Counting Down to Christmas:: Advent Calendars for the Whole Family

Counting Down to Christmas:: Advent Calendars for the Whole Family
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we at Houston Moms Blog are here for it. Seriously though, 2020 can throw all the curveballs it wants to, but nothing is going to stop moms on a mission to make the days leading up to Christmas merry and bright! If you’re looking to get your sleigh bells jingling all around town, check out the HMB Ultimate Guide to Holiday Events in Houston. But every day at home can be something memorable and special for the whole family when you incorporate an Advent Calendar into your December traditions.

The Evolution of the Advent Calendar

The Advent calendar originated in the early 1800s as a German protestant tradition. They would burn a candle each day in December leading up to Christmas, or simply mark a chalk line on the wall. Later, devotional images were added into the everyday practice, and the first wooden advent calendar was made in 1851. Half a century later, printed advent calendars were published, and in the 1920s the first calendars with doors were created. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that calendars with chocolates made their debut, and things have only gotten more creative and exciting since then! We’ve collected some Advent calendar favorites from moms around town to get you jump started on bringing the fun home to your family.

Advent Calendars for the Kids

Under $10

If you’re looking to keep it cheap and easy, most big-box stores sell disposable advent calendars near their holiday set-ups, or even close to the check-out lines. These inexpensive calendars are often filled with chocolates, candies, stickers, lip smackers, and other fun treats! Check out this link to see some of what Target is offering. But you can also shop Amazon, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, or most any local supermarket or pharmacy for options.

For the Lego Lover

If you’ve got a Lego lover in your house, you will not be disappointed with the options LEGO provides. There’s something for all skill levels, and they come in a variety of themes:: Lego City, Lego Friends, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Christmas Build Up, and more! Check them out here!

For the Jewelry Lover

A newer craze on the market is the charm bracelet/necklace set for the jewelry lover in your life! Each day you can add a new festive charm to your bracelet or necklace, and the excitement builds each day as you build your own pieces of jewelry. These range from about $15-$35, and there are many styles and colors schemes to choose from. This particular set comes with two bracelets, one necklace, and 24 unique charms for every day of advent. One of the charms even glows! 

Refillable Keepsakes

Some of my favorite advent calendars can be reused year after year! You can choose what goes in the drawers/pockets every year to fit the changing tastes of your kiddos. The kids will not only love the tradition of having an Advent calendar, but will love seeing these fun keepsakes come out year after year. I absolutely adore this wooden train , but there are tons of styles to choose from like trees, gingerbread houses, or the traditional box style {this one is prelit for added fun!} You can even buy unfinished wooden calendars that can be uniquely painted for a fun Christmas project before Advent begins!

Storybook Advent

Ah, books:: the gifts that keep on giving! There are countless benefits to reading with your child every day, and this is a great place to start or shift gears for the holiday season. These storybook calendars give you a short story to read with your kids every night and will help you create warm, fuzzy, fond memories together. This one gives you a little bit of the Christmas story to read each night, or you can check out these from Nickelodeon , Disney , or Marvel. There are so many options to choose from!

An Activity a Day

If you are looking for a different way to Advent, try an experience a day! In such a busy season, it can be easy to lose sight of the joy of just hanging with family. That’s why I love the idea of the experiential advent calendar. Think of something simple you can do as a family every day:: read the Christmas story, watch a Christmas movie, walk through the neighborhood and look at lights, make gingerbread houses, do a Christmas craft, or decorate cookies. No idea is too small or too big, but I suggest keeping it simple so you don’t get overwhelmed with all the things or break the bank! If you need some help with putting it together or ideas to get going, check out the Advent Prep Club!

Advent Calendars for Moms and Dads

couple toasting with champagne

Advent calendars are not just for kids, friends. There are some incredible calendars out that will leave you just as giddy as your kids to see what you can open each day!

I’m dreaming of a wine Christmas

Give it as a gift or treat yourself. Either way:: Best. Gift. Ever. You can find these at Costco, Target, Kroger , HEB, or Aldi while supplies last. {They go fast, so call ahead!}

Cheese, Please

While you’re setting up your wine experience, why not pair it with this delicious cheese advent calendar from Aldi! My inbox blew up with raves about this cheesy goodness, so get it while it lasts! 

A Dram a Day

For the whiskey lover in your life, check out this box of twelve different pours from Drizly . Featuring Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, and Irish, your palate will be pleased with the different notes from different regions of the world! 

Holiday Glow

This collection from L’Occitane is packed with 24 different beauty products like hand creams, shower oils, and overnight serums that will leave your skin and hair glowing and refreshed this holiday season. Plus it comes in a delightful holiday market package with individual openings to make it fun every day! For skin care and makeup selections, check out this Diamond & Ice calendar from Ulta! 

O Holy Cow – Jerky Crate

Man Crates have been so fun to gift to my husband, but we’d fight over this one! Jerky lovers get ready to be amazed by O Holy Cow – a Jerky Advent calendar with 25 different jerky bits to fill the holiday season with savory flavors! 

Advent Calendars for Pets

little dog in reindeer costume under a Christmas tree

Yes, I said it. Because our fur babies need love too. Aldi has some fun treat Advent calendars for dogs and cats ,  and I love this toy advent calendar from Chewy! Pecto has some really cute options as well, and their dog treat calendar is currently buy 2 get 1 free. 

We’d love to hear some unique ideas from you! What have you done in the Advent season that your family loves? Is there a must-have Advent calendar that’s not on our list? Let us know in the comments!

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