TOP 10 BEST ADVENT CALENDARS

elf-meme

Now that we howled through Halloween 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!

advent-lego-swars

So many adventures come from one tiny calendar! Play well with other Legos too!

1.  Lego Star Wars – After getting this calendar you may not need to do Christmas.  Lego and Star Wars tie for favorite toys with my children so while this calendar carries a larger lifetime – the life of its daily toy is longer than any other from this group. Plus these daily lego toys spawn creativity and the engineering side of my children’s minds which also goes a long way.

advent-chocolate

Treat yourself!

2.  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!

3.  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

4.  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

5.  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!

advent-tsum

WTF: Welcome These Favorites to your home!  (C) Disney

6.  Tsum Tsum – Your favorite Disney characters win you over again now that they’re adorably oval! Tsum tsums were this year’s hottest collectible and create stacks of smiles! Again, the hours spent with these will outlast the holiday!

paper

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

7.  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)

8.  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!

advent-alcohol

9.  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!

wedge

10. Wedgewood blue and white jaspar ware (Limited edition of 3; only 1 available online) – For that relative who has everything, why not surprise them with this amazing calendar. Wedgewood’s delicately decorative exquisite pieces set the tone for an exquisite holiday.

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!

Please note that some of these posts contain affiliate links through which I may earn a few coins should you purchase your calendar through them.
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CURRENTLY: SEPTEMBER 2016

It always amazes me how quickly time flies. 6 months go by in a flash and half of me feels like I didn’t get anything done and the other half feels reborn or off on a crazy tangent. So here I am again, checking in with myself. If you do this exercise, share your links below!

CURRENTLY COOKING
Though true fall is still two weeks away, I find myself making comfort foods. I blame the pumpkin spice latte for the change in the air and for the city-wide panic that it might rain in the morning (El Niño aftershocks?). I still need to make a pot of Gazpacho to end this delicious summer.

CURRENTLY LOVING
My new bamboo mobile device charger and matching key organizer  that started an organization revolution! These were the first pretty home accessories purchased and affixed to our walls since last year’s flood!  The immediate organization gains were obvious but the unexpected healing of our psyche helped us settle down.

Click descriptions to learn more!


CURRENTLY DAY DREAMING ABOUT
After attending two blogging conferences, I have numerous plans for changes rolling around in my head. Meanwhile, it’s my favorite exercise to figure out ways to work with all sorts of people in a synergistic and symbiotic – an SAT word – way. Full reviews of both conferences coming soon.

CURRENTLY READING (Just starting)
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
As one of my two favorite living people who astound and inspire me with their ability to create fascinating worlds, I am eager to feel J.K.’s words embrace me in a much more charming locale.

jk

CURRENTLY PANICKING
My teen son’s and my tween daughter’s school schedules.  With challenging classes and sports, I feel like every Friday we’ll celebrate surviving the week.  I am panicked and amazed every week at how much they accomplish.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO
This is Acting  by Sia.
I love that she’s not into celebrity, just into the songs. She performs her own, and writes so much for others. With that knowledge, I have no problems picking out her music when others perform her material.  Love her laugh most of all.

sia

CURRENTLY NEEDING
The housing market in my area to stabilizes. The LA Rams rammed the rental rates and house prices up and I’m sitting here quietly trying to stay put.  Though this place saved us, it’s not my favorite, but the options are ridiculous right now.

CURRENTLY ANTICIPATING
I love hosting themed events.  For work, we’re hosting a conference but want to give the guests the true California experience. For fun, I’m creating a Vegas Oceans 16 themed event. In true Disney style, creating events that appeal to every sense with unexpected surprises invigorates me.

What about you? Consider these:
CURRENTLY REFLECTING
CURRENTLY AVOIDING
CURRENTLY DRINKING
CURRENTLY INDULGING IN
CURRENTLY WATCHING
CURRENTLY COVETING
Or dream up your own!

#SIA #JKRowling #TheCasualVacancy #IBelieveInDisneyMagic #Vegas #ThemedEvent #organization #clutter #CESupply #BambooChargingStation #BacktoSchool

DISNEY ON ICE: The Biggest Treasure

Click here for 30% off Discount Codes!

Disney animated films represent a memorable, magical rite of passage!  Most of us remember our first favorite Disney character that leaped from the screen, welcoming us into their world – mine was Cinderella.*  As we grew, we became more complex characters, our crowds changed and new favorites joined our immediate Disney family!

Tiana & Naveen

The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana and Naveen

As with every family gathering, we enjoy our time immensely with our Disney family – build fond memories – but then return to our less magical daily routine.  While one may visit characters at their theme park homes, or rewind and re-live the films at our home, time with our Disney family remains limited.  Disney realizes that most of us do not share fences with a Disney theme park, so they’ve packed up their treasure trove of characters and are gliding into your home town!

Finale

Disney’s Treasure Trove of memorable, magical characters

Disney chose their 50 most memorable characters from eight classic animated films to share their stories through figure skating in Feld Entertainment’s Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove – presented by YoKids!  By adding the elegance and athleticism of ice skating, the levels of romance, suspense, comedy and antics increase by leaps and bounds! The films span the 50-year legacy that Walt Disney started!  Every guest will reunite with one of their favorites!

ALICE

Don’t be late to a very important date with Alice and the Mad Hatter as they march with the Queen of Hearts’ Army of Cards

Hit the ice with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they embark on a fun-filled treasure hunt. Get tangled up in Disney’s 50th animated feature with Rapunzel and Flynn. Ahoy, Mateys! Set sail with Peter Pan, sassy Tinker Bell and cantankerous Captain Hook & his pirate crew! Trek the wilds of Africa with Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon to discover the true meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’ Tick-Tock! Tick-Tock! Set a playdate with Woody and Buzz Lightyear – the toys are back in town!

ice

As with anything that Disney touches, the performance sets the gold standard!  This breathtakingly magical experience creates unforgettable memories for you and your family to treasure!

*While I enjoyed the Princess mind-set for a while, what I really loved about Cinderella was her resilience and creativity on how to get to the ball, her dignity in doing a job well-done and grace when facing down her obnoxious step-sisters! #DisneyStrong

CLICK FOR SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE

#DisneyOnIce   #TreasureTrove  #IBelieveInDisneyMagic

All images (c) Disney