December 1 is right around the corner (Thursday!), and that means that it’s definitely time to prepare your advent calendars…if you’re so inclined to do such things. 🙂 Some people think advent calendars are just for children, but I strongly disagree with that (Christmas fun is for everyone), so I’m going to give some quick suggestions for all sorts of ways to do an advent calendar. 😀 (Oh, and those advent calendars totally don’t have to cost a fortune, so woot!)
The Lunch Box
Okay, I’ll start this off with the way I handle advent fun for Grace…and it breaks all of the “rules,” and I am so okay with that. 😉 I have some printable, assembly-required “houses” that I put in her lunch box…and that means that she only gets advent goodies on the school days leading up to Christmas break. This cuts back on the cost of advent treats, and gives her a happy surprise each school day in December. (I always include some candy for her to share with her lunch buddies, too.) But wait…isn’t Grace a sophomore in high school? Isn’t she too old for that? Of course not! Her and her friends love, love, love the goofy stuff I send them! 😀
There are oodles of adorable and printable boxes out there to use for advent, but these are the ones I use:
They’re from the Little Llama Shoppe on Etsy (as is the picture), and I think they’re super-cute. 🙂 (I don’t use a clothespin to close them though…I punch a hole in the tops and tie a bow with yarn.)
Kind words and/or kind deeds
You can treat someone to daily surprises without buying tons of little presents!
- Write out 25 things that you love/appreciate about someone on note cards or slips of paper or any creative medium that pleases you and gift that sweetie with one of them each day until Christmas.
- Use the same concept with favors or acts of kindness. (No, not those kinds of “favors,” ya filthy beast…well, okay, some people might really appreciate those kinds of favors, too.) 😉 Really, this idea works for just about anyone. You can include anything from scraping the ice off of a teenager or significant other’s windshield to letting a little one pick the movie for family movie night to cooking dinner for the person who usually does the cooking. You can write the favors down and let the person peek at one each day.
- Advent for strangers! Do a random act of kindness each day for people you don’t even know. This could be really fun to do as a family and, depending on the age and disposition of people in your family, could replace all of the other advent plans.
Don’t forget yourself in the Christmas fun…even if that means you need to tend to things yourself! There are a lot of ways to advent things up for your own self….
- Snag one of those “pre-loaded” advent calendars from one of your favorite shops. (I’ve seen them in coffee shops and candy stores and even some “big box” stores.)
- Grab up 25 of something you love (fancy chocolates, types of tea, bath bombs…whatever puts a gigglesnort in your heart), and treat yourself to one each day. Want each day to be a bit of a surprise? Put each treat in a box or bag, mix ’em all up, and then put numbers on them.
Another really awesome way to get your advent on is to do a “reverse advent.” This is another version of an act of kindness, but it’s more of a “gathering of things.”
For a reverse advent activity, the goal is to gather up items throughout advent that you will then donate to a person or organization in need. You could gather up lots of items for kitties (toys, treats, food, dishes, etc.) and put them all in a (clean and new) litter box and donate the whole thing to a cat shelter. You could add canned and boxed food in a milk crate and donate them to a food bank. You could put school supplies in a basket and donate them to a school/classroom that doesn’t have enough funding. The possibilities for this are nearly endless…ust pick a cause that speaks to your family and get to collecting! 😀
Want to see some of my favorite ways for presenting advent calendar fun (because there are approximately one giggledy jillion ways to pretty up the fun)…check out my Pinterest board just for advent calendars! 😀
What about you? Do you have a favorite advent calendar tradition? Do you have one of those super-awesome antique and quirky advent calendars…the kind that make me go all swoony and envious whenever I see one in someone’s house? 😉 Have you ever considered adventing yourself?