I bloody love Christmas, excuse the swear, but I really do! I’m currently in the midst of planning lots of fun and exciting Christmas related content for the blog(including taking on Blogmas, ahh!) but something that I wanted to get written and shared as soon as possible was this alternative and diy advent calendars ideas post. Last year I wrote a post on 5 alternative advent calendars that you could purchase for under £35 and it’s still a blog post that gets views today, so I know it’s not just me that’s a bit nutty about advent!
If you’re OG then you might remember that I attempted Vlogmas back in 2016 when I was pregnant and during which, I made Jack a treasure hunt advent calendar! I hung a long piece of string on the wall and picked up some numbered pegs from Tiger. Under each peg(for each day of the month) I wrote out a clue for a hiding place in which I’d left a small gift. These gifts ranged from chocolate bars to socks and pretty much anything that I could find in the shops for under £1.
This is a really simple way to make advent fun and it doesn’t have to be expensive at all! Like I said, most of the items I bought were less than £1 and you could even make gifts along the way too! I think this would work really well if you had children slightly older than Tyler to do this with too as they would love the treasure hunt aspect of it everyday.
Reverse Advent Calendar
In the last couple of weeks I’ve seen quite a lot of people talking about reverse advent calendars online and it is something that I am currently doing through this month too! The idea is that you get yourself a box or a bag and every day throughout November(or December) you put one item in that box and come the end of the month(or just before Christmas) you take it and donate it to your local food bank or any other similar service/charity that you have in your area.
The other day I googled my local food bank and discovered that they issue lists regularly of the items that they are in desperate need of and ones that they already have quite a lot of. I was quite shocked to find that sanitary products were on their list of needed items. I’m sure we’ve all been caught out by our time of the month at least once and it can be quite an uncomfortable experience not having any sanitary products to hand, so for those living below the poverty line, I can imagine that buying sanitary products isn’t always that easy.
If you are able to donate to a food bank this festive season then please consider it. You can find your local food bank in the UK via this website.
Book Advent Calendar
Again, this is something that I’ve seen a lot of talk about on social media recently and I love this idea! Each day, you are gifted/gifting a book! This would pretty much set you up for books to read for the new year ahead. If you’re doing this for a child like we will be doing, you could invest in a series of books and give them the new one each night before bed time.
This one could cost you a little bit more money, but with shops like The Works doing great offers on books pretty much all year round, it’s certainly do-able! That and charity shops house hundreds of second hand but beautifully kept books! If you’re doing this with a partner or friend then you could even take it in turns so that one day you gift a book, the next they gift you a book and so on!
You’ve no doubt heard this a million times before, but kindness really does go a long way. Sometimes it’s just a smile from a stranger in the supermarket whilst you’re trying to calm your possessed toddler down in aisle 4, or the taxi driver that helps you to pack up your pram into the boot. Being kind costs us nothing and can really bring light to someone else’s day. During November, find yourself a jar and write out 24 random acts of kindness that you could carry out, on individual pieces of paper, fold them up and pop them into your jar.
For each day leading up to Christmas, pick out one r.a.o.k(random act of kindness, I’m down with the kids) and carry it out that day! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Compliment a stranger
- Pay for the next persons coffee order
- Tip your waitress/server/barista
- Offer to take your grandparent/relative out for the afternoon
- Empty your change pocket into a collection tin
- Smile at 5 passers by
- Spend an extra 10 minutes with your child or loved one before bed
- Register to donate blood
Play Prompts Calendar
I spend so many hours on Pinterest! Something that I love looking through are activities and play ideas that I can do with Tyler. Some of them are so simple yet I seem to struggle to get round to setting them up for us and getting them done, so why not make an advent calendar of all the play ideas/prompts that you’ve been meaning to try! You could carry this out in a similar way to the kindness jar, writing your prompts out and picking one of them out each day. Or you could invest in something like these prompt play cards from playHOORAY! (these would also make an awesome Christmas gift!)
This idea doesn’t actually have to cost you a penny, especially with the amount of play ideas there are on Pinterest from around the internet that include things that you already have laying around your home.
Are you as crazy about advent as I am? Will you be trying any of these advent calendar ideas? Let me know!