Can you believe that December is only two days away?! I could hardly believe it until I stepped outside to feed my bunny this morning and his water bowl had frozen over overnight! The weather has definitely dropped a few degrees in the past few days, and I'm feeling very thankful that we have access to heating, and are able to pay for it to keep our home warm.
I've been thinking about what to do during advent since October, when I started watching Zoella's 2015 Vlogmas. I decided I really wanted to do something special for my nearest and dearest this year to get them excited for the big day. It's the first year that me and my boyfriend will be spending Christmas day together, and I really want to make it one to remember.
So, here are 10 special advent ideas that I considered, before finally settling on doing number one for him and my sister:
1.) 24 days of small presents. I have genuinely had so much fun doing this one. I set myself a budget of up to £2 for each gift, apart from a special one on Christmas Eve, and got to work finding loads of little treasures. I started collecting things for these advent calendars way back in October, so it hasn't felt too costly. Now all I have to do is wrap them and put them in an order that I'd like them to open them in! I included a whole range of beauty, toiletries, lifestyle, fashion and trinket-y bits in these, and I can't wait to see what they think of them.
2.) Writing a letter/postcard a day. My grandma and I mostly communicate by writing letters back and forth every few weeks, and I love sending cute, artsy postcards to my sister, so this one seems like a lot of fun. Either choose 24 members of your family/friends, or double up on a few people! If I was going to do this, my sister and grandma would probably get 4 or 5 each.
3.) Do one kind deed a day. The #GRLPOWR Twitter chat was all about giving during the Christmas season this week, and I felt so inspired by it to do more during the month of December. If you want to make this into an actual calendar, then you could totally draw your ideas for the kind deeds up into one and hang it on your wall. I'm thinking of buying a homeless person a hot drink one day and trying to smile at everybody I meet on another, even though I'm not 'officially' doing this one.
4.) Give one thing to charity each day. When I moved house I realised just how much unnecessary stuff I hoard for absolutely no reason, when someone else would just love it. There's still a whole bunch of things in my wardrobe that need to go, and a pile of books waiting to be taken to the charity shop, so I'm going to be bringing it all in in December. It'd be so great if we all did this and gave charities a massive boost during this time of year!
5.) Special chocolates each day. I actually got this idea from one of Tanya Burr's vlogs, where she spoke about the fact that her husband, Jim, hid little lindt teddy bears around the house during advent: one for each day. Doing this with your partner's/mum's/sister/'s/dad's/whoever's favourite chocolate or sweet would be a lovely way to perk up their day.
6.) Call someone every day. Christmas is all about spending time with people, but if (like me) you don't live too close to your family anymore, that can be really hard to do. Giving someone a call is such a nice, simple way to make someone know that they're being thought of at this time of year. I really struggle with making phone calls because of my anxiety, so this would be perfect for me if I felt like challenging myself.
7.) Have a present hide and seek with clues. This is another idea that I've borrowed from a Youtuber. Zoella did this last year for her partner and it looked like such fun! I would love to make up little clues to find lots of little presents all around the house.
8.) Go on weekly dates, with a present each day leading up to it. This is a couple based one (obvs), but you can alter it how you want. It's so hard to find time to actually go on dates anymore, but it would be lovely to set aside four nights during December to do it. Each day you can give the other person little hints as to what the date will be, or little things that they can use on the date. I'd love to go to an outdoor ice rink, and would get gloves, a hat, a scarf, etc, as the presents leading up to it.
9.) A homemade candle advent calendar. There are a few candle advent calendars out there, but (in my opinion at least), they're pretty overpriced, and they never have exactly what you want. Making a candle calendar for yourself or someone you love with their favourite scents in would be such a thoughtful gift. It also doesn't have to work out as being too expensive: Primark have some really good jar candles for £1 and I've spotted some for the same price in Wilkos too!
10.) A homemade beauty calendar. This idea is obviously pretty similar to the last. Beauty advent calendars are even more overpriced, and I may have shed a little tear when I wandered into The Body Shop a couple of weeks ago and saw how much they were charging for theirs. You can include loads of different toiletries, and minis to keep the cost down AND then it will be filled with things that the person will actually use.
I've filmed a video over on my Youtube channel all about this here:
I really hope that you enjoyed this post, and that it's helped you feel a little more festive. What kind of advent calendar are you doing this year?