Ah Christmas. That wonderful, magical time of year when arseholes act like they’re the only ones who need to shop and punks think it’s a really good time of year to work through their parking lot rage issues.
I like to spread that joy out as long as I can. Within reason. Putting up your decorations in November is pushing it. Starting in October is just ridiculous. You’re going to be over it by December 25, you weirdos.
Let’s be clear – you put your decorations up on December 1. It’s the law. And what better way to start than with an advent calendar? It’s such a fun way to ramp up the excitement.
Last year I did a photographic advent calendar which involved dressing up my poor baby in increasingly ridiculous outfits. I totally exploited the fact that he couldn’t move. Sucker!
If you’ve been on to Pinterest lately, you may’ve seen some extraordinary DIY advent calendars. Pinterest does not approve of the chocolate ones you can buy at Coles. You must make your own.
It’s very hip to do an advent calendar which includes fun family activities like “make hot chocolate and share your favourite stories about a christmas” and “build a snowman that looks like daddy” etc etc gag etc.
I like the idea of activities. But it sounds like a lot of work for me…. And with a toddler who is almost 18 months old, I really can’t see him getting excited about “singing Christmas carols for the neighbours.”
So, for my first Pinterest challenge, I wanted to do an advent calendar that everyone could do, and that kids would actually like.
I found these ones and thought they looked pretty manageable.
First things first: Thud is not getting 24 days of chocolate. I honestly don’t even want to see how he’d react to chocolate. He certainly doesn’t need any extra energy…
So I decided he’d have to get little prizes. I headed to the Reject Shop and stocked up on some junk.
I bought some cheap Christmas decorations that we could hang on the tree together. I found some fun twisty straws he can use on Christmas Day. He loves bubbles, so I grabbed a pack of them. Did you know The Reject Shop also sells Matchbox Cars? Threw in three of those. Some silly slinky things, a pack of stickers, and a couple of $2 books made up the rest. The final present was a pair of Christmas jammies for him to wear on Christmas Eve. The Christmas PJs are a tradition in our family. Because you have to look your best for Santa.
I grabbed some little paper bags to throw the stuff in. I wasn’t wrapping 24 presents, thanks very much. I only had to wrap three because they were too big for the bags.
The total cost of the loot was $32 and the PJs were $12. The paper bags were about $3 from Coles. So yeah, it’s more expensive than chocolate, so if your kids are of the chocolate eating stage, you could totally just do lollies.
Next step was a big ol’ stick. Found for FREE at the park behind my house. Thank you old Gum tree. The branch you dropped has gone to a loving home.
The most difficult part of the whole process was hanging the branch, which was pretty heavy. So, I left that to the husband. Mainly because he breaks out in a cold sweat when I get too close to the power tools. TRUST IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF A MARRIAGE DARLING!!!
So, hung it up, tied on the prizes and voila! Rustic, Australiana style advent calendar. TOO EASY. On a scale of Chimp to Martha Stewart… A chimp could do it.
First published November 28, 2014
Nice article!!! Looking for more interesting articles from you.
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[…] Buy a small gift label to write the date on and tie it to the ribbon when you tie it to the gift. To learn more about how to make this advent calendar, click here. […]
This is a wonderful alternative to the chocolate Advent calendars! Love it! It’s quite customisable too for any kind of holiday or celebration, like Easter or birthdays where you can personalise it. The use of a large, fallen branch adds such a simple Australian aesthetic that is just perfect here. I can imagine using a fallen gum branch styling it in a coastal or country way with pops of colour here and there. Can’t wait to see more of your DIY projects!
[…] Rustic advent with mix of goody bags […]
What a beautiful idea! Although Christmas is over, we’re very keen to try this out for other special occasions like Easter and birthday parties. Where treats for the kids will be placed inside each package. If we were to host an easter hunt inside each package can be clues for an easter egg scavenger hunt! Thank you so much for a lovely post like always.
[…] had this branch hanging on my wall since Christmas. It was my rustic, no-chocolate Advent Calendar. I keep meaning to take it down….. but look, my laziness came in handy! Instant […]
Pinterest would LOVE that my kids got organic, gluten-free, fairtrade chocolate Advent calendars. I think the smug just leaks out of them everywhere…
Thanks again for writing such a good post you made my day I’ve bookmarked your blog I’ll be back for more!
Definite win! Looks fantastic!
Advent calendar is failing at our house. I did a half book/gift, half chocolate. For every day there is a chocolate we cope a massive tantrum in the afternoon because he obviously feels a little ripped off with no present. Lesson learned but it ain’t changing this year. 🙂
Hello my friend! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include almost all vital infos. I would like to see more posts like this.
Love it more than the pinterest ones. We’re using envelopes with a message, small toy or chocolate inside. I got my 3 year to decorate it and it looks like someone spewed glitter all over it.
Your first challenge is a WIN Lauren. Looks great. Well done.
Oh I love this. And you didn’t have to feature it on the “nailed it” section of Pinterest, because you have ACTUALLY nailed it! (if you have no clue what I am talking about Google “nailed it’ and you will get your daily laugh fix).
I love the PJ’s idea too, I am pinning this for next year!
Love it! I’d say that’s a Pinterest win! I like the no chocolate idea and giving a variety of other non edible treats. Thud is going to love that!
I hope he does Vicki! He’s already overly interested in it and keeps trying to climb up to all the packages. Should be an interesting month!!
I totally loved that you were committed with detailed twine and gift tags. I suspect by the time I had got the stick home and wrestled it away from my son who probably only wanted to hit things with it that my advent calendar would have been labelled with a nasty Sharpie lol
Ha! It was no accident that I did this on daycare day. There’s no chance a stick would survive in this house unless it was mounted HIGH up on the wall.
[…] tuned….. the first challenge I’m working on is a Pinterest Advent Calendar inspired by these […]