National News has been dropping hints that merchandise may run out before Christmas. Only time will tell if that comes to pass. If commercial items become scarce, perhaps shopping local can help a bit.
Regardless, you can still put together your own Advent calendar with local treats and experiences. It doesn’t even have to be fancy, but if you are creatively-inclined, go for it! It can be as simple as 24 envelopes or small wrapped boxes labeled 1-24, each containing a treat, trinket, or experiences.
Although Advent this year technically started on November 27 and goes through December 24, many people use their Advent Calendars by opening the first box or window on December 1.
Southern Illinois is filled with many beautiful Christmas displays, experiences, and unique gifts. Although this post is about Advent calendars, there are many local items that would also make wonderful Hanukkah and Christmas presents.
You and your family or friends will open a box/envelope for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Of course, one person will need to assume the role of “Advent Calendar Admin” and fill the Little boxes or envelopes the daily surprises. If it is a small trinket, such as a Christmas ornament or bit of candy, it may fit in the box. If it is something larger, such as the experience of visiting a local Christmas Light Display or tree farm, it goes on a little note. Many also include a Bible verse each day leading up to the birth of Christ.
There are many Christmas events throughout our region. Some of these are listed in the “Events” section of this website and the ASOSI app. I’m sure there are many more wonderful ones, such as church and school Christmas programs and dance recitals.
If you are stumped for gift ideas, L.E.A.F. Food Hub, the online Farmer’s Market, as well as the Carbondale Community Farmer’s Market have more than just wonderful food. You can find great gifts like items like lotions, soaps, and even natural loofah sponges and dish scrubbers are great. Gift certificates for locally owned restaurants are also an option. Be creative. Have fun. More importantly, make some wonderful memories with those you love as you celebrate Christ’s birth.
A Few Resources to Aid in Creating Your Unique Advent Calendar:
Bible Verses for Advent https://happyhomefairy.com/bible-verse-advent-cards-free-printables/
Christmas Lights, Sights, & Sounds: http://asliceofsouthernillinois.com/2020/12/04/christmas-lights-sights-sounds/
Local Artisans and Crafters: http://asliceofsouthernillinois.com/local-artisans-crafters/
Southern Illinois Eats-2021 Christmas Gift Ideas https://southernillinoiseats.com/2020/11/28/2021-christmas-gift-ideas/
Tastes of Southern Illinois: http://asliceofsouthernillinois.com/tastes/