Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about anxiety, minimalism and eyeshadow.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Custom Advent Calendars/Advent Gifts - An Overview

I love Christmas. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. So this year, in an effort to expand my sparkly, fuzzy, Christmas bubble I’ve decided to do advent calendars/gifts for my Mum, Sister, Gran and boyfriend... and maybe also myself. Unless that would be weird...

It started off as a simple enough idea, but quickly escalated and became a bit stressful for a couple of reasons.      

-      Originality. It’s difficult to think up 24 little gifts for people that have no specific interest or hobby. I mean if someone was into cooking there would be a myriad of little cookbooks, utensils, funny stuff etc., and that, I imagine, could be said of most hobbies. My four people however, have no big passion/hobby. Great. It’s not that easy to think of 24 little presents they’ll like, with no real focal point, especially when considering the next factor…

-      Cost. At first I thought, hey, I’ll spend a couple of quid each day… before realising for the four of them that would cost almost £175… um, no, that’s not doable. At all. So then I thought, well, a pound a day? Maybe not quite. So I set a budget of £25-£30 for each. Too optimistic? We’ll see.

-      Who am I actually doing this for? Remember how I said I love Christmas? Well, I think it’s important for me to remember as I do this, who exactly is it for. Sure I would love the challenge and thrill of shopping for 24 unique gifts for each person, but would they enjoy some obscure ‘bargain’ as much as they would enjoy just getting some yummy chocolate?

-      Presentation. Initially I wanted to actually buy/make advent calendars, but this quickly went of the window due to practicality and cost concerns. It would be extra cost, no matter how you do it – I looked at lots of fab thrifty ones online, but even then, there’s an outgoing (x4 for me) that I didn’t feel would actually be appreciated and almost certainly won’t be reused (don’t know if I could go through the stress of all this again!). And also, making a calendar causes size issues. Firstly where would I hang/store these big advent calendars? And secondly, deciding on a size would be a nightmare. If I bought a load of little boxes from eBay for example, what then would I do with the things that are bigger? I certainly wouldn’t want to make the present hunt more difficult by limiting myself to size as well!

In the end I’ve decided not to make a calendar but just to fill a gift bag/stocking in order – so with the 24th right at the bottom. Maybe not as ‘advent’ but it’ll be exciting digging in each day and seeing what is to be discovered. I’ll wrap them all too, because I love wrapping, to make things more exciting and to stop people peeking.

-      The clutter factor. I wanted to try and get things that they could use and then get rid of. I didn’t want things that would just kick about, gather dust and annoy everyone. I know that maybe that sounds pedantic, but our house is cluttered at the best of times; the last thing we need is more inspirational fridge magnets or coasters.

So that is basically an overview of where I am with the project. I know this has been wordy and dull. Here’s an interlude photo of a cat:

Just quickly before I go, here’s a brief description of each person, so that it’s easier for you to all offer present suggestions to help me out ;) :

MUM: 50 years old, nurse/manager, likes chocolate (but is picky), doesn’t do cheap makeup/beauty products (even if they’re perfectly good), doesn’t really drink, doesn’t have a hobby at all.

SISTER: 20 years old, uni student, doesn’t drink much (or so she says). Likes nail varnish (but owns a boat load already), makeup and things with bows on them. Quite girly and likes trying new makeup/beauty stuff. No real hobby to speak of, other than general girlyness.

BOYFRIEND: 31 years old, college student/self employed in the leisure industry, no real hobby (well, except swimming… but there’s not much one can buy for that!), likes food, doesn’t drink much, is definitely not a typical ‘lad’ kind of guy – more of an old fashioned, rugged, wilderness man.  Finding his calendar to be the most difficult, by far!

GRAN: Seventy something, very young and fit for her age - I can't keep up when we go for walks. Doesn't spoil herself much, but does like nice treats. Not a big sweet tooth but has a few faves.

ME: What? Don't judge me... I might do one for myself. Because I'm worth it *L'Oreal hair flick and pout*. I'm 23 I like beauty, fashion and style (shock), chocolate, Disney, baking, cooking, nature and hey... I am EASY to buy for! 

So I think I’ll leave it there for today – I know it’s been a bit dull (sorry), but if I launch into one of the calendars just now then this post will go on forever.

Thanks for reading along!

Have you ever made someone an advent calendar?
Do you have any ideas for me?


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