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This Simple DIY Advent Gift Calendar Is Perfect for Adults

by on Nov 27, 2017

I’m going to use this platform to declare this: advent calendars are kinda the best. They capture all the excitement building in the hearts and minds of children and they temper it by delivering it in small doses the 24 days leading up to Christmas. Growing up, the method my parents employed was a drug store calendar filled with tiny poor-quality milk chocolates that my brother and I retrieved by poking our fingers through a small perforated square. And, we loved it! We looked forward to receiving those calendars every year – and I’m sure the small morsel of so-so-chocolate helped tame us a little bit.

Seeing the complete joy my own children get out of the advent calendar tradition got me thinking about why we don’t give them to adults. I know we’re the mature ones who have the composure and will-power to wait until Christmas to open our gifts … but, c’mon, that’s no fun. So this year I decided Bruno was going to partake in the slow trickle of magic that is advent.

Read on to see how I put an adult advent calendar together; maybe it’ll inspire you to try one of your own.


  • 24 boxes (envelopes or pillow boxes would do the trick too)
  • Numbered stickers
  • Twine
  • 24 knick-knacks (Most of mine were $5 and under)


Number your boxes 1 to 24.

Two hands folding yellow paper


Fill them with treasures*.

A hand crafting a piece of paper into something

A person is holding a pair of blue socks with a geometrical design.

A hand holds a small object next to tan boxes with numbers on them.

A hand holds a small brown box with the number 4 on it and many other numbered boxes next to it.

Two hands hold a small white object with a green attachment on it next to a tan box with the number 14 on it.

Four bown pieces of paper with numbers on them with a hand holding up one of them

The sky's the limit, and yet, you want to keep those 24 treasures affordable.

A person is moving around numbered boxes.

What to Put in Those Boxes for Your Adult Advent Calendar:

The sky’s the limit, and yet, you want to keep those 24 treasures affordable. Here are some of the items I put inside the boxes:


Wrap them up in twine whilst humming “My Favorite Things”

A person puts twine around a numbered piece of paper.


Take great satisfaction in the knowledge that you are knowing you are making someone’s day…

What special gifts or gestures or kindness are you planning this holiday season? I love to hear all the fun ideas our readers come up with, so please share yours in the comments!

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  1. I am in the process of doing one for my hubby too, and each enveloppe will contain a note with a fun geek quote (as he is a computer scientist). I hope he will like it !