Last year, I wanted to make an adult advent calendar. No, not that kind of “adult”. Sheesh!
Seeing a friend’s calendar of adorable tree-topped miniature boxes, I started thinking how it would be fun to do a grown up version. After doing a bit of searching around, it seemed that most advent calendar ideas were either for kids or they were interesting themed gifts of 25 whiskeys, 25 chocolates, 25 wines etc. I wanted to do something a bit more budget friendly and experience oriented instead of shopping/consumer driven.
The result was a giant list of fun activities and outings. After the list was finished, I realized that they fall into three main categories – food or drinks to make/eat, at home activities, and holiday outings. I’m sure you’ll be able to think of a ton more fun activities along those lines!
Since I was traveling the first few days of December, the advent calendar was just a list in Google Docs. Then I ordered some silver cardstock on Amazon, so by the time I got the paper, printed and cut out all the circles it was Day 6, but who’s counting?
Here’s how to make your own:
1. Create a list of at least 25 activities or little gifts. (see ideas below)
2. Make sure the activities line up with anything already on your calendar (ie. if you have a big Christmas party on the 13th, make sure you slot in something simple as the activity for that day).
3. Be flexible. If you miss a day or need to re-arrange things, don’t stress about it. The point of creating this advent calendar is to add more joy into your month, not create a stress storm!
4. Find a calendar style that works for you. You could go as simple as writing them all down on paper or keeping a list on your calendar, or more complicated with little boxes or bags, like some of these ideas. I designed my own Christmas tree shape out of silver dots. Check out the instructions on how, below.
How To Make the Dot Christmas Tree Advent Calendar:
Step 1. Get silver cardstock (or any color you like).
Step 2. Arrange 12 #s to a page equally spaced with a fun font. Here’s my template, #1-12 printable pdf, #13-24 printable pdf, #25 printable pdf (in gold or silver). Print onto the card stock with your printer. If you don’t have a printer, you can print to Kinkos for pretty cheap too.
Step 3. Round up a few glasses from the kitchen to see what size of circle fits best (using either the rim of glass or base of glass) and trace around each circle with a pencil. Then cut out the circles!
Step 4. Print out the list of activities (or write them on the back side of each dot) and assemble on the wall in a Christmas tree shape. I printed out the activities list and used double sided tape to attach to each dot so we could have the option of moving days around and re-using the dots another year.
Adult Advent Calendar Activities:
Here is my idea list from the categories of making food or drinks, at home activities, and outings – some of which can overlap. :)
- Make fancy hot chocolate
- Make eggnog
- Make spiced cider
- Soup night! with friends
- Buy a new whiskey – make hot toddies
- Make cookies
- Make or go out for a holiday cocktail
- Make smores
- host a holiday brunch with friends
- Decorate the tree
- Make something crafty
- Wrap gifts
- Write a holiday card?
- Mail or send cards
- Make popcorn and watch a fun holiday movie
- Any donations?
- Buy or make some Christmas candy
- Make paper snowflakes
- play Christmas songs on guitar or sing carols
- make a holiday playlist on Pandora
- game night
- go to Timberline lodge
- get chai go for a walk
- Stocking stuffer outing
- Shopping downtown
- Visit Hood River
- Go to Powell’s Books – read with niece
- Attend a Christmas event
- dress up for dinner or drinks
- Arts – go to a play or musical performance
- go soaking at Kennedy School
- go out for tiki drinks or holiday cocktails
- holiday train ride
- Go out for holiday ales
- go look at Christmas lights
- Take grandparents out talk about childhood Christmas’
- holiday pop-up shops
- Have a Holiday picnic
- Volunteer somewhere
- go out for a comfort food dinner
- sledding or snowshoeing
- yoga de-stress before the madness
And here’s a printable list of some of the above activities that we picked last year. Enjoy!
Are you doing an advent calendar this year?
This post was updated, but originally written in December 2013. Enjoy!