DIY: Advent Calendar

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For the second year running I’ve made my own advent calendar for our children and I think now it’s become a bit of a family tradition.

It seems a bit daunting, even to me before I’ve done it but with a little bit of planning it’s not that hard, it’s actually quite fun and much more rewarding than most shop bought predictable alternatives!

My basic formula is 8/8/8, which means we have 8 gift days, 8 treat days and 8 family or thoughtful days. (Obviously the formula is open to individualisation and your situation.)

You will need at least the same number of envelopes, party bags and lolly/treat bags as you’ve chosen in your formula. The envelopes hold the written family or thoughtful notes and the bags hold the rest. I like to mix up the lolly and present display bags to keep the kids guessing what’s coming next. You’ll also need some way of displaying them, we used pegs and string on picture frame holders last year and this year Kmart had party decoration peg lights which were perfect.

The gifts are anything interesting to your kids around the $2 mark; bouncy balls, glow sticks, smelly pens, spy pens, party poppers, badges, temporary tattoos, fidget cubes, playing cards, spiral drinking straws, silly glasses, sparklers.

The treats are again anything your kids like; mini chocolates, gob stoppers, Christmas candy canes, lollipops, Lindt balls, chewing gum, fizzers.

And finally the family or thoughtful written envelopes are to make your children think about others or your family at this time, things like; Think of 3 things you have at Christmas that some families don’t, Go for a drive and see the Christmas lights in your neighbourhood, Play a card or board game as a family, Plan and go on a picnic as a family, Read the Christmas story together, Do something nice for someone in your family, Buy and give a gift to a charity that provides for less fortunate children, Tell someone in your family WHY you love them.

Finally all you need to do is plan your rotation, number your display and pop your thoughts and goodies in their envelopes and bags. Then string them up in order and enjoy!

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