Thanksgiving is behind us and now we can move onto Christmas. I really think it is the most wonderful time of the year! I love walking around our downtown, sipping hot chocolate, and checking out all the cute little shops. This year feels extra special as Ollie LOVES Christmas. The little man has been asking for an “Ollie-sized” Christmas tree for months already. Our house is sure to be a Winter Wonderland. For me, a part of that includes an allergy-friendly advent calendar.
I can still picture the advent calendar I had as a child. It was a big Santa that had numbered pockets on his round belly. Every year, it was filled up with a variety of things: small trinkets, treats, coins… Honestly, it would be a pretty easy allergy-friendly advent calendar as it is SO customizable.
allergy-friendly advent calendar
Here are my top five picks for an allergy-friendly advent calendar. All can be tailored to work for a variety of ages and interests. While most are non-food, I’ve found a number of allergy-friendly food options that are too good not to share!
Books are on the list because this is what we do. I was actually working on this advent calendar before Ollie was born. We had no idea we would even need an allergy-friendly advent calendar. I saw the idea on Pinterest and loved it!
I’ve seen it done as the 12 days of Christmas or as a full month countdown. Gather up the correct number of Christmas books, wrap them, and unwrap a new one to read each night. My husband and I make this a project one night as we try to be strategic with numbering the wrapped books so The Night Before Christmas really is read on the night before Christmas etc, but you definitely don’t have to do that.
I know what you’re thinking… EXPENSIVE. Rest assured, this deal lover wouldn’t go for that. This is where early shopping helps. We went to a lot of consignment and garage sales when I was pregnant. I always scoured the book bins for great holiday options. Places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx often have holiday books on sale, too. We built up our collection of 25 slowly and affordably. This will be our third year using the book advent calendar. We’re swapping out one baby board book for a new one we know Ollie will love. All the rest are the same as other years. I like the idea of adding one new one based on his interested each year, but otherwise, we will continue to use the same base collection.
lego (or other toy kit)
This year, Ollie will have at least two allergy-friendly advent calendars. Legos are huge hit in our house right now and I just couldn’t resist this Lego City Advent Calendar full of cute, Christmas figurines and pieces. There are also Lego Star Wars or Lego Friends options! I’m pretty excited about the new-found love of legos. We’ve already spent hours playing and creating together.
If legos aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other pre-made allergy-friendly advent calendar options! I’ve seen Playmobil, Hot Wheels, Little People, Crayola, and even Disney socks! So fun. Head over to Amazon and google a favorite toy or interest of your child’s and the words “advent calendar.” Chances are you can find something good.
This option is why I said Ollie will have at least two advent calendars this year. My guess is we might also make a paper chain countdown. This allergy-friendly advent calendar is also very budget-friendly. All you need is paper and some tape or a stapler.
At the top, write “Days Until Christmas” on a piece of paper. Decorate it with your child however you please.write Then cut your strips of paper and form the paper chain to attach. As Ollie seems to enjoy counting and numbers a lot, I’ll probably write the numbers on each paper loop as well. This allergy-friendly advent calendar is easy, educational, and can be made with supplies you probably already have at home!
I’ve been reading about a lot of reverse advent calendars online lately and really love the idea. There are a few variations but the idea is reversing things and giving something each day instead of getting. You can put out a basket and add a non-perishable item each day. On Christmas Eve, you’d donate the basket of food to a food shelf.
There are also a lot of suggestions for acts of kindness each day. I think someday I may ask to use my old Santa advent calendar to fulfill this. I’ll write suggested acts of kindness for each day and put the note in each pocket. There can be a variety of activities here: bake cookies for a friend, shovel a driveway, help a sibling with a task. The possibilities are endless. It’s a kindhearted and allergy-friendly advent calendar!
Just like with toys, I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by how many allergy-friendly food advent calendars there are. As always, keep in mind that these won’t work for all allergens and to always check about ingredients and manufacturing for yourself. Here are a few I’ve discovered: Vermont Nut Free, Amanda’s Own Confections, No Whey Foods, Haribo gummies, and Moo Free (organic).
Depending on age, you can also get creative with a non-treat allergy-friendly advent calendar. There really are options for everything these days! David’s Tea offers a tea advent calendar. There are a number of different coffee calendars. You can even create a beer advent calendar for those over 21 in your life! As always, make sure to research the ingredients and manufacturing practices yourself to make sure they fit your needs.
I hope this list helps you find the perfect allergy-friendly advent calendar for everyone in your life! I hope you enjoy a safe and happy holiday season! If you get a calendar, don’t forget to share it with me on social media by tagging ollergy.