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6 Unique Advent calendars for kids

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Countdown to Christmas

Help your child learn about Christmas (and the fine art of patience) with an Advent calendar. From Star Wars creations to family heirlooms, these six Advent calendars will bring joy and the holiday spirit to your family as Christmas approaches.

As Christmas nears, kids buzz with anticipation and literally count the days until it’s time to celebrate. This year, help them acknowledge each passing day with a traditional Advent calendar. Elaborate or simple, these calendars bring the family together to count down to Christmas.

For little builders

The LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar (lego.com, $40) soared to popularity last year, and this year promises more miniature fun. Perfect for collectors and builders, this Advent calendar offers kids a small Lego building activity each day until Christmas. The calendar includes some highly sought after minifigures in addition to tiny ships and structures. Best of all, each little prize gives you some precious quiet time as your little one builds the next Christmas creation.

Stocking Advent Calendar

For a decorative touch

Want to choose your own gifts for each day of your Christmas countdown? Celebrate with a reusable Advent calendar that lets you stuff each day with tiny gifts and candies. Try a Stocking Advent Calendar (potterybarnkids.com, $89) that hangs on the wall and does double duty as one of your holiday decorations. This Advent calendar also makes a perfect gift for new parents who are creating new Christmas traditions for their little ones this year.

For the grown-ups

Remember chocolate advent calendars from your childhood? The Vosges Haut-Chocolat Calendar of Advent (vosgeschocolate.com, $135) is a super upscale, gourmet twist on those tiny chocolates you enjoyed each day until Christmas. Featuring a huge variety of this fine chocolatier’s selection, this Advent calendar is the perfect grown-up way to celebrate. Save this calendar for the adults in the family, and make special memories enjoying ultra-luxury treats during the holiday season.

For nature lovers

If your Advent calendar isn’t specifically for giving gifts to your children as you count down to Christmas, consider a calendar with reusable gifts. The Home Bazaar Woodlands Advent Calendar (homedepot.com, $135) features a rustic, heirloom-quality house populated with tiny animals that come out of hiding each day to prepare to greet Santa. Just watch out for little ones who may want to spend more time playing with the animals than observing them.

For imaginative preschoolers

Kids ages 3 and up can enjoy 25 days of miniature imaginative toys with the Playmobil Advent Calendar Forest Winter Wonderland (playmobilusa.com, $20). Santa and an enchanting collection of forest dwellers combine to make an elaborate playset that can be brought out every holiday season.

For a nostalgic celebration

As your family creates new traditions, return to the fond memories of your childhood counting the days until Christmas. This vintage-inspired Villeroy & Boch Nostalgic Ornaments Advent Calendar (bloomingdales.com, $200) includes 25 detailed ceramic ornaments hanging on a tree that will bring back a rush of memories from your earliest Christmas mornings. Teach kids to respect family heirlooms as you gather to mark each day until Christmas.

More celebrating

How to design a holiday mantel
Edible Christmas crafts
Homemade Christmas ornaments

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