1. How about making your own personalised version of the famous advent calendar? Get crafty this year by making your own calendars for all the family. Make tiny packages and peg from a wire, fill with your own chocolates, sweets, or other sweet treats, just like these found from http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/christmas-countdown. Personalise them by having each family members’ name on the top of their countdown.
2. Another great DIY advent calendar idea can be seen below, very cost effective using things from around the home – a baking tray! Hang it from the wall from some ribbon, create your own numbered doors and hide your family’s favourite treats inside! Get the kids involved by helping to create the doors, making them more personalised to them. Add as many trimmings and decorations to the tray as they want, guaranteed to be a fun way to get everyone prepared for Christmas! Inspiration for this was found at http://www.bhg.com/christmas/crafts/christmas-holiday-crafts/#page=2 .
3. Instead of sweet treats inside your calendar, or as well as, you could place activity cards inside based around Christmas activities and craft ideas to keep the children busy over the holidays. The cards can use ideas such as ‘decorate Christmas cookies/cakes’, ‘drive around the Christmas lights’, ‘write a letter to Santa’, ‘make your own Christmas cards’, build a snowman’ (weather dependent of course), etc. This idea would need to be planned well ahead of starting it as some activities may need help from adults e.g. baking/trips out/using scissors etc., whereas others they can get on with in their own time, depending on the age of the children. The activity cards can be used on the specific day or even saved up for days together and used when convenient for all. This is a fun and interesting way to countdown to the big day, getting the creative juices flowing for all the family and it means you can also spend a little more quality time together!
Kids will love countdown ideas like this Santa’s beard. This can be easily made at home just from a picture drawn on card hung from the wall from festive ribbon. Stick cotton wool balls over the dates and one by one they can be pulled off revealing how many days are left until Christmas Day! You may even be able to find a template for the face online.
We found this one from http://thewhoot.com.au .
If you’re feeling really crafty you can go all out making your own calendar from scratch. Handy with the sewing machine? Here is an idea on how to create your very own unique countdown from materials:
- Hang your ‘canvas’ from the wall, this can just be a large piece of fairly thick material.
- Hand sew your own Christmas tree and stitch onto the background made from different fabrics.
- Leave space at the bottom for all the dates in December. These can be written on somehow or again stitched onto the background.
- Cover the dates with individual decorations, day by day these can be pulled off to reveal the date and placed somewhere on the tree. By Christmas Eve you will have a fully decorated tree hanging from the wall.
- Children can take it in turns to pull off a decoration and trim the tree in their very own way!
This is a great way to create a unique decoration for your home, as you can put the countdown together using a colour scheme that will match your décor.
This cute countdown cushion was found from http://www.zulily.co.uk and is a fantastic way to incorporate your countdown into your Christmas decorations. You could make your own version of this, the components could be easily found from a variety of stores at very little cost. Using this as inspiration, you could make your own version from other Christmassy themes too.
One for the Grown Ups
Taking the basic idea from the third countdown on our list, this can be modified to be more suited to adults, including activities couples/parents can do together in your time off, when the kids are busy, or after they’ve gone to bed. Using the same idea of activity cards, they can now include things like ‘make a festive themed dinner’, ‘make fancy hot chocolate’, ‘host a holiday cocktail party with friends’ etc. Get your heads together and pick things you’ll really enjoy doing together, making the most of your Christmas time