Unwrapping Joy: A New Twist on Advent Calendars for a Memorable Christmas Season!

Unwrapping Joy: A New Twist on Advent Calendars for a Memorable Christmas Season!

As we approach the festive season, have you ever found yourself swept away in the whirlwind of holiday preparations, only to blink & realize Christmas has come & gone without truly savoring the enchantment of the season? In the hustle & bustle of work commitments, shopping sprees, the children's events, meticulous plans for the big day, & perhaps the demands of travel, it's all too easy to feel like time slips through our fingers. There's a heartfelt yearning for the moments we intended to experience but somehow overlooked. Another Christmas season passes, leaving us with the sense that we missed the opportunity to bask in its magic. What if this year could be different? What if we could unwrap the joy of Christmas daily & truly relish in the spirit of the season?

 

Well I would like to suggest a NEW Tradition for you to enjoy: a new take on the Advent Calendar! An Advent Calendar for Adults (or Families) not just to mark the days but to infuse them with the essence of the season – joy, connection, & cherished memories.  

I started doing this a few years ago on my own & now my mother joins me each year!  The first year we did this together, she said it was the BEST Christmas she’s had in a long time. So now, we want to share this new tradition with you! In hopes that you too, will have the BEST Christmas ever! 

Rediscovering the True Spirit of Christmas 

Advent calendars have been a cherished tradition for centuries, counting down the days until Christmas. Traditionally, these calendars contained chocolate or small toys, providing a daily treat for eager children. I always looked forward to this when I was growing up. The nostalgia of getting that small piece of chocolate every day somehow made Christmas that much more special for me & my sister. However, as adults, we often find ourselves missing the enchantment of the season in the midst of our chaotic schedules. Especially those of us who don’t have any children around to make it special for us. 

Enter this new Adult Advent Calendar (with a twist)! 

 

**What Goes Inside?** 

  1. **Events & Activities:** Spice up your calendar with special events & activities that bring bliss to the whole family. This could include a festive baking session, a Christmas concert, a winter wonderland tree lighting ceremony, a walk through the neighborhood to enjoy the holiday lights, a Christmas play or a trip to Disney for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Whatever type of event you enjoy, we encourage you to look up Christmas activities in your area & then pick out the best (& most affordable) ones for you & your family.

I always start here & work the rest of my calendar around these dates. Fill these first & then move on to the next suggestion.  

  1. **Random Acts of Kindness** I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved the Christmas movies with secret Santa’s or those with angels blessing others anonymously. This was something I always wanted to be able to do. So this is why we’ve included the gift of “giving” or “doing for others”. And these things don’t have to be extravagant acts but every year, we do incorporate small acts of kindness into our calendar. Whether it's paying for someone else's coffee or lunch, writing cards to our active duty soldiers overseas, picking up trash while walking the dog, complementing a stranger, donating to a food bank, volunteering somewhere, donating to Toys for Tots or delivering cookies to your neighbors. These simple gestures can make a significant impact on those around you but mostly à they make YOU feel even better.

“A true selfless act always sparks another.” – Klaus Movie  

  1. **Christmas Movies You MUST-WATCH** Finally to fill up the remaining days in your calendar, this one is pretty simple. Sprinkle in your "must-watch" Christmas movies throughout the month. For me, there are 3 Christmas movies that I HAVE to watch every year, because they just give me all the feels. These movies are: It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Claus (with Tim Allen) & Garfield’s Christmas. I know, I know, its childish, but its my favorite. Those 3 are my non-negotiables. What are yours?

After those are added, I write down other awesome Christmas movies & then add those into all of the remaining dates. These are movies that I definitely enjoy but don’t need to watch them every year for it to feel like Christmas. Here are a few other good movies to add as well à Home Alone, the Grinch, Polar Express, Jack Frost, Jingle All The Way, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Christmas Chronicles, Prancer, Klaus, Elf, A Christmas Story ….whatever you want! And on the movie nights, you can create a cozy atmosphere with blankets & hot cocoa, & make it a family affair! 

 

Don’t Forget Your Personalized Touches: Tailor the calendar to reflect your family's interests & preferences. For example, now that my parents live in the area with me, I dedicate 1 night to baking my favorite Christmas cookies with mom. And then the next night, we deliver some of them to our neighbors. Its such a sweet time of bonding & our neighbors are always surprised; we love it. You may have some Christmas traditions already in place, & we encourage you to add those into your calendar as well. Make it uniquely yours.

 

**The Benefits of This New Advent Calendar** 

  1. **Mindful Living** This unique take on an advent calendar encourages participants to be present & mindful, fostering a deeper connection with the holiday season. 
  1. **Strengthening Bonds** By incorporating activities that involve family & friends, the calendar becomes a shared experience, strengthening relationships & creating lasting memories. The focus on giving and shared experiences, fosters stronger connections with loved ones & the community. 
  1. **Rediscovering Joy & Creating Lasting Memories** The focus on acts of kindness reignites the joy & magic of Christmas, making it a truly special time of the year. The memories created together will far outlast any material gifts. 
  1. **Reducing Stress** By spreading out holiday tasks & events, you can avoid the last-minute rush & truly savor the season. 

 

**How to Create Your Own Adult (or Family) Advent Calendar** 

  1. **Gather Supplies**
  • Find (or make) an Advent calendar of your own. Here are a few from Amazon that you could use: https://amzn.to/3MI5zRO ; https://amzn.to/46djAhw ; https://amzn.to/3un3Tqv ; https://amzn.to/3G3LXDS . I found mine at Hobby Lobby one year during their Black Friday sale, so that is an option as well!! Keep your eyes peeled.
  • Find something to write on & put into each drawer for the day. We use blank Christmas gift tags & write on those to put into each drawer.
  • And if you want to make this even more nostalgic, pick up some of your favorite (mini) chocolates to add into each drawer as well. We do put little bon bons or mini Hershey bars in our calendar to bring back that childhood charm! 
  1. **Brainstorm Ideas & Plan Ahead**
  • Make a list of potential acts of kindness, events, & activities. Consider everyone's preferences to ensure a well-rounded & enjoyable calendar.
  • Research local events, create a list of potential acts of kindness, & a list of your favorite Christmas movies.
  • Having a well-thought-out plan ensures a stress-free & enjoyable holiday season.
  • Take some time to plan your calendar in advance. Ideally you want to start on December 1st 
  1. **Embrace Flexibility**
  • While planning is essential, be open to spontaneity. Leave room for unexpected moments of joy & be willing to adapt your calendar as needed. The goal is to create a positive & uplifting experience, not to add more stress. 
  1. **Start Your Countdown to Christmas**
  • Begin the countdown on December 1st & unwrap a new opportunity each day until Christmas. Watch as the holiday spirit grows within your home.

 Conclusion:

As the holiday season approaches, consider adopting this refreshing take on the traditional Advent Calendar. Even at 38, I still get excited about all the memories we’re going to create each Christmas Season. We encourage you to embrace the joy of giving, reflect on the true spirit of Christmas, & create a season filled with love & magical moments. Let this year be a celebration of not just the holidays, but of the warmth that comes from connecting with others & spreading goodwill. Unwrap the magic of Christmas every day & make this season one to remember!

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