How to plan an Advent Calendar – #WhimsicalWednesday

I know, I know, it seems a little very early to be posting anything Christmas related, but trust me, you need the time from right now to properly plan, design, shop for, organise, wrap and deliver your home made advent calendars by November 30. 🙂

Of course I was also inspired by this; it popped up on my Facebook today (August 24th):

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 22.34.48

When I first started this blog, I wrote a post describing my personal infatuation with Christmas, which also included my attachment to these calendars, so for anyone who’s interested in that, I will link back to it here: ’tis the (al)most wonderful time of the year…

The modern Advent Calendar is a simple little thing with 24 doors filled with wee helpings of chocolate to count down the days to Christmas. If you’ve been anywhere near a shop at Christmas time, you’ve probably seen one of these (and they come in countless themes):

The concept in a home made calendar is exactly the same; you get a special 24 day calendar to countdown from December 1st to December 24th, except this calendar is custom made specifically for the recipient, with foods, drinks, and other gifts, they will genuinely enjoy. (You know, because you know them so well. haha)

Lets get down to the basics, you will need:

  • 1 roll of wrapping paper per calendar you want to make
  • 1 thick marker OR numbered stickers from 1 – 24
  • scissors
  • tape
  • 24 individual presents
  • a plan to present them*

*more on this at the end.

Step 1)

Ask yourself the following questions: Who is it for? What do they enjoy? Do I want to create a theme? Do I want each gift to be different?

Themes can include but are not limited to: Lego Sets, Beauty Products, Candles, Sample After Shaves, Sample Perfumes, Chocolates, sweets, recipes, arts & crafts supplies, nail art supplies, Beer, Whiskey, Wine … so many more!

Step 2)

Set a budget. A single calendar can cost as little as £10, but can also go as high as you want it to.. Personally I aim for approximately £30 per person, that allows me a nice variety. (I also make this a part of my overall Christmas budget.)

Step 3)

Plan the gifts; once you know what you want to get them, plan what order you want to gift them in and then make your shopping list.

Sample Calendar – “Pamper Yourself”

1 Hot Chocolate Sachet, Marshmallows  & Perfume Sample
2 Cappuccino Sachet, Chocolate & Tea Candle
3 Herbal Tea, Candy Cane & Hand Lotion
4 Latte Sachet, Chocolate & Mini Bath Bomb
5 White Hot Chocolate Sachet, Marshmallows & Face Mask
6 Mini Bottle of Wine, Loofah & Mini Bubble Bath
7 Hot Chocolate Sachet, Candy Cane & Tea Candle
8 Cappuccino Sachet, small chocolate bar, & Hand Lotion
9 Herbal Tea, Fudge & Perfume Sample
10 Latte Sachet, Chocolate & Hair Mask
11 White Hot Chocolate, Marshmallows & Mini Bath Bomb
12 Mini Bottle of Wine, Bathroom Slippers & Sugar Scrub
13 Hot Chocolate Sachet, Toffee & Hand Sanitizer
14 Cappuccino Sachet, chocolate & tea candle
15 Herbal Tea, mini jam & crackers, & Face Mask
16 Latte Sachet, small chocolate bar, & nail file
17 White Hot Chocolate Sachet, Candy Cane & nail polish
18 Mini Bottle of Wine, Paraffin Wax Hand moisturiser set
19 Hot Chocolate Sachet, Marshmallows & Perfume Sample
20 Cappuccino Sachet, Chocolate & Hand Lotion
21 Herbal Tea, Toffee & mini bath bomb
22 Latte Sachet, mini chocolate bar & Face Mask
23 White Hot Chocolate Sachet, Candy Cane & Tea Candle
24 Mini White Wine, Pedicure Set

Step 4)

Wrap them up, number them and present them in what ever way you want! You can hang them from a pretty wreath with string (if they’re light enough), make the recipient dig through a stocking filled with gifts every day to find the right number or even present them under a mini Christmas tree! It’s your design, so anything (appropriate) goes. 🙂

Most importantly: have fun with it!!

In my nuclear family, the whole family gets an Advent Calendar, meaning, yes, our canine family members too! (Alternating dog biscuits and the occasional pigs ear. 🙂 )

Have a great time making your own advent calendars, and please do share any inspiration in the comments below. xx