Christmas can be a costly time of year with children and adults alike craving festive traditions and expensive treats. While you can purchase advent calendars for a low cost these days, for many, they are unable to really engage themselves in the excitement with these low-quality items. If you are looking for something far more exciting, consider the following five budget options.

Family chocolates and a chalkboard or whiteboard

A family tub of chocolates is a fantastic way to celebrate advent. Simply grab a chalkboard or whiteboard and divide into 24 (or 25 if you’re into the modern ways!) sections, numbering them as you go.

Grab a blindfold and do it this way, if you’re feeling brave, as many will object to a certain type of sweet.

Many supermarkets have large tubs on offer at the moment, so grab a couple while they are more reasonably priced.

Festive film nights

Create your own advent calendar when upon opening you find a festive film awaiting you. If you have the films on DVDs, which some of you will no doubt have, wrap them up and number them.

If you are going to be watching on Netflix or Prime, you will need to find images and use these to put inside numbered envelopes.

For even more fun, instead of images, you could use the film titles to create anagrams, such as “ooh enamel” which is… Home Alone!

Positive affirmations jar

We all know that with the countdown to Christmas comes excitement, but for many of us, it can also be a stressful time. When things don’t necessarily go our way, we can find ourselves thinking negatively about ourselves.

Using a positive affirmations jar is a great replacement for an advent calendar. Either print off 24 affirmations (you can use ours here) or write your own on lollipop sticks, post-it notes, or whatever you like.

Each day, pull a new one out of the jar, read and reflect upon it. Try to live with that message in mind.

Deck the halls with… a disco

Who doesn’t like a good old dance to a Christmas song? Not only is it fun and helps get those endorphins flowing, but it is also a fantastic way of raising your heart rate for a short period of time.

Instead of opening a door to reveal chocolate, you could create a table in a document and inside each cell put a QR code. The family member whose turn it is to ‘open’ the advent calendar gets to scan the code, and it will lead to a YouTube video of the Christmas song.

Bedtime story time

Finally, though more expensive than a standard advent calendar, grabbing a pack of books from a bargain book shop like the Works can increase your child’s library and at a low cost.

In other words, the joy of this advent calendar lasts a much longer length of time. Choose a selection of books, including some Christmas-themed ones, and then wrap them up and label them with a large number. Take it in turns to unwrap and then snuggle up in bed, enjoying the story.

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