Here we are, floating in the tender window of time between Thanksgiving and the 1st of December – bellies bloated, heads hungover, and fridges full from the holiday that officially brought us into the holiday season. Now is the time many of us consider dusting off the boxes of Christmas (or other holiday) decorations, holding them atop our beer bellies and wrestling them through awkward doorways and stairways to find their temporary resting place. They sit there looking festive until – let’s be honest – February when we’ll do the same struggling dance to place them back in the attic, basement, or closet from whence they came.
The dwindling days of November after Thanksgiving are typically dedicated to proving our capitalist society has a death grip on us, urging every able being to spend money on gifts we’ll feel guilty about not buying. I do my best to avoid deals for the sake of deals, but the thrift in me instilled by my mother and grandfather cannot always be contained. And if I must buy something, it damn well better be some beer… for a Beer Advent Calendar!
I may not find deals at the liquor store, but at least I’ll find tasty beer, which is almost better. But before venturing out, I decided to create a very fancy custom designed cardboard and wrapping paper advent calendar extraordinaire! You can buy some pretty professional-looking beer advent calendar containers online, but then you’ll have to spend even mooooorree money. Believe me, you’ll want to make one with your own two hands. It’s like the macaroni and Elmer’s glue card vs. a hallmark. Save that cash for what’s inside, won’t you?
Advent Calendar Assembly Instructions and Tips
- If you start this adventure without pouring yourself a beer, you’re really not getting it. Crank the Christmas jams, eat some cookies, and sip on your favorite barleywine. Eggnog is also acceptable.
- You’ll need all the typical tools for present wrapping plus two empty 12 pack boxes for 500ml or 750ml bottles with bottle separator inserts (scissors, scotch tape, wrapping paper, boxes). The bigger and sturdier the boxes, the better.
- If you can, remove the separator inserts and set them aside.
- Cut off all four box flaps and set them aside, too.
- Wrap each box like a present, cutting the top side short and taping the edges down into the box. Make it look as sexy as possible. This is not supposed to be the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree of present wrapping.
- Now it’s time to get reeeeeeally creative! Using whatever material you have – maybe those left over cardboard flaps (because leftovers are the theme of the weekend) – cut squares or circles shaped no larger than each bottle slot, and write the numbers 1-24 on them. Use colored sharpies or whatever festive idea you can come up with to make them look special! Set those aside (don’t lose any!) until you’ve secured your bottles.
- To keep the mystery and magic alive during the advent, you’ll need something to cover the bottles or cans you select. Use colored tissue paper, wrapping paper, misfit socks, or any other opaque wrapping that prevents the naked eye from revealing the advent calendar contents prematurely. I got some decorative tissue paper and gaudy sparkle stickers from the dollar store for an extra spectacular PRESENTation! 😉
- Now… go buy some beer!!! 24 beers, to be exact.
- Your creative juices should be at their strongest now. You can choose a theme – all IPAs perhaps – or you can go all willy nilly style and get whatever your heart desires. Place a couple duds in there for the hell of it! Make it fun. Make it tasty. Make it magical!
- I decided to do mostly beer, with some wine and other treats mixed in. Some days will have beer AND German chocolate, while one or two may have something like coal and Natty Ice. Keep them guessing!
- Once your delicious (or not so delicious) treats have been scheduled out for 24 days, use your tissue paper or whatnot to wrap or cover each item, and place them in their respective slots. As each one finds its place in the box, give it a number for the day it should be opened on. I used scotch tape on the bottom of each number to keep it attached to the tissue paper. Keep the numbers in order or mix them up – it doesn’t matter.
- Voila! Your Beer Advent Calendar is complete! I hope your friend has enough room in their fridge for two obnoxious 12 pack boxes. If not, I recommend they open each day’s delight in the morning and pop their liquid treat in the fridge for afternoon sipping.
If filling all 24 slots is a bit tedious or expensive, you can always cut it in half and do the 12 days of Christmas. If you celebrate a different holiday or no holidays at all, you can still enjoy the surprise of opening a random beer for 12-24 days in a row.
Now, go find your lucky beer bud and spoil them! And make sure they keep the box for future Christmas’ to come. 🙂