When you’re a kid, one of the hardest things is waiting for Christmas.
An advent calendar is a fun way to help make counting down the days to Christmas easier.
You can buy elaborate (and expensive!) advent calendars, such as those that are filled with fancy chocolates or tiny gifts you open each day before Christmas.
But I prefer a more simpler approach. Here are some frugal advent calendar ideas:
Star and Chain. Make a star from construction paper and then make a paper chain with 24 links. Fasten the paper chain to the star. (Staples work fine!) Each day, take a link off the chain. When you get to the star, it’s Christmas.
A Christmas Book Each Day. Wrap up 24 different Christmas-themed children’s books to share with your child and open a new one each night. Save “Twas the Night Before Christmas” for Dec. 24. Buy your books at secondhand shops, dollar stores, on Christmas clearance, or through places like Scholastic, to save. Once you’ve made the initial investment, you use the books every year as a fun family tradition.
Decorate a tree. Select a small artificial tree or craft one out of construction paper. Each day you add an ornament to the tree until it’s time to place the star at the top on Dec. 25.
Make an activity jar. Write a list fun family activities on 24 scraps of paper and place them in a decorated jar. Each day, pull out a slip of paper and do the activity listed. This is a great way to also make sure you’re doing some good deeds during the holiday season.
Plan for next year. If you’re not a creative type, buy an advent calendar for next year when they go on clearance in January. You’ll pay a fraction of the price during the off-season. Then pack the advent calendar away with your Christmas decorations so that you find it when it’s time to decorate for next Christmas.
Let the countdown begin!