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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!

A cheese Christmas wreath

So we went to a Christmas in July dinner last week and I wanted to take something special to add to the Christmas spirit. I think I ended up with a Christmas look and, as everyone kept coming back for more, a yummy treat all in one.

Baked cheese Christmas wreath on a wooden board

Making the cheese Christmas Wreath

 

In the simplest of terms, I prepared a baked cheese and surrounded it with green and some red ‘decorations’.

Ingredients

325 g ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped grilled red capsicum

decent handful of rocket leaves
bunch of basil
cherry tomatoes (or use stuffed bell capsicums)
couple of pieces of grilled capsicum, sliced into strips
some roughly chopped parsley leaves as a garnish

Method

The baked cheese is very easy and based on a recipe from Taste – I just adjusted it by using herbs we had growing at home and added the capsicum to give it more Christmas colour! Basically, you just mix the ingredients and bake it in a cake tin.

Baked cheese wreath before cooking

After 25 minutes baking, I turned the cheese onto the serving board facing up (ie don’t just turn the tin upside onto the serving dish! Facing up has a bit of colour showing and keeps a better shape as the top is firmer than the bottom of the cheese.) I decided to have a rustic look so used a wooden chopping board underneath the wreath.

Once it had cooled a little, I surrounded it with rocket and basil leaves.

I then added some Christmas baubles (being cherry tomatoes and stuffed baby capsicums).

baked cheese surrounded by green leaves to form a Christmas wreath

For fun, I draped capsicum strips over the baked cheese and greenery as ribbons of tinsel and then scattered chopped parsley leaves over it all for flavour and to break up the red decorations a little.

Baked cheese Christmas wreath on a wooden board

I was really pleased  with my Christmas cheese wreath – it looked festive and tasted delicious!

Do you think this would be a good snack to leave out for Santa (well maybe leave in the fridge for him to get if it’s a hot  night!)?

 

Santa’s 20 cent biscuits (millionaire’s shortbread)

Some years ago, my daughter called the shortbread we made for Santa 5 cent biscuits (why? who knows! She was only 2 at the time!) We’ve now found a recipe for millionaires shortbread in a school book and this year we’ll make 20 cent biscuits 🙂

Make shortbread as usual  and let it cool.

Heat a tin of condensed milk with 25g brown sugar and 25g butter until it simmers – don’t leave it to sit or it’ll stick. Keep stirring as it cools and thickens.

Spread the caramel over the shortbread and let it cool completely.

Leaving Santa a snack of shortbread on Christmas EveMelt some good chocolate ( a 250g packet gives a generous covering plus a little reward for the chef!) and pour it over the top.

Cool, slice and put on a plate for Santa – or for me! Yummy and easy – what more can you ask for in a recipe!

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