Top Three Picks: My Favorite Advent & Christmas Gift Ideas

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Advent is right. around. the. corner, and I recently wrote about needing to give myself a gentle reminder to take it easy, and not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.

That said, there are three gifts I highly recommend a family looking to incorporate a more “reason for the season” take to Advent.  These would be great to have before Christmas, but something I have learned as a mother is, it’s never too early to receive gifts for future holidays!

A Book Recommendation

I am a proud bibliophile, but I always try to limit myself to one new Advent or Christmas related children’s book each year.

Therefore, the first item I highly recommend for children is,

Santa’s Secret Story


This book is simply wonderful!  The Pauline Sisters marketed this narrative of St. Nikolas for ages 4 and up, if memory serves me correctly.  It’s a “longer” story in terms of a little kid story, but in A Christmas Carol kind of way, using an angel instead of a ghost, tells the tale of St. Nikolas.

A Child-Friendly Nativity Recommendation

A couple years ago, I was struggling to figure out how to keep our Nativity out of inquiring hands … and mouths.  When I expressed my frustration with that task, someone recommended I look into a child-friendly Nativity, like this one:

Fisher Price Little People Nativity Christmas Story


There is also a Fisher-Price Little People: The Story of Christmas (Boardbooks) board book available, but I can’t speak to how this book captures a child’s imagination.

This Nativity is set up, with the help of our children, early in the Advent season, with Baby Jesus squirreled away until Christmas Eve.  It is also placed at a level where our children can play with the characters and create their own stories during the holiday season.  The picture above is not a complete set of the figures available for this teaching toy – there are also wise men, more animals, and expanded scenery available separately.

A Nativity Recommendation for a Single Person, Married, or Family with Older Children

In high school, my Godmother gave me a beautiful gift for which, at the time, I couldn’t imagine having use – I still lived at home!  Now that I am older, wiser, and set up in my own home, I realize the wisdom of her gift.  She gifted me several small Fontanini statues for a Nativity set.  This idea, of gifting one or two pieces the first year, and buying subsequent pieces each year after, serves a few purposes:

  • Allows a tradition to be born
  • Serves a practical purpose of helping someone decorate a new home
  • Splits the cost of what is an otherwise pricey gift!

Fontanini by Roman Classic Holy Family Nativity Set, 3-Piece, 5-Inch Each

I’m pretty sure these were the first three pieces of my collection!

Because Fontanini designs nativities from 5 inches to almost life-size, if you are going to buy one piece each year, be sure to keep in mind whether or not the figurine you are purchasing are for the same size set!  If you want to consider buying a fuller set, rather than just piece-by-piece, you can click on the Fontanini by Roman Figure Centennial Nativity for 5″ Scale for a more comprehensive list and pricing options.  It’s kind of fun to go down the rabbit hole of Fontanini, trying to determine what else your nativity “needs”!  A more comprehensive set is also ideal for newly weds, enjoying their first Christmas together…

What are Your Top Three Recommendations?

There you have it – my top three picks of Advent and Christmas gifts!

What about you?  What have been some of your family’s treasured gifts that you have received, or that you like to give, with the goal of “Keeping Advent, Advent” and celebrating these holiday seasons?

7 thoughts on “Top Three Picks: My Favorite Advent & Christmas Gift Ideas

  1. Great ideas!

    We were gifted the Fisher Price nativity set a couple years ago, and our kids enjoy it so much! When I dust it off and give it to the kids at the beginning of Advent, I don’t give them Jesus, though. He arrives on Christmas! 🙂

    I think my 3 wishlist items for my family would be… An Orange for Frankie (picture book), a kid friendly Advent wreath, and a gift basket with the “Twelve Days of Christmas” theme for the family to enjoy each day of the actual Christmas season.

  2. My oldest son got the Little People Nativity a couple years ago and it’s still one of his favorite toys. I hope this year his little brother likes it as much as he does!

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