12-lifestyle-advent

How to make your own Advent calendar

One of the best parts of Christmas has to be Advent calendars. Whilst throughout October and November, small reminders of Christmas celebration begin to pop up, the anticipation grows furiously during the final month of the year. Advent calendars are entirely symbolic of the never-ending excitement that occurs before Christmas; as each chocolate you chew brings you another day closer to the big event.

Advent calendars, which originated in the mid 19th century, exist to count down the days of Advent, which are the four weeks after St Andrew’s Day on November 26. However, over the years, it has become far more common for the calendars to account for the four weeks before Christmas Day, with each day revealing a hidden chocolate.

However, Advent calendars needn’t just involve popping open a small door that leads to chocolate, it’s possible to customise or make your own. There are plenty of ways to make your own Advent calendar that are easily adjustable to your hobbies, budget, and – let’s be honest – negligible craft skills. Homemade Advent calendars can also make for a really thoughtful, wallet friendly, Christmas gift.

Advent treats don’t have to be chocolates, they could be anything: books, craft projects, your favourite Christmas songs or even alcohol. There is also no need to stick to the normal Advent calendar design. Some of the best ideas involve unique designs such as envelopes with activity ideas inside, a treasure hunt, or even an Advent jam jar. There is only one rule when designing an Advent calendar: the more creative the better.

When designing your Advent calendar you might want to follow a theme. This could be your favourite book, film, hobby or even colour. A topical example might be a Gilmore Girls themed Advent calendar including surprises like a fancy cup of coffee at your favourite cafe (ie: Luke’s), a trip to a book shop if you’re a bibliophile like Rory, or even a pizza delivery so that you can eat the Gilmore way.

Finally, it’s time to build your Advent calendar and consequently, bring out your inner elf. The calendar needn’t be fancy; you can use anything that you have lying around. Some particularly student friendly ideas are: wine bottles, toilet roll holders, empty jars, old flyers, or even the plastic bag collection. If you struggle to find anything to use around your flat you could always visit Amazon or Hobbycraft, which have a wide selection of materials to use in your Advent construction.

Here’s my DIY Advent calendar idea for a winter survival kit:

Edinburgh weather is no joke, and if you combine this with coursework, exams, and arranging to get home for the holidays, December can become quite stressful. Treat yourself to weekly, or even better, daily, surprises to manage that stress while you count down to Christmas. These treats could include: going for a hot yoga class, buying a scarf, re-reading one of your favourite books, arranging to spend time with a close friend, or whatever makes you feel great. The winter survival kit could be a great go to in order to make sure that you indulge in some self-care this December.

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The Student Newspaper 2016