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  • Writer's pictureEmma

12 Ways to Fill Your Advent Calendar, for Every Budget

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Reusable advent calendars are a great way to create a truly personalised gift tailor-made for the recipient, all while cutting down on that one-time use plastic.

The problem is, what to actually fill them with, right!

Don’t worry I’ve got your back. I’ve done the hard work for you and pulled together 12 of my favourite ideas for different budgets and personalities.

People are getting tired of receiving the same advent calendars year after year, with little to no personality or variety. This is why we have seen a huge increase in speciality calendars in recent years. However, they still don't allow you to really personalise the calendar to the recipient, they often produce a lot of plastic waste and sometimes can become eye-wateringly expensive.

This is why DIY, personalisable advent calendars are a great alternative. You can fill them with anything to suit the individuals hobbies and interests. Here are a few of my favourite ideas for what you could add:

#1 - Photographs

Traditionally, advent calendars would reveal a festive image behind each window. Why not take a modern twist on this and add a selection of your favourite photo’s from the past year. Make it even more personal with a little message or memory attached to each one.

#2 - Chocolates

Chocolates are an advent calendar staple for a reason right! It's a relatively cheap way to provide a little treat each day. The options are almost endless. Tailor it with their favourites; whether it’s a luxury dark chocolate for your mum, grandmas favourite Roses, or chocolate coins for the kids. Not a chocolate lover? How about adding some retro sweets? Or, if you fancy yourself as a bit of bake-off master, you could even bake your own gingerbread.

"When one door closes, another door opens."(and repeat for 24 days of goodness)

#3 - Hair Accessories

Are you filling your calendar for a young girl? Hair accessories are a perfect solution for their calendar. They can be bright, fun and exciting, while providing a relative cheap and (most importantly for parents!) practical solution that everyone will love! Doodles Accessories have some beautiful and fun sets. You can even spilt sets up to make it go even further.

#4 - Mini Figures

Are your children crazy about Lego, Playmobil, Sylvanian Families? Whatever they are in to, these small figures make the perfect calendar filling. Buy sets that you can divide up across the days. This creates excitement for the next day but also might just give you a bit of a break while they play with their sets.

#5 - Pin Badges

Are you struggling to fill your calendar for your older children? Pin badges are a great option. It provides something for them to collect, change up and provides a great alternative to jewellery if that's not their thing.

I am loving these fun Christmas themed badges by Emilia Rose Crafts.

#6 - Jewellery

Who doesn't love a bit of glitz and glamour, especially at this time of year?! Jewellery is often overlooked as an option as it can become expensive. If you don't want to spend so much on your calendar, why not add a few beautiful pieces, mixed in with a cheaper alternative on other days. Working clasp have some fabulous pieces, especially for those 'difficult to buy for' teenagers, and Abloro Jewellery offers some stunning pieces with a splash of colour.

#7 - Specialist Tea or Coffee Pods

Finding new and interesting tea or coffee flavours can be a wonderful addition to an adults advent calendar. It provides a warm, soothing moment each day in a hectic December, and gives them an opportunity to indulge in new flavours they probably wouldn't purchase for themselves.

#8 - Perfume/Aftershave

Miniature perfume and aftershave bottles are a great size to add to your calendars. You can purchase sets of mini bottles that you can then separate into the individual days. Just like with jewellery, if you don't have 24 scents to include, mix and match you calendar with something else, add some of their favourite chocolate on other days.

#9 - Self Care

This a great option for someone who struggles to take time for themselves. Think about what they would enjoy doing and personalise to suit their needs and daily routine. Would they appreciate a quiet soak in the evening? How about mini candles, mini bath bombs, nail varnish, etc. Or you could mix it up with vouchers to their favourite coffee shop, to download a new kindle book or film etc. Even a voucher for you to do some of the daily chores to ease some of the stresses from the day.

#10 - Craft Kits/Build

Are your children crafty? How about splitting up different craft kits, building sets etc which will also provide you with an activity to complete over the Christmas holidays. These can be adapted to suit any age and ability. Made By Me Craft Parties have some fabulous festive mini sets.

#11 - Date/Activity Cards

Do you find yourself struggling to find time for your partner, or wondering what activities to do with your children at the weekend? Create 24 activity cards with suggestions of things you can do together (or go one step further and actually book some things in the diary!). Come the new year, you will have two ready made activities every month without the usual stress.

#12 - Appreciation Cards

Lastly, advent calendars do not need to be complicated or costly. One of the most valuable things you can do in life is make someone feel truly special! Why not create cards with 24 things you love about that individual? What's better than someone highlighting all your wonderful characteristics to send you off with a skip in your step for the rest of the day.

What are you filling yours with?

I hope that has given you some helpful ideas. Tell us what you will be filling yours with. Do you have other things you love to use? We love to hear from you and see what you'll be doing.

Don't have your advent calendar sorted yet? Fear not, there's still time to purchase yours from our website:

1 Comment

Alexia Browning
Alexia Browning
Nov 09, 2021

Thank you so much for featuring my Mini Christmas Craft Kits. I'm going to put together a DIY advent calendar for my kids this year. My son is mad on Pokemon at the moment, so I'm going to buy a few packs and split them up over the calendar pockets! Not sure what I'll do for the 12 year old girl though!

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