Don’t get me wrong, I love opening a window with chocolate behind it every morning and I’m grateful to have two this year – one from my employer and one from the PR company we work with. But, I also love my memories of being a child and having the beautiful hand-crafted one my mum made for us. It was a big fabric christmas tree with a bag full of lovely little decorations – we had to close our eyes and pick one decoration out of the bag every day and hang it on one of the little bells on the tree. By Christmas, the tree was full of decorations.
Over the last few years, more and more ‘alternative’ advent calendars have been sold. From craft beers to designer make-up; gin to candles. So many of these are difficult to get your hands on and lots come with a pretty hefty price tag.
Here’s my list of advent calendars you can easily put together yourself:
Put together a mix of favourite brands of make-up, toiletries, perfumes and other beauty items. Websites such as Latest in Beauty are a great place to start to get a good selection of sample sizes across a wide range of products.
I wouldn’t suggest using full-size bottles (ok, for some people I would suggest this!) but buy miniatures and maybe change it up on some days by adding in a cocktail recipe, a ‘voucher’ to take the recipient out for drink that evening, some garnish items (think cocktail umbrellas, flamingo stirrers, etc) or some cool glassware.
Clues to a special Christmas gift
Each day you give a clue (an item, a picture, a phrase, etc) which builds up to a bigger, surprise gift on Christmas Day. This is a good one to do for a big gift, such as a holiday.
This would be the one for me! I’m obsessed with cute stationery – pens, notebooks, sticky notes, shaped paper clips, coloured/patterned washi tape, and basically anything else you could buy from Paperchase or Tiger.
Tea or coffee (or hot chocolate)
Include a mug, a selection of teas/coffee/hot chocolate powders, sugar swizzle sticks, marshmallows, syrups, biscuits and whatever else you can think of to make an advent calendar full of warmth and cosiness.
Because sometimes it is still nice to have chocolate every day!
With any of these, you can wrap the items individually and number them. Or, use different sizes boxes, paper bags, envelopes, jars or whatever else fits your items.