One of the best Christmas countdown ideas is a Christmas advent calendar. Usually, however, I have a hard time finding creative advent calendars – well technically finding unique advent calendars without the exorbitant price tags. Most years though I create a home made advent calendar with a couple of nice items and a bunch of fillers that I pick up in the sales or the clearance racks. An easy homemade advent calendar is more about the thought put into the individual items than the cost. For example, I know my son can never have enough Lego Minifigures or novelty magnets.
Did you know advent calendars started as a way for Germans to mark the days of December up to Christmas. The marking started off small like lighting a candle and then by the early 20th century, the Germans started printed Advent Calendars in the early 20th century. Gerhard Lang started the concept of adding little doors in the 1920’s. Sadly World War 2 put the advent calendar business out of business. They restarted again after the War. President Eisenhower was credited with making them popular in the USA when he was photographed with them. In the 1950’s, the tradition of adding chocolate to advent calendars began. Now, it seems that anything goes for advent calendars.
Advent Calendar Ideas For Kids
You really can’t go wrong with a candy advent calendar or a toy advent calendar. There are some good store-bought options because kids are generally easy to please. My son still adores his Lego advent calendar even though he gets one every year.
Here are some advent calendar ideas for kids:
Things To Put In An Advent Calendar For Kids
I like to create my own home made advent calendars though.
- For a toddler advent calendar: Play-doh, Hot Wheels cars, small plushies, crayons, arts & crafts items, bubble liquid and wand, stickers, stroller/car toys
- You could have advent calendar toys similar to what you would find in many a party bag.
- I hate all that plastic so for a toy advent calendar I would suggest: Lego mini figures, Playmobil characters, Sylvanian animal characters, Polly Pocket characters, marbles, mini-games, fidget spinners, novelty lip balms, windup toys, puzzle books, playing cards, temporary tattoos
Adult Advent Calendars
Why should kids have all the fun? There are a lot of great adult advent calendar ideas, too.
I love Diptyque French scented candles and the Diptyque advent calendar is glorious. This adult advent calendar has candles, fragrances and body products from the luxury retailer. And, it retails at £320. Ouch. Most people would be lucky to get a Christmas gift that costs that much never mind a Christmas advent calendar.
Unlike luxury and beauty advent calendars, an alcohol advent calendar tends to be much cheaper. This beer advent calendar is perfect for your favourite craft beer loving person.
Here are some great options for a beer advent calendar for whatever your taste – craft beer, lager etc.
I have also found this alcohol advent calendar which has small-size bottles of gin from around the UK.
Why limit yourself to gin? There are other adult advent calendars for your favourite alcoholic beverage such as wine, whiskey and rum.
Unusual Advent Calendars
I love an ornament advent calendar. The cheapskate in me tends to buy the ornaments for the ornament advent calendar in the after-christmas sales the year before and then they are dirt cheap. We love having our old ornaments which hold so many memories but we also like to add new ornaments every year to keep it looking fresh.
Another great idea is a book advent calendar. I have yet to create a homemade advent calendar with 24 books. Even my heavy reading family would find that a bit much to get through in a year. I have, however, added books as part of an easy homemade advent calendar for both adults and kids. Usually I mix up joke or humorous books with paperbacks for the book advent calendar.
Home Made Advent Calendars For Adults
Fill your own advent calendar with your favourite tipple. December is a stressful month and an alcohol advent calendar gives you something to wind down with at the end of the day. You can create your own advent beer calendar or branch out to other wines or spirits, such as whiskey or gins.
If alcohol isn’t your gift recipient’s thing, how about winding down the day with a nice tea calendar? A selection of herbal teas that can soothe and relax in the evening.
What to put in an advent calendar? Chocolate is the easiest option for an an advent calendar to fill yourself. But that’s boring. I tend to put chocolate in amongst some cooler items.
A home-made advent calendar is only limited by your imagination (and budget). Here are some great things to put in adult advent calendars:
- For a beauty advent calendar: bath bombs, scented candles, nail polish, lipsticks, lip balms
- Other advent calendar ideas for her: hair accessories, jewellery, nail art, recipes, moisturizers, washi tape, fun sticky notes, stationary
- Mens advent calendar ideas seem to involve alcohol but here are some other advent calendar ideas for him; grooming products, beard oil, cufflinks
- Gender neutral advent calendar gift ideas: hot chocolate packets, coffee pods, jellybeans, mindfulness prompts, cocktail mixes; hand sanitizer, specialty candy or nuts, earphones, energy bars. smartphone camera accessories, eyeglass cleaning wipes
As you can see, with a little imagination you can create an easy home made advent calendar that is more suitable for your intended recipient than many of the ready-made ones on the market.
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