practical

Advent calendars are more than chocolates & Lego!

Are advent calendars just for the kids in your house or are you expanding into adult advent calendars, too?

24 gifts in a grid, each numbered to form an advent calendar

Of course, Lego Harry Potter, Star Wars and City advent calendars and some of the other ones marketed at kids are perfectly fine for teens and adults, but not all adults will appreciate them!

Like for kids, you can obviously make your own advent calendar to suit any age or personality, but here are some ideas if you are thinking of purchasing advent calendars for your teens or adults.

Lego ornaments on a flat Christmas tree!

Lego ornaments form an advent calendar hanging on a tinsel tree adding Christmas cheer to the kitchen!

Pretty ideas…

  1. building a set of ornaments is a lovely Christmas advent calendar, I think. We reviewed a paper based one last year, and there are 2019 paper versions as well, or you can try the Unique Style calendar with wooden ornaments.
  2. enjoy some culture with an art calendar – this Normal Rockwell Pop-up advent calendar shows a different artwork each day while the National Gallery advent calendar shows something from their art collection each day.
  3. mix art and beauty! The Morris & Co Blue Forrest Peacock Print advent calendar includes beautiful Morris & Co prints and some lovely scented hand creams, bath salts and the like – a treat for eyes, noses and skin!
  4. why not try a  reusable advent calendar that is a decorative feature in itself – like a Christmas housetrain or tree. Or go all out for a Kurt Adler musical Santa’s workshop calendar – this is beautiful!
  5. music lovers may enjoy a musical advent calendar
  6. an advent calendar created with crystals adds some sparkle to the December days and builds a lovely piece of jewellery as well. Or build a Pandora braclet or a charm bracelet
  7. If you like ‘nice’ stickers, you may like to consider the Edwardian Lady or Ivory cats advent calendars
  8. make your home smell lovely with a Heart & Home fragrance calendar to find a different scented tealight candle each day.

Practical ideas…

Cath Kidston Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar Gift with Bath and Body Items, 1.11 kg

  1. beauty products – I came across this great blog reviewing the best beauty advent calendars in Australia if you’re wondering which one to get, or you can try the Cath Kidston bath and body advent calendar (pictured)
  2. tools – for someone liking DIY but without a lot of tools, this could be a useful calendar
  3. car goods – these include things like car wash, a chamois, wax, windscreen cleaner and air fresheners
  4. or car lovers may love a Porsche Advent calendar where they get to make a Porsche car and diorama over December!
  5. hardware bits – as distinct from tools (which let’s face it are not particularly cheap and many people this appeals to would already have most of what they need), this can be a calendar containing sets of screws, nails, bolts, washers, etc

Yummy ideas… wooden box with numbered chocolates

  1. chocolates – rather than the cheap supermarket ones, look for some quality chocolate versions, yum!
  2. alcohol – there are a range of these, from different types of beer each day, to different gins or wines, or a sample set of many spirits
  3. there is even a vegan friendly advent calendar which includes protein balls and other vegan products
  4. other foods – I’ve seen popcorn, cheese, nuts and ‘bar snacks’ suggested as fillings for advent calendars to go alongside movie or social occasions!
  5. enjoy a cup of tea? Why not try a tea advent calendar then!

 

And if you’re making your own, don’t forget that adults need to hear positive messages, too.

So what type of advent calendar would you like to experience this December? Are you going to get one for yourself, or just dream fondly of it?

* As always, some links in this post are affiliate links which means we may get a small payment for promoting it without you paying anything extra!

Gifts for new parents

Having 5 kids, I know about babies and how to care for them 🙂 I also know how tiring a new baby can be – especially for people who are learning who to do the practical things as well as coping with the physical and emotional aspects of new parenthood.

baby in santa suit and hat holding a gift under a Christmas tree

As cute as babies are, remember their parents at Christmas time, too!

So after reading Marissa’s story of loving the babysitting voucher, I thought I would share some gift ideas for new parents as family and friends often want to help but have no idea how…

There are 2 concepts – one is to give them some pampering to refresh them and remind them they are people beyond parents – but I’m just going to give ideas for helping them as parents.

    • a bag of nappies – most cloth using parents will still use disposables for holidays or big outings
    • a subscription to a nappy wash service
    • a basket of items such as baby wipes, baby shampoo, laundry detergent, clothes pegs, baby socks/tights and cleaning cloths
    • vouchers – think of babysitting, cooking a meal, cleaning the house, doing some clothes washing, buying groceries, mowing the lawn and weeding. For an even bigger gift, give them a collection of vouchers…
    • photo frames and albums are always good – but modern alternatives may be gift vouchers from a printing service or spending some time putting their photos into folders (on their computer or an online service)
    • look ahead and give the baby gifts for winter  – not only does it save them going out in the cold, I always found that I got so many summer clothes many weren’t used much and winter was expensive

computer, tablet, mobile phone beside a row of Christmas gift boxes

  • find a way to help them communicate with the outside world – top up their prepaid phone credit, pay for membership at an online parenting site or a play group, teach them how to use Facebook, advice on a good phone plan, etc li>
  • for very new parents, maybe get with some others and buy a high chair or booster seat (like a high chair for when they’re out) – or give them money/voucher towards it
  • ask what they need! Radical idea really to ask but it’s better to ask before giving more singlets (despite what many say, you can have too many singlets!), grosuits and bottles. If they have everything practical they want, look to the child’s next stage and maybe give some infant/child cutlery and crockery, car organisers or training pants
  • money or store vouchers may not seem an exciting gift but it is a practical way to help new parents who may be struggling with the extra expenses and less income
  • give some music – it can make life easier (such as music that calms a baby), provide enjoyment for parents and child (and music is good for baby’s development), and it’s something that is often left off new parents’ shopping list musical notes beside a Christmas tree and Christmas gift
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