Everyone, however much they earn or possess, has been affected by the recent cost of living increases. With things looking like not settling down any time soon, it is vital to save money wherever possible for many of us.

However, it is also vital not to dampen the Christmas spirit whilst doing so. Advent calendars are always fun, but if you have a larger family or expensive tastes, it might be challenging. Here are some suggestions for creating your own DIY advent calendar without breaking the bank.

Outings and Activities

From heading to the local park donning Christmas fancy dress to having a wander around the local neighbourhood (that are not necessarily affected by the energy price hikes judging by the extravagance of Christmas displays), there are loads of FREE activities that you can do during advent. Check out the local press for details of other free events locally that are happening.

Alternatively, friends and relatives may wish to spend some money on you and your children, so you could pay for entry tickets to a show or fair, enjoying this as part of your DIY advent calendar.

Jot all the outings and activities down on pieces of paper and stuff them into envelopes, tiny stockings, boxes etc and number them. Of course, doing it this way means you can work out when is best to do which thing.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaws are always fun (but often result in arguments and frustration with certain people – no names mentioned!). Grab a Christmas-themed one from a charity or even one being offered for free on Facebook, for example.

Divide the pieces up between 24/25 days and place them into bags, boxes or envelopes. Every morning, one bag or box can be opened, gradually putting the jigsaw together, slowly revealing the overall image.

Christmas Tree

Spend the weekend putting up your Christmas tree and this can form the basis of your advent calendar. Purchase some of the fill-your-own crackers and add a little treat into each one, such as sweets, hair accessories or a fidget toy, numbering it and placing it onto the tree.

Alternatively, you can buy baubles that you can fill with your own treats. If it is adults only enjoying the advent calendar, why not try the wine ones? Making small felt stockings can be effective, too.

Washing Line

Another lovely DIY advent calendar is a washing line. You could use twine or a long thin branch (or a few) to create this.

Grab some small brown paper bags and decorate on the outside with the number and some Christmas embellishments, such as stickers, ribbons or just some funky festive drawings.

Fill the bags with treats and then peg them onto the washing line.

Santa’s Beard

Finally, we have saved our favourite advent calendar right until the end. Draw or print the outline of Santa’s face and hat without him having a beard (but room to add one), making sure everything is coloured in.

The only thing that needs adding now is cotton wool to create his fluffy beard. Each morning, your child can glue on a new cotton wool ball.

The bushier the beard, the sooner it is until Santa arrives. How exciting! Be sure to have a tub of chocolates for your child to choose from as well.

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