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Sometimes it isn’t always easy to buy gifts for the closest people in our lives. Ever since we got married, I’ve been making my husband an advent calendar to last him all throughout the month of December.

It has evolved from little notes each day in December to this shoe-hanger-turned-gift-giver:

How to Make a DIY Advent Calendar:

  1. Pick what is going to hold your advent calendar. I recommend an over the door shoe organizer. But you could also do envelopes in a shoe box or a more traditional-style advent calendar like this one.
  2. Map out your gifts. I give a ton of gift suggestions below for different ideas to put in your calendar. 
  3. Set it up. Whether you are going with a set up like the one I show above or envelopes, prep your gifts for opening. You may want to wrap smaller gifts do them up in tissue paper.

Here are some some general tips that I’ve learned throughout the years:

  1. Check Groupon – they have a great date night ideas at super discounted prices.
  2. Get creative with Amazon prime. You can order quite a few little stocking stuffer’s and not have to pay shipping.
  3. I have good luck at our local CVS or Walgreens for snacks and little gifts.
  4. Investing in gift sets such as Counterman go a long way (divide it up and you can knock out 4 days of gifts!)

Take it from someone who has done a LOT of my hubby’s advent calendar shopping on the last day of November: it helps if you pick items up throughout the year so that you don’t have to scramble the day before!

Here is a list of items that I’ve added to my DIY advent calendar in the past:

  • Inspirational rock
  • A “Reasons I Love You” list
  • Date night ideas
  • Registered for a 5k
  • Registered for an adventure run
  • Favorite candy or snack 
  • Go cart racing trip
  • A tie
  • A Christmas ornament
  • A picture framed for office
  • A wallet sized picture of your pet
  • A love verse for by the bed
  • Throwback photo from when you first started dating
  • Kids or pet handprint/paw print
  • Old movie or the first movie you watched together
  • Personalized glass coke bottle
  • One of those giant long phone cord’s
  • Movie tickets
  • Farmers market date night
  • Cheesy coupon book
  • Mistletoe
  • Coffee mug
  • Luggage tag
  • Fitness socks
  • Dress socks
  • Funny socks
  • Car wash
  • Car air freshener
  • Stitch fix month
  • Qalo ring
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle
  • Headlamp
  • Beard oil
  • Beard balm
  • Counterman Gift Set
  • Skincare
  • Boxers
  • Wallet
  • Fidget spinner
  • BBQ sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Coffee
  • Paperweight
  • Portable speaker
  • Pop socket
  • Essential oils (my husband loves the travel roll on ones!)
  • Pocket knife toolPlaying cards
  • Jacks
  • Travel-sized board game
  • Cufflinks
  • Bike repair kit
  • Gear tie
  • Chop sabers
  • Candle
  • Map pillowcase
  • Adventure map
  • A planner

What are some of your favorite items to put in his or her stocking or advent calendar? If you make one, be sure and let me know – I’d love to hear all about it!