One of my favorite holiday traditions is my yearly advent calendar. If you don’t know what an advent calendar is, it’s a calendar used to count down to Christmas. It can either be a paper calendar with flaps to cover fun pictures for each day, or some type of calendar-style container to hold treats, typically chocolate themed (for more info, wiki that shit ). I am personally a big fan of the container option. It’s basically an excuse to give myself 24 days of mini presents/treats.
I’ve had advent calendars every year, as far back as I can remember, but I’m a big fan of my current setup. Two years ago, when I was celebrating my first Christmas in my apartment, my mom gave me this super cute snowman-themed advent calendar. It’s set up like a giant scroll, with little pockets made out of snowmen and clouds with dates on them. We originally got it from our neighbors in Germany, Herr und Frau Schneider, right around when I was born. Since no one was using it, my mom thought it would be festive in my apartment, and I love it.
The best part of it is that it is empty, so you can customize it and reuse it every year. That year, I filled it with Ghirardelli chocolate squares. Last year, it was snickers bars. This year, due to a combination of not having found a perfect vegan chocolate and also trying to be vaguely healthier, I wanted to stay away from candy treats. I decided to fill the pockets with tea! This was an excellent idea, since I have a very extensive tea collection, and this forced me to organize it. I was able to have a different tea bag for almost every day, and imported five of the days from my mother’s more extensive tea collection. A lot of my tea bags didn’t have individual wrappers, since I usually buy the Celestial Seasonings bulk boxes. To deal with that, I wrapped these bags in festive wrapping paper, and wrote the flavors on the inside.
Wrapping the tea bags also meant it was easy for me to randomize the flavors, since I have no clue what is in which container now that they’re sealed. All in all, I think this was very successful.
I’m a fan of going overboard in most things in my life, so I actually have a second advent calendar as well. This one is much more traditional picture one. It’s a small paper rectangle that you place over a candle. Each day, you open a flap, and the candle illuminates the picture. I’m reusing it from last year, so the flaps don’t stay fully closed, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
If you want to make your own, you can find any box with multiple compartments, or buy an empty advent calendar to fill. There are a lot of different options to customize your advent calendar.
• Classic chocolate – Buy a bag of your favorite chocolate treat to fill the container.
• Candy – same as above, but with whatever candy you like.
• You can make a beer or wine advent calendar and have a different bottle for each day.
• Spa Indulgence – do you have too many sample packs of various spa/cosmetic items? Fill the calendar with it! Maybe you’ll actually be able to use everything up…
• Money – stick some cash in there and then use it at the end to buy a present
• Charity – You can also make a “Reverse Advent Calendar.” Take an empty box, and every day put an item in the box. On Christmas Eve, donate the items. You can fill it with non-perishable food items for a food pantry, clothing for a thrift store, toiletries for a homeless shelter, etc.
Have fun making your advent calendar! Let us know how it goes in the comment section