Well, Thanksgiving is over now, so we can officially start the countdown to Christmas on December 1st. Sorry, but it's true.
Lighten the blow with a creative advent calendar to make the countdown more fun. Nowadays, advent calendars go way beyond opening little windows to a blah chocolate square.
Check out our roundup of nine festive advent calendars for your countdown -- some to DIY, some for purchase.
9 Festive Advent Calendars: DIY or Buy
Shown above: Totally in love with this Vinyl Advent Wall Calendar Christmas Tree ($39.95) from Willow Creek Signs. Each set includes a removable vinyl tree and 25 ornaments. Lots of colors from which to choose.
I just bought this Buckets of Joy Advent Calendar (was $68; now $19) from Garnet Hill for our our holiday mantel. I'm splitting the days with my husband and we'll add goodies for the kids each day in December -- probably small sweets, trinkets, and "coupons" for activities and movie rentals, etc.
Like the bucket advent calendar above but feel crafty? Make your own Branches and Buckets Wall Advent, like Macey at Olivia Renn did. See the complete how-to on her blog.
This Threaded Gifts Advent Calendar from Silke at Martha Stewart's The Crafts Dept. blog is quite fun and pretty no nonsense. No numbers needed. Just wrap up 24 small gifts and hang them with string. Kids can cut off one a day until Christmas.
Got a plethora of wooden spools? Then why not use this Spool Advent Calendar Kit with free printables from Just Something I Made to make your family counter.
This Advent Calendar Poster from JHIll Design is so pretty and bright. Plus, it's FREE with any purchase through December 7th (think 2011 calendars, personalized family tree gifts, and more). Or you can download the PDF for just $5.
Here's a cool adult-version advent -- a Tea Variety Advent Calendar Garland ($15) from Blue Moonstone. Sip your way to the holidays.
This gorgeous Pottery Barn Ornament Advent seen on imperfect could be used in so many fun ways. Yes, an ornament a day. But also what about fun kid-friendly items or little finds from nature. I would love an acorn, leaf, and seedling advent myself.
Adoring this sweet and crafty Vintage Button Advent Calendar (and holiday wall decoration!) from Jennifer at Muse Lodge. Isn't it adorable? Get the complete how-to on her blog.
How do you count down the days until the big holiday?