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Five Budget Alternatives to Advent Calendars

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Christmas can be an expensive time of year with children and adults craving festive traditions and expensive treats. Although you can buy advent calendars at a low cost these days, many are unable to really involve themselves in the excitement of these low-quality items. If you’re looking for something much more exciting, consider the following five budget options.

Advent Calendar

Family chocolates and a blackboard or whiteboard

A family bath of chocolate is a fantastic way to celebrate advent. Simply grab a blackboard or whiteboard and divide into 24 (or 25 if you’re into the modern ways!) sections, numbering them as you go.

Grab a blindfold and do it this way, if you’re feeling brave, because many will object to a certain kind of sweetness.

Many supermarkets have large tubs at the moment, so grab some while they’re more reasonably priced.

Festive movie nights

Create your own advent calendar when you find a festive film waiting for you at the opening. If you have the films on DVDs, which some of you will undoubtedly have, wrap them up and number them.

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If you’re going to watch on Netflix or Prime, find images and use them to put in numbered envelopes.

For even more fun, instead of images, you can use the movie titles to create anagrams, like “ooh enamel” which is… Home Alone!

Positive affirmations pot

We all know that with the countdown to Christmas comes excitement, but for many of us it can also be a stressful time. When things don’t necessarily go our way, we can find ourselves thinking negatively about ourselves.

Using a positive affirmation jar is a great replacement for an advent calendar. Either print out 24 affirmations (you can use ours here) or write your own on lollipops, post-it notes, or whatever you like.

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Every day, draw a new one from the jar, read and reflect on it. Try to live with that message in mind.

Decorate the halls with … a disco

Who doesn’t love a good old dance to a Christmas song? Not only is it fun and helps get those endorphins flowing, but it’s also a fantastic way to get your heart rate up for a short period of time.

Instead of opening a door to reveal chocolate, you can create a table in a document and place a QR code in each cell. The family member whose turn it is to ‘open’ the advent calendar gets to scan the code, and it will lead to a YouTube video of the Christmas carol.

Bedtime story time

Finally, although more expensive than a standard advent calendar, grabbing a pack of books from a bargain bookstore like the Werke can add to your child’s library and at low cost.

In other words, the joy of this advent calendar lasts much longer. Choose a selection of books, including some Christmas themed ones, then wrap them up and label them with a large number. Take turns unwrapping and then snuggling into bed while you enjoy the story.

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