Children receive an unprecedented amount of gifts for Christmas these days. Why would a non-materialistic mom want to add 24 extra gifts to the madness with a treasure-filled advent calendar? The initial calendar was given to me by my Grandma Boddicker and Aunt Beth. It was filled with small toys and candy. The kids loved it so much that we could not stop the tradition once it began. So we had to make it serve a greater purpose. We have since given these treasured calendars to all of our family and friends with children so that they can enjoy the tradition.
During the holidays kids need several things like a new outfit and shoes for the school program or to wear to church on Christmas Day. We would simply place a note in the box that read, "Today we shop for a new Christmas outfit." There is always a great holiday movie that comes out that you will be taking your kids to anyway. "Going to the movies," would be in one box. We always provide one awesome Christmas-themed video and a book among the 24 days. Lastly, on Christmas Eve the note sent them on a scavenger hunt to find their new pajamas to wear on this special night. Basically, the treasures in the box are things you would do or purchase with or without an advent calendar.
To make it extra special, we included activities like "Today, let's bake cookies." or "Let's do something special for Dad today."