Procrastinator’s guide to advent calendars

Dear fellow procrastinating moms: ‘Tis the season for breathtaking advent calendars, many handcrafted from felt or boasting your kids’ monograms to serve as keepsakes for the years to come.

Stop looking at them. They are not for the likes of us.

Instead, we last-minute ladies depend on ready-made, off-the-shelf wares or haphazard DIY projects. Luckily, there are a ton to be had out there. Just remember, December 6 can be rounded down to December 1, so really, you’re right on time. Now run out there and throw one in your cart or roll up those crafty sleeves.


PicMonkey Collage

Row 1: $39.95, Land of Nod//$49, Land of Nod//same, in red
Row 2: $49, Land of Nod//Santa Advent Calendar, Pottery Barn Kids (no longer available online–procrastinated in getting this blog post up, naturally)//$19.99, Target
Row 3: $29.99, Target//$34.99, Target//Marimekko, $119, Crate and Barrel


Here’s what I like about the 24-Drawer Decorative House from The Container Store: You can DIY it to your heart’s content or leave it as is to house knick-knacks long after you (finally) throw out the Christmas tree. I saw this in person and it’s a sturdy, coated kraft paper–a far cry from the upcycled cereal box look in the photo. And the size of those last two boxes: genius. As in, even if you waited until a few days before Christmas, all is forgiven when you shove double the treats into those.

Here’s what I like about the Kid Made Modern Countdown Calendar from Target: It’s a sewing craft kit the kids do on their own. I repeat: craft kit. Kids. On their own. I would have picked it up, but it looked very involved and overwhelming for my six-year-old. I may grab it when it goes on clearance to save for next year; the midcentury-modern vibe is too good to pass up.



Row 1: paper bags//vending machine snowmen//paper candy pouches
Row 2: coffee cups//mini muffin tin//toilet paper rolls
Row 3: clothespins//paper trees//books

some require a modest fee, i.e. $5 or less.

printable advent

Row 1: Mibo//adorable little houses//more adorable little houses
Row 2: b&w boxes//a town’s worth//merry + bright
Row 3: vintage ornaments//can’t get enough houses//mibo penguin

As for us, this is the first year we actually started on time. We’re using a felt craft kit from Target that was super easy and simple fun for the boys, in the holiday craft section for $10. The pockets are tiny, though, barely able to fit a hershey’s kiss or erasers. I may just have to spring for one of the printable houses.

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