I have a deep, nostalgic, secular love of advent calendars. Typically my kids each get a chocolate calendar from IKEA and I get a paper one for myself (!) and my nieces. Then we have a fabric countdown calendar with felt ornaments that I sequinned and beaded by hand when I was in high school, “Much Ado About Nothing” in the VHS player (my idea of a perfect Saturday night!).
Countdown calendars remind me and my kids to savor the anticipation of the holidays. December can flash by in the blink of an eye. My family celebrates Christmas, which is over in 24 hours. But research shows that reveling in the anticipation of an upcoming event can increase our happiness by extending our good feelings about it. In an article on reveling in anticipation, happiness writer and podcaster Gretchen Rubin says:
Anticipation is a key stage in happiness; by having something to look forward to, no matter what your circumstances, you bring happiness into your life well before the event actually takes place. In fact, sometimes the happiness in anticipation is greater than the happiness actually experienced in the moment.Gretchen Rubin
It’s not quite Thanksgiving yet in the U.S., but for some of the more elaborate advent calendars listed below you’ll need to allow shipping time to get them before December 1st! And if none of these suit your fancy or you need a craft for your kids, a good old red and green construction paper chain does the trick too.
Prices below may vary and don’t include sales tax and shipping.
An adorable, simple DIY magnetic advent calendar with little tins that you fill with a strip of paper describing a fun thing to do that day.
Sweet little reusable wooden tree countdown calendar from Melissa & Doug ($15.99 on Amazon)
Cute reusable cloth pockets garland that you fill with your own treats ($5.99 on Amazon)
Playmobil ($26.26 on Amazon)
“DIY” fluffy slime for kids 4 and up. Apparently the slime is already mixed (yay!) and on different days you may get glitter and other “mix ins” to personalize it ($21.99 on Amazon)
Beautiful Nutcracker-inspired 3-dimensional paper tree with little windows to open from Anthropologie ($20)
Reusable wooden countdown calendar with little drawers to fill ($19.99 on Amazon)
Bath bombs! ($84.15 on Etsy)
Advent candle ($9.95 on Amazon)
English teas ($12.99 from Cost Plus World Market)
Jerky assorment ($69.99 from Man Crates)
Gorgeous, fancy chocolate truffles from Maggie Louise Confections ($35)
Bonne Maman jams and honeys in adorable miniature jars! ($34.99 from Cost Plus World Market)
Hot sauce ($79.95 on Amazon)
Let me know about your advent calendar tradition in the comments!
What my 10-year old is reading: Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney.