An Easy Holiday Advent Calendar For Two Bucks
December is fast approaching, and with it the Christmas season. An advent calendar is a popular holiday activity, but can often take more time or funds than we have available. Here's how the advent calendar is being incorporated this year at our house, for less than two dollars. (See also: 6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays)
Cards and Envelopes
First, I went to a craft store and picked up two twelve-packs of miniature gift cards in paisley patterned Christmas colors. I've also seen these same packages of smaller gift cards at Dollar Tree. There are numerous ideas out there on the web to make your own, but I'm short on time this year, and want to keep this activity stress free.
Activities and Treats
Next, I came up with a list of activities that suit the types of things we like to participate in over the holidays. I've provided a more comprehensive suggestion list below, but a few of the sample things we'll be doing include making chocolate peppermint martinis, baking Christmas cookies while listening to holiday music, decorating the tree, and enjoying homemade eggnog while watching The Santa Clause three-movie marathon. Since we won't be back to the United States until mid December, I won't need a full twenty-five separate activities or treats. Fifteen-seventeen items will do just fine. I'm also not feeling any pressure to make sure every night involves a small gift. In fact, nearly every night is going to be a specific holiday activity. We've been on a reduced consumption and downsizing kick, and want to continue that for the holiday season, preferring to do things together at a couple.
Releasing the Concept of an Actual Calendar Format
Coming up with a creative homemade calendar is more than I have the energy for this year, so I'm putting the entire collection of sealed activity cards in a pretty holiday bowl and mixing in a few peppermint candies. That's it. We'll pull out a different envelope each evening and proceed to enjoy the activity written on the card inside. Any of the grocery items we'll need for certain activities have already been worked into the monthly grocery budget, and the movies and carols are ones we either own already or can order ahead on Netflix. Total cost for this month-long holiday activity? Two bucks.
For more suggestions on affordable activities to try with this Christmas solution, check out the list of 70 advent calendar ideas I posted over on our family blog.