DIY Advent Calendar

Updated: Apr 16

Hi friends!

There are many things I love come #Christmas. Hot cocoa, cozy matching PJs, Christmas movies, and literally everything else. BUT, chocolate oranges and Advent calendars are my favorite things!

I'm not a traditional Advent calendar kinda gal, no chocolate or biblical stories here. Rather I like to use this tradition to spoil the receiver with a different surprise each day. If you're into traditional Advent calendars, awesome! My husband likes to point out that my version is not technically an Advent calendar if there's no religious ties. So you could also think of it as a countdown to Christmas!

I love surprises and countdowns and tiny presents so this is literally all of the above. Now I want to mention: thoughtful gifts are the best kind of gifts. With something like a DIY Advent Calendar where the receiver is getting multiple things, its important to choose items they actually want/need/use. Alex would HATE to receive stationary, but me? OMG YASSS. My point here is don't waste your money/time on something they'll thrown away. Don't give them something because you feel like you have to! Purposeful gift giving is the best!

I like to incorporate several items from each category. Maybe today is a love note, tomorrow movie tickets, the next day a batch of cookies. Here are my favorite items to use:

Free/Minimal Cost Ideas

- a love note

- 10 Things I Like About You

- foot rub

-write a song

-draw a poem

-a clue about their Christmas present

- complete one of their regular chores for them

-a recipe

-handmade card

-cook their favorite meal

-a batch of cookies

-homemade jam

-make them lunch for work the next day

-DIY bath products (I created an entire blog post with my homemade favs)

Inexpensive Ideas

-$5 gift card (fast food, dollar store, Starbucks)

- favorite drink

-favorite snack


-lotto ticket



-lip balm




-reusable water bottle

-Christmas ornament

-air freshener


-hot sauce


-shot glass -lotion



-video game

-movie (dvd, blu-ray, or digital copy)


-a potted plant

-bouquet of flowers

-jewelry (think World Market or Target)

-board game

-bath bomb/soap/salts

-nail polish

-a box of their favorite tea or coffee

-dog bone or cat toy if they have a furry friend

-cute pen or notebook

Expensive Ideas

-yearly membership (Costco, Xbox live, Netflix, Gym, Disney +)

-movie tickets


-nice jewelry or watch


-ugly Christmas sweater

-something to do with their hobby (weightlifting, hunting, woodworking, etc)

-impromptu date night

-certificate for a class (cooking, art, sewing)


You could use a specific themed wrapping paper to create continuity. Another great idea is the fill-it-yourself advent calendar boxes. They come in a variety of styles, from a cardboard 12 Day via World Market to this festive wooden drawer set via Target or you could get REAL fancy with a handmade one via Etsy.

If you have the budget to go all out, do it! But don't worry if your pocketbook is a little tighter. Handmade and thoughtful goodies are even better!

Tag me in your creations! @SarcasmAndSparkles

Lots of Love,


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