A few years ago I made Advent boxes (and a few small bags) and my daughter loves them. Each year I pull them back out and put little treats and notes in them for her. They’re not huge boxes so I fill them with little trinkets from the Dollar Store, candy, etc. When she was younger, even a quarter was a major thrill!

Many of the boxes are filled with notes instead of gifts. Some of the notes are fun things to do as a family…watch holiday movies, have hot chocolate, bake cookies, etc. And some of the notes are “giving back” activities we do as a family. We bake cookies for the local firehouse, collect toys from Olivia’s room to donate, collect canned food, etc.

The older Olivia gets, the more the notes are geared towards things to do together and ways to give back. During the week of Chanukah we focus on giving back activities and we light a candle every night to honor that holiday even though we don’t celebrate it from a religious perspective. (I bought this manzanita candelabra from West Elm a few years ago and it’s perfect as it has the right number of candles on it.) One of the things I’ve tried to provide for Olivia is an appreciation and education about all religions regardless of what she herself chooses to practice.

The Advent boxes are made of plain boxes I bought at Michaels and decorated with brown wrapping paper and scrapbooking-type supplies. The tags are hand-numbered one for each day from December 1 through Christmas. The boxes sit in the bookshelves on either side of our fireplace and also serve as decorations!