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Everyone appreciates a personal touch or personalised gift over a ready-made and generic one, because we all know that the thought counts more than anything.

In a world where we can buy or obtain almost everything ourselves in chain shops and online, what makes a difference are the personal touches we can add to show someone they matter to us.

What brings us joy is knowing someone thinks of us. So why not bring someone 24 days of such joy?

To get into the Christmas spirit, we now quite commonly copy our German neighbours by having advent calendars throughout December. Choose your flavour or brand and you have 24 little gifts to open.

You could however make one yourself for your friends or family.

While you can get some store-bought versions in Germany, it is more common for children to have homemade calendars. The advantages? You can make re-usable ones, you can choose exactly what goes inside, and it is of course, so much more special to open every day.

Design ideas

Everything depends on your creativity, your time and how you will deliver and hang or present the advent calendar.

You can find ready-made ones online you only need to fill (and which can be re-used) made of wooden boxes and fabric bags, but also in the shape of a Christmas tree.

If you want to make it yourself, you can of course sew bags and hang them on a string, or make one with 24 envelopes (in Christmas colours for example).

If you start saving early, you can make a shape out of empty matchboxes and hide small surprises inside, or use empty toilet paper rolls, decorate them with wrapping paper, and fold the ends to make little boxes or make little Christmas crackers.

If there is nowhere to hang a calendar, wrap little treats and surprises and pop them in a decorated shoe box. The fun at any age really is to scour through the numbers every day to find and uncover the little thoughtful surprise.

Content ideas

For children, you can put practical little things in each day such as socks, hair clips, cute pencils or erasers, or you can make a themed one, for example breaking down a building set or toy set to have a small piece each day and build it throughout the month.

If children are sharing, you could choose small books they can unwrap or discover every day and read together at bedtime or small craft activities.

Nothing says you can’t put in chocolate though, or other sweet treats.

If you are making a calendar for a friend or partner, think of what they like. You can fill a calendar with cosmetics, little personal notes, pieces of a puzzle, jokes or pictures or postcards. You could even hang different flavours of tea or hot chocolate mixes every day, with the occasional biscuit or marshmallow to match. Maybe scented candles of an assortment of soaps is their style– all depends on the person and on the design you choose.

Feature image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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