Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent Calendars Without Candy

This year I decided to try something new.  We usually do those el cheapo advent calendars that come filled with chocolates.  My kids are both 4 now and they really enjoy those chocolate advent calendars. But, I always see adorable, and creative homemade advent calendars on the internet and I finally decided to make some!

For those of you who are not familiar with Advent Calendars, they are a small way for kids to count down to the celebration of Christ's Birth.  You start on December 1st and finish up on December 24th or 25th depending on how generous your calendar maker was.  You have to find the day's number on the flap, pop it open and find the prize inside.  The chocolate versions have been around forever.  I received them most years when I was a kid.

We picked up 2-14 inch "tool" organizers at Home Depot.  They each could have 27 compartments each.  My husband bought them for $4.97 each.  I am planning to re-use the organizers for at least the next few years.

We are going to let the kids pick 1 treat from all 24 treats each day.  We did not worry about assigning days at this stage of development.  It would be cute to put numbers inside of each compartment and I may do that in the future.  Stickers with numbers or numbers printed from a label maker would work.

For my daughters box we put in:
Cupcake pony-tail holders: blue (from a 2 pack) DT
Pink beaded necklace (from a pack of necklace & bracelet) DT
Christmas themed erasers (from a big multipack) DT
Cupcake pony-tail holders: pink (from a 2 pack) DT
Minnie Mouse's Bunny friend (from a 3 piece play set) TRU
Pony-tail holders: pink & purple DT
Tiny decorated Dispenser (from a 3 pack) TRU
Pink beaded bracelet (from
Hello Kitty lip balm (from a multipack)
Calico Critters panda twins
Cupcake barrettes: pink
Cupcake barrettes: blue
Orange scented marker
Mini Mouse (from
Pink glow sticks
Pink nail polish
Purple nail polish
Minnie Mouse Scooter
Stickers (rolled up)
Sheriff's Badge
Doc McDtuffins wash cloth
Toy Story tissues

For my son's box we put in:
Trash can friends
Christmas erasers
Mini tape
Matchbox Jeep
Strawberry scented marker
Sully figurine
Mike wozinski figurine
Yellow fire engine Matchbox car
Bumble Bee Transformer
Toy Story tissues (under the Winnie the Pooh tissues)
2 glow sticks
2 Sheriff badges
Iron Man wash cloth
Police Matchbox car

$39 spent at Toys R Us (wait until you go to the Dollar Tree to buy the wash cloths as they are $1.49 at TRU).  $19 spent at DT.  $58 plus the $10 for the organizers may be a little over budget for some families.  If you don't buy anything at TRU and stick with just a dollar store and/or you include candy you could definitely bring the cost per box way down.  These boxes average out to $34 per 4 year old child.  (If we already had the containers, it would have been $29).

For full disclosure, it should be noted that my kids actually received 2 advent calendars for the December count down as we had already purchased Scooby Doo Chocolate Advent Calendars.  I bought them a few weeks ago because I didn't think that I would actually get my act together and prepare the homemade advent calendars.  Next year I will not buy the chocolate calendars and will DIY it again using the same boxes.

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