Have you seen all those beautiful handmade Advent calendars floating around? Works of art with teeny boxes to fill or slips of paper listing a fun activity a day. Well, there aren't going to be any of those round here this year.
In a season that is already full to bursting with activities and sheer weight of possessions, I decided that it is we adults, overworked elf-engineers, slaving away, putting the 'festive' into the festive season, who really needed a little daily pick me up.
Sound good? And I promise, if you fling one of these together for a loved one, you're going to get maximum kudos for thoughtfulness, through minimum expenditure of time. Honestly, the hardest work is preparing the numbers 1 to 24, which I did with some rubber stamps onto stickers and little tags.
How about a nice cup of tea? Individual tea bags in their colorful wrappers attached onto a cord with mini pegs as Advent Tea Bunting. Does it get any more straightforward? But as a reminder to take an interlude each day and breathe, it's one of those gifts that goes beyond the sum of its parts. Alice liked hers anyway.
And hubby was a big fan of his beer advent calendar last year, as well as being the envy of his mates, so why change a winning formula? Buy some beer. Cut little doors into the box. Add numbers.
One tip - if your beer comes in multi-packs like mine, don't do what I did last year and scatter the numbers willy nilly all round the doors, or you'll find yourself on December 22nd with 3 almost empty cardboard boxes, which cannot be thrown away because they contain a single beer each. Strategic placement, people. It will save your sanity. Also, this year I have added a few # labels, for those nights which need more than a single beer (and to accommodate the fact that I bought beer in cases of 10, thereby providing 30 treats for a 24 day span).
It may be November 29th, but you still have time to make a homemade calendar. One which only requires a quick trip to the supermarket, and will provide the equivalent of a friendly hug and an "I'm thinking of you" each day.