Counting down the days till Christmas is almost as much fun as the holiday itself. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that good. But at least it helps ease a bit of that Holiday anticipation, especially for the little ones.
History suggests that the “advent,” the celebration of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, has been around since at least the 4th century. Technically, it begins on the Sunday that falls nearest the feast day of St. Andrew (November 30) each year. Like most Holiday traditions, the way the countdown is observed has evolved from simple activities like tracking the days with chalk marks on the door to lighting candles and hanging decorations. Modern advent calendars come in a variety of creative shapes, sizes, and themes. You can find everything from make-it-yourself versions to hobby-specific themed options to expensive works of art costing thousands of dollars. Whatever you choose, advent calendars are a super fun way to celebrate the Season.
These days, most calendars acknowledge the advent period simply by ticking off the days starting on December 1. Each day can be “opened” and celebrated with a different offering. Younger kids will be happy with a small toy, cute holiday trinket or ornament. For older kids and adults, an inspirational quote, Bible verse, activity list (call Grandma, write Santa a letter, bake cookies, etc.) or a random act of kindness can go into each day’s box, bag, or envelope. Holiday celebrators of all ages will appreciate a piece of candy or edible treat.
An advent calendar makes a great gift, too. Bonus, if you gather with family or friends at Thanksgiving time, you could gift the calendar(s) then. Talk about getting your shopping done early!
After investigating the offerings for 2018, I’m sharing a few of my favorites:
Even someone not-so-crafty (like me) could handle this simple but stylish option from Country Living. It would be perfect for those holiday to-do list items, notes, and gift cards.
This BuzzFeed article is packed with similar and even simpler ideas like the one above.
With slightly more effort you can celebrate with one of these versions:
This do-it-yourself calendar from youaremyfave.com is, well, one of my faves!
Here’s a clever (and doable) calendar from The Painter Family blog.
I think kids would enjoy helping make this adorable muffin tin advent calendar from Parents.com almost as much as the treats you put inside.
For the I’d-rather-not-craft-at-all crowd, here’s are some fun, affordable, and reusable options.
I want this one from Anthropologie ($128)!
Check out this gorgeous calendar from Neiman Marcus ($95). Talk about a work of art!
This snowflake calendar from Pottery Barn would look good with any style of décor ($99).
There are some beautiful, clever and delicious “edible” calendars available too!
Hickory Farms has outdone themselves with this year’s yummy advent “tree.” (A steal at just $39.)
This calendar would make a great gift for the tea lover in your life. From Vermont Country Store ($24.95).
Chocolate is always a good idea! And Godiva makes some of the best.This delicious selection is available at Macy’s and Kohls ($25).
This might be the perfect all-around choice! It comes filled with treats, but it’s also reusable. Mackenzie Limited ($89.95).
There are so many fabulous choices out there – I could make this list go on and on. But I hope I’ve inspired you to get an advent calendar if you’ve never used one or maybe to add a new twist to your advent tradition.
Grab or make or buy your advent calendar and let the countdown to Christmas begin!