Advent calendars are a fantastic way to introduce the joy of Christmas into your home. Forget the idea that advent calendars being for young children. With some simple alterations, this popular Christmas tradition can be tailored to suit children and adults of all ages. There are many different ways to create an age-appropriate advent calendar. Why not stray from the traditional store-bought chocolate-filled calendars and give these unique Advent calendar ideas a try this Christmas?

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Books over Chocolate

There are many great Christmas stories suitable for children of all ages. Start a new tradition and expand your collection of Christmas books with a visit to your local bookstore or use an online bookstore. Or you could save money by using Christmas books you currently have and gathering them together for this activity. We are sure that all the children will enjoy a festive book before bedtime!

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You can create an advent calendar filled with books by decorating and numbering empty boxes you already have at home, and filling each box with a book. Alternatively, use the books as an advent calendar by wrapping them and placing a number on each of the books.

Good-Will Calendar

Use this time of giving as a way to give back to the community. Each day of this Christmas advent calendar assigns a different task of good-will. A good place to start looking for activities is by finding local not-for-profit charities and asking if they are accepting donations or looking for volunteers. You can use these kinds of activities as part of your advent calendar tasks.

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Other good-will type ideas you might like to add include random acts of kindness, such as holding the door open for someone or volunteering to help a friend wrap presents. This type of calendar is great for helping to remind us what is really important at this time of year, and every day really – looking out for our fellow humans and paying-it-forward.

You could use a lucky-dip style to assign these tasks at random, or make yourself an advent calendar with specific tasks allocated to each day.

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Magnet or Cork Board Calendar

We all have an unused canvas or corkboard laying around the house (somewhere), so why not repurpose it by turning it into an advent calendar? You could write the date on gift tags or ornaments, then place a fabric or paper envelope filled with a small gift behind it. Or if you have chosen a good-will calendar as mentioned above, this is the perfect format to write your activities and actions for each day of December.

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Another idea is to place a laminated calendar or magnetic whiteboard on the fridge. You could draw a calendar yourself using coloured markers, then cross off each day with a magnet.

Treasure Hunt

Use any of the above (or your own) ideas and turn the advent calendar into a game for the children. Give children a clue for each date and get them to search around the house for the item. Handy tip: plan out in advance where you intend to leave the item so you don’t forget where it is!

The great thing about unique Advent calendars is that there are so many possibilities to celebrate and enjoy the lead up to Christmas. Whether it’s books, good-will, special ornaments and gifts and a cheeky treat or two here and there too, the options are only limited by your imagination.

At The Christmas Cart we believe advent calendars are a wonderful way to bring the magic of Christmas into every home. We have a range of stocking fillers and craft pieces, as well as gifts and keepsakes available online to help with your Advent calendar and other Christmas preparations. Explore the website and visit our Inspiration Gallery and blog to inspire your advent calendars as well as Christmas decorating.