretty Christmas decorations everywhere, you hear Christmas songs on the radio and in the supermarkets, you bake Christmas cookies and get presents for people you love. AND you can make advent calendars. I am a big fan of this countdown for Christmas, for me it belongs to the season like the Christmas tree.

As a child I got an advent calendar every year and couldn't wait to open a new door every day. It is such a nice memory, which is why I now love to give advent calendars to others. I don't just give them to children though, also some of my adult friends get one. And no matter how old they are, they all love it. They really build up the excitement for Christmas day. I always try my best to find little gifts that suit to the person that gets it and will make them smile.

My favorite small Christmas gifts ideas

Christmas gift ideas
Christmas gift ideas

I really like to make advent calendars with a personal touch. They should contain things that the person who gets it really likes but also useful stuff. You might even consider crafting a couple of things yourself. I also like to combine Christmas-themed things with Non-Christmas things that can also be used after the holidays. Of course the items should be small in size and not too expensive as you need 24 of them.

I have found that stationery items are a great things to include in advent calendars, as you pretty much always need a pen or a memo pad, no matter if you are age 6, age 36 or age 56. I don't know why, but every year I have little gifts left over from my advent calendar quest. However, I can just add these little things to my Christmas presents or even combine several little gifts to one big present.

Of course it always depends on the taste and interests of the person you give the advent calendar to, but here are some of my favorite gift ideas.

Christmas figures
Christmas figures

Christmas Figurines

I discovered super cute Japanese Christmas figurines a while ago and fell in love with them. I think these figures from Japan (they are made by the Japanese company Decole) are perfect for an advent calendar. They are small and very cute.

They do have a clear Christmas theme, but at the same time something is different about them. Maybe it's the fact that they have cute fairy tale or animal designs (e.g. there are Little Red Riding Hood figurines and cat figurines with Christmas hats). As they are part of the Japanese kawaii culture I actually think they're rather cute than festive.

Iwako erasers
Iwako erasers

Iwako Japanese Erasers

These small erasers by the Japanese manufacturer Iwako are kind of mandatory in my advent calendars. Since I discovered them I always include at least one in every calendar and am still fascinated by them. Currently there are nearly 300 different designs from animal erasers, cake erasers, sushi erasers, food-shaped erasers, vehicle erasers and so on. So you can really pick something that suits to the person that will receive the calendar.

The Iwako erasers are very small but still so detailed. Also they just cost a bit more than $ 1 per piece, so they are very cheap.

kawaii squishies
kawaii squishies

Kawaii Squishies

They are soft, they are light and they are small. Squishies are funny little decorative items. Mostly they come with a little chain so they can be used as charms for backpacks, phones or bags. The things about them is that they are made from some sponge material, so you can squeeze them as much as you want to, but they will always get back into their original shape.

I have used them in advent calendars before and think they are a great unusual gift to include. Lots of people don't know them, but especially among children and teenagers they seem to be super popular. There are millions of shapes and designs, sometimes the squishies are even a bit scented (especially bread and donut squishies). Food designs are very popular for them and they really look very yummy and realistic.

As they are so light they are a perfect charm for bags or a smartphone.

earphone jack plugy
earphone jack plugy

Earphone Jack Phone Accessory

These items are a little bit more expensive, but if you still want to include them or maybe even save them for the big 24 on Christmas Eve, let me tell you, they will be loved. Those cute little plugs are for the earphone jack of your smartphone and protect them against dust or moisture. Of course children love them, because you can easily personalize your phone with them (and considering how many times I have seen the smartphone of my teenage niece buried deep in her bag, I think that the protection function is really important here). But I have also seen them used by adults. As there are so many different designs, it's really easy to find the right one for the person you want to give the advent calendar too.

Also the plugis fit into all 3.5mm headphone jacks, so you don't need to worry about the type of phone or device of the person you're preparing the calendar for.

Christmas vs. Non-Christmas, what do you think?

Do you like Christmas related gifts in your advent calendar?

kawaii memo pads
kawaii memo pads

Mini Memo Pads

You should always have a good selection of Japanese mini memo pads when making an advent advent calendar. They have saved me already when I somehow didn't have enough little presents (happens very seldom though). The small notepads are a lot of fun because they have such colorful designs. Most of the time even all the pages have a colorful print on them.

The mini memo pads are cheap and there are really so many different ones to choose from that nobody will mind if you include several ones in the advent calendar.

cute deco tapes
cute deco tapes

Cute Deco Tapes

I could probably write one lens just about deco tapes. I can't believe that 2 years ago I didn't even know what they were, today I can't imagine crafting without them. I never give away an advent calender anymore without at least one deco tape in it. Most of the time I even put several ones as there are so many different types of tape. Usually I include one Christmas themed tape, as there are really pretty ones out there and so the person can use them for Christmas cards and gift wrapping. But I also like to use 'neutral' Washi Tapes in a solid color or with a nice pattern.

Christmas stamps
Christmas stamps

Christmas Stamps

I only include stamps in advent calendars for certain people like children or girlfriends who like to craft, as I know that not everyone will use them. But if I know that somebody is a crafty kind of person I'll definitely add one. There are lots of designs and kinds. Stamps that already have an inking pad included are very handy, but if they don't, you can get an extra ink pad and already have a gift for another day.

I like to use stamps myself, for example for making Christmas cards, embellishing envelopes or gift wrapping.

paper craft punches
paper craft punches

Paper Craft Punches

I found this little paper punch the other day and definitely want to put it in an advent calendar this year. I have given away paper punches before to people who like to craft and everybody always liked it. They are great for decorating cards, scrapbooks, albums, presents, gift wrap etc.

The little angel design immediately makes me think of Christmas.

Cute Pens and Pencils
Cute Pens and Pencils

Pens & Pencils

I love to give away pens and pencils in advent calendars, because I want to promote handwriting. As we use our phone, tablets and computers more and more it is sometimes really scary how much our handwriting suffers. So by giving away some special and super cute pens and pencils I hope that I inspire people to write notes by hand again.

Fingernail stickers
Fingernail stickers

Fingernail stickers

I have to admit, this is clearly a present for girls. But I just thought it's so cool that I have to include it. I found these adorable Japanese stickers which you can put on your fingernails. And there are even lots of possibilities to design them yourself, as they come with all kinds of super small parts which you can combine however you want. Plus they have these adorable nail file stickers in cute shapes.

I haven't given them away yet as I just discovered them recently, but I will definitely include them in this year's advent calendars and can't wait how people will react when they get them. I think there will be smiles all around.

Christmas Gifts on Amazon

Little Red Riding Hood Christmas figure with gift sack Japan
Little Red Riding Hood Christmas figure with gift sack Japan

This Little Red Riding Hood is from the Otogicco collection of the Japanese manufacturer Decole and the most adorable thing E-V-E-R.

cute white lying cat with red Santa Claus hat from Japan
cute white lying cat with red Santa Claus hat from Japan

This Christmas cat is definitely a must-have if you are a cat lover. I think it's just super cute

cute Santa Claus figure with outstretched legs from Japan
cute Santa Claus figure with outstretched legs from Japan

I love this figurine, I think it's super cute and gives Santa Claus such a relaxed look. Also the little legs are movable so you have lots of possibilities to decorate with this figure

cute Christmas bear figure with hot chocolate from Japan
cute Christmas bear figure with hot chocolate from Japan

This figurine totally puts me into a cozy Christmas mood. I immediately want to grab a hot chocolate and join the little bear.

cute fir tree Christmas figure concombre from Japan
cute fir tree Christmas figure concombre from Japan

This is a great little figurine to combine with other figurines like the Christmas bears and cats.


Which small gifts you like the most?

Which ones of the gifts I introduced here would you like to have in your advent calendar?

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