November already. Time is flying by like crazy and it is only a couple of weeks before we enter another Advent season.

In Germany, Advent calendars are an ingrained tradition. In fact, the first Advent calendars can be tracked back to the mid-19th century.

At the beginning, however, they looked quite different from the ones existing today. The first Advent calendars often were not more than a chalk stroke applied on a door each day starting on December 1st and counting down to December 24th. Or a candle lit in front of different small religious pictures hung up during the first 24 days in December.

DIY Advent Calendar

Later, in the early 1900s the first printed Advent calendars appeared. They consisted of 24 different pictures but there were still no doors to be opened. And when doors actually arrived, there was no chocolate or candies behind them but usually religious pictures or verses.

Finally, the first Advent calendar filled with chocolate was produced in 1958.

From that time onwards, Advent calendars were typically stuffed with a small piece of chocolate or some candy behind each of their 24 doors.

Seeing their huge popularity – and the fact that even adults don’t want to give up counting down the days to Christmas by opening a door on an Advent calendar – Advent calendars quickly started to feature other items as well.

Today, only your own imagination can put a limit to what items to fill your Advent calendar with. From perfumes, jewellery, beauty products, gift vouchers and off course different food and drinks, absolutely everything is possible. 

DIY Advent Calendar

Do not waste any time, get started right now to put together your own personalized Advent calendar for family members and friends. It is easier than you might think.

It’s also a lot of fun.

The hardest part will be to give it away and not keep for yourself!

What you need to put together your own personalized Advent calendar

The simplest way to create a personalized Advent calendar you can give to family members or friends is to buy prefabricated calendars you can fill individually.

Prefabricated Advent calendars to be filled exist in many styles. There are those you can hang on the wall made of wood, cardboard or fabric with little satchels or boxes to be filled. Others could feature small boxes, satchels, Advent calendar trees, and many others.

DIY Advent Calendar

If you are looking to buy prefabricated Advent Calendar sets, I recommend searching places like Etsy

Alternatively, you can also be much more creative and build your DIY personalized Advent calendar from scratch.

Some ideas?

  • Wrap the items you want to include individually and simply apply a number to each of the packages.
  • Buy different satchels or stocking (or make them yourself sewing them together) and fill with your chosen items.
  • Fill old marmelade jars or similar.

Five amazing ideas for DIY food and drink Advent Calendars

If you want to make your own culinary Advent calendar this year, you should get started right now as assembling the needed items will take a bit of planning and time.

Whether you buy the food and beverages for your culinary Advent calendar or make them yourself, there are many great ideas to create a special foodie Advent calendar to fit different tastes.

Off course, if you want to make an Advent calendar stuffed with food, you need to carefully select what to include. As the food needs to preserve for nearly a month, obviously you cannot use perishable goods, or the food needs to be packaged to keep them fresh.

Here are some ideas of personalized Advent calendars made of food and beverages family members and friends will love.

Christmas cookie Advent calendar

Do you love baking? Especially Christmas cookies?

If the answer is yes, you will easily find plenty of different cookie recipes to fill 24 small cookie bins with the most delicious Christmas cookies.

In case you are going to fill your Advent calendar with Christmas cookies, it is important you make sure to use the right containers to keep the cookies fresh. Although some will last a few days simply put into a satchel or cardboard box, others might go squashy after some days if not stored correctly.

In fact, the best solution would be to use small cookie bins. Or one large one which you can fill with 24 individual small satchels or boxes containing different types of cookies.

Tea or coffee Advent calendar

For the tea or coffee lover in your life, put together a personalized Advent calendar containing 24 different teas or coffees.

DIY Advent Calendar

Creating an Advent calendar containing 24 different types of tea is actually one of the easiest and quickest self-made Advent calendars. All you need to do is heading to a tea shop near you and buy 24 small batches of different teas.

If you want to make it a coffee Advent calendar instead, the easiest and quickest way to find different types of coffee is likely to look online. There are some amazing shops where you can find a large range of different coffees; and usually they will also sell tea making them a great place in case you go for the tea version.

One site I like for its great choice is UK-based Whittard. They actually deliver to a large number of countries world-wide too.

Gin Advent calendar

No doubt, this is the ultimate treat for any gin lover.

With more than 3,500 gins produced around the world, the hardest part putting together a gin Advent calendar is choosing just 24 different gins.

DIY Advent Calendar
DIY Advent Calendar

That said, your choice will be narrowed down by these gins being available in miniature bottles. Because off course the idea behind the gin Advent calendar is to enjoy a different gin each day counting down to Christmas. Not to give away 24 full-size bottles.

In fact, why not go over the top and think of 24 different gin and tonic combinations or different gin cocktails out of the 24 different types you include in the Advent calendar? For each day, add the respective cocktail recipe along with the different tonics, liquors and spices needed to create a unique flavour profile / cocktail.

DIY Advent Calendar

If you wonder where to find miniature gin bottles, there are various online sites offering a large range of small bottles; usually containing around 0.05 litres (50 ml of gin). Just the right size for a gin and tonic or gin cocktail.

Two I like to order from and who are shipping internationally are The Whisky Exchange and Just Miniatures.

Alternatively, many sites selling wine and spirits also offer ready-made gin Advent calendars. But honestly, that is only half the fun.

By the way, you can off course substitute gin with all sorts of other spirits like whisky or rum. Or go for a mixed spirits Advent calendar.

Craft beer Advent calendar

Your significant other half is a beer lover? Then a craft beer Advent calendar will be highly appreciated.

These days, many craft beers sell in cans. All you need to do is finding 24 different craft beers which you then can package up or fit into 24 different gift bags / boxes.

Again, check out the relevant online sites. You will quickly find a lot of suitable choices from where to order 24 different craft beers.

Spices Advent calendar

If you want to present someone who loves to cook with an Advent calendar, filling it with 24 different and possibly exotic spices is anther winning idea.

Once again, go over the top and also include a recipe. Possibly something easy to prepare that calls for the specific spice to be used.

Will you have an Advent calendar this year? What type of goods would you like to find behind its doors?

DIY Advent Calendar