MY FAVORITE ADVENT CALENDARS

Christmas shopping

Updated for 2019! (Note: This blog post contains Affiliate Links which means I get a few magical cents – at no additional cost to you – if you decide to buy any of these magical advent calendars, but I only share the ones I’d actually want to have in my home!)

Now that we ate our way through Thanksgiving I feel like life becomes a game of Chutes and Ladders leading up to Christmas!  On the one hand, time slows down the hourglass a bit as your to-do list becomes filled with larger projects and many social gatherings. On the other hand, it always comes too fast for me. I always wish I had a few more paychecks between now and then to play, gift and donate to everyone I want to.

So let me start by leap-frogging to December 1st!  For me, anticipation builds my excitement for any holiday! For Christmas, my internal clock gets a break because Advent calendars builds my holiday spirit – one day at a time! While some people carry a traditional method of counting down, I love to mix it up a bit to keep my kids on their toes.

In no particular order, because my vision of the holidays changes annually, here are my family’s favorite Advent Calendars! 

 

2019 advent anna elsa

 

Frozen Anna and Elsa – Frozen 2 is the MOST anticipated sequel this year! The beloved characters will have us all singing into the next decade as we live our fantasies of snowy kingdoms and adventures through their eyes! Being a huge Disney-nerd who lives in So Cal and does not get real snow, this film will get me in the right mind for winter!

2019 advent funko marvel

Marvel 80th Anniversary Funko Pop – These collectible adorable blockhead characters take over someone’s room so quickly! But I’m just as obsessed with these as my kids and to have miniature versions is SO fun!  You get so many of the Marvel universe with this amazing calendar!

2019 advent harry potter

If Harry Potter is more your style, wave your magic wand (mouse) above!

2019 advent starwars lego

Lego Star Wars – After getting these calendars you may not need to do Christmas.  Lego and Star Wars tie for favorite toys with my children so the life of the daily toys lasts longer than the season. Plus these daily lego toys spawn creativity and the engineering side of my children’s minds which also goes a long way. 2019 starwars microFor younger Star Wars fans: Star Wars Micro Force Rise of the Skywalker gives a sticker or character every day to help introduce them to holidays in a galaxy far, far away!

2019 advent thomas

Thomas the Train – Back when my kids were young they traveled miles of imaginative journeys playing with their Thomas the Train set. Having a special calendar just dedicated to the land of Sodor would have been a dream come true!

advent-chocolate

Treat yourself!

Chocolate – Coming off of Halloween, you may not be as eager to rush out and get a chocolate calendar – until I tell you it’s made by Cadbury!  You may want to buy one for yourself (and a bottle of red wine) and treat yourself during the season where you’re considering everyone else’s treats!

advent-ring

For a how-to tutorial, click the picture!

DIY Paper Rings – I’d say most of us made these rings out of construction paper and hung them on the wall or framing our door to count down days for the holidays or vacations. Whether as a calendar or decoration, its a fun tradition to sit together and make these. During these still quieter moments, the fun stories of old come forth again.  

advent-mel-doug

Melissa & Doug Tree – This lovely calendar will become a family tradition as everyone remembers their favorite ornaments to hang on this wooden tree.  The whole family’s excitement will grow as the ornaments decorate more and more of the tree! Melissa & Doug products last long enough to be passed down.

nativity

Nativity Scene – As a beautiful reminder for the reason for the season, these calendars recreate the Nativity story with a new addition each day. This gives one plenty of time to ponder each new addition to the story and stop to really consider its significance!

 

2019 advent bathbomb

 

12 days of Holiday Bath Bombs – Your most likely the one organizing, planning, shopping, shipping and everything else to make sure everyone has an amazing holiday season. Don’t forget to take time for you to relax and recharge!  Again, the value of spending a few moments to yourself will outlast the holiday!

paper

I love the simplicity of this look from the allfortheboys.com blog!

DIY Grab bag – Who doesn’t love opening presents?  This way your family gets a small daily gift you can tailor to fit your style!  Go as simple as a brown paper bag with raffia, all the way to decorative cellophane bags. Gifts can range from Bonus tickets: Watch an extra Christmas special! to favorite treats, or notes to your family! To really torture them, give them 1 clue a day about some surprise that will come their way at Christmas!

advent-grat

Click thru to learn how to make the Gratitude Calendar (originally from pragmaticmom.com blog)

Gratitude – I saw this idea on another blog and LOVE it!  This idea is similar to the one above, only fill each bag with a random act of kindness to complete for others.  OR you can create a Gratitude Journal as they do in the blog post and write down the things you’ve completed – or write down one thing you’re grateful every day. Warms your heart better than hot chocolate and the memories are rich when you look back each year!

advent-alcohol

Alcohol calendar – To warm your hot chocolate one step farther – may I suggest Alcohol Advent calendars.  I found a company that creates a calendar for you featuring scotch whisky, bourbon, rum or vodka (to name a few). You can peruse their site like a kid in a candy store and custom make your own calendar.  You’re welcome!

2019 advent christmas scene

 

Classic Christmas Tree Decorations – or that relative who has everything, why not surprise them with this amazing calendar. I love that this calendar can be used year after year and it becomes part of the tradition to build excitement as you slowly decorate the tree with the little ornaments found in each drawer! The picture and the anticipation of a finished tree set the tone for a warm family and tradition-filled holiday.

2019 advent sweater

Ugly Christmas Sweater Winner – The perfect thing to wear around the Christmas tree, to your work party, to your child’s holiday school concert! …and it’s not that ugly!

What about you?
Do you mix it up each year or use an heirloom calendar?
Can you share other ideas for wonderful ways to count down to the holidays?
Feel free to share ideas or links!

 

(C) Disney

BEST DAY EVER – I WONDER AS I WANDER!

My son gave me a Valentine’s Day certificate for a day to do anything I want!  I carefully considered my plan, sorting events into two days – with or without kids. This reflects Part I of “My Day” (I go by hours, not calendar date).

Best gift ever - power to choose my day!

Picked up before cleaners: The early morning wake up, to chase down my kids’ toys running rampant throughout the house, was worth it when I left for my day of endless opportunities while someone else vacuumed behind my couch.

Grabbed coffee at 7-11: For someone who loves ordering the longest-named drink at Fivebucks, six pots of 7-11 flavored coffees, plus a lazy susan of creamers, thrills me.  I’ve had blueberry+cinnamon+vanilla coffee with caramel creamer. Today I had butter toffee+hazelnut with chocolate.  BONUS: It’s cheaper, faster and less bitter!

Trip to library: I located books from my wish list, strolled through new non-fiction – choosing a few about writers, then drooled over a cookbook Bacon! – a global collection of mouth-watering recipes that happened to use bacon, not just “slap bacon on anything and call it an improvement.”

So many books, so little time!

Napped: Rerouted my plans to home realizing I told the cleaners to not worry about locking the door when leaving. In our neighborhood, nobody’s going to walk in – EXCEPT a sign on my lawn says “For Rent – Apartment Open!” Later, while snoozing on my couch, someone walked smack into my locked door, then knocked asking to see the apartment.

Dinner with TNTers: For me to enjoy a meal with amazing people without thinking about marketing plans, the next event or volunteer roles to recruit them for, was a treat!  I really enjoyed listening to everyone’s stories …and got recruited for a Zombie Run.

Wine: I love red wine with a tiny square of chocolate.  I picked out two richer wines than usual thanks to a 30% off coupon. I did a social media Cheers! asking my Facebook friends to choose which wine to open first, and was invited to an online wine group.

Image

HANDS-DOWN WINNER: Malbec

I’m hoping Malbec goes well with shiny vampires – I still never made it past the bonus features. While watching I will find a new recipe to try – wanna bet it’ll involve bacon?!

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