Tomorrow is October 1st—meaning Halloween is just around the corner. Matt and I are both big into Halloween and are already midway through planning our costumes. Halloween is extra special this year because it will be the first one we celebrate together in Miami. Halloween is huge in Miami; children and adults make the most of it every year. So we decided to embrace the Halloween advent calendar trend. I was thrilled when I discovered this is an actual thing.

Advent calendars are, for the most part, made for children. But for several years now, brands have created versions for adults. Read this article to see what I mean.

Most advent calendars come with a surprise for each day of the month, but you can also buy empty calendars to fill on your own.

Since we both want to participate in the experience, we split the month. I would fill the first 15 days with gifts for him, and he would fill the next 15 days with gifts for me. Then we would both fill the 31st. We headed to a craft store and picked up a wooden, DIY, coffin-shaped advent calendar.

Initially, we wanted to paint the carvings on each drawer to make them stand out. However, the wood was too porous and our acrylic paint too runny. The paint bled as soon as it touched a drawer.

We tried our best to make it work, even putting some clear polish around the areas we weren’t painting. That didn’t work either, and we ended up with a big mess. The only way to fix the mistake was to paint over it. That’s when we decided to spray paint the exterior gold and most of the drawers black.

Since that covered up the carvings on the drawers, we purchased stickers on Amazon. It ended up looking better than we had originally envisioned.

I have no idea what gifts Matt has planned for his 15 days, but I have mine all sorted out. However, since the drawers are small, the gifts I purchased won’t fit. To spin a would-be problem into added fun, I will hide them around the house and leave clues in the drawers. I also want to point out that we agreed on a $20 limit for each gift, and many of the things I got him are in the $5 range. If you would like to know all of the gifts we got each other, leave a comment below, and I will do a follow-up post.

Let the Halloween countdown begin!