Do you have an Advent Calendar and do you manage to get it all set up in time? I am pretty convinced that the days speed up right after Halloween and the 1st of December creeps up with little notice. A simple flip of the diary and boom, there it is, the month of Christmas celebrations and the first day of Advent right there, at the beginning. Did you remember the calendar?!
I always like the chocolate calendars with the chocolate behind the window whose appropriate number takes about 20 minutes to find every morning. I really think the numbers move every night, maybe it is the Elf on the stupid Shelf who is responsible….
Just remember not to shake up the chocolate calendars, just in case all of the chocs fall to the bottom on the inside of the lovely calendar and they will not make an appearance behind the window and the foil when required. All the chocolate treats will be languishing in a heap at the bottom of the calendar.
When I was young and earnt my cash by doing a paper round and ringing the church bells (I don’t recommend either if you want to get rich, very low pay even for a kid!), I saved up the 99p it cost for a Cadbury’s Chocolate Advent Calendar and when I got enough money, I ran all the way down to the local newsagent to get my hard earned calendar. I don’t remember if I shared it with my brother, maybe, maybe not!
In recent years I have been using a hand made calendar which I hang on the wall and add treats to every day and the boys take turns at picking out the treat. I found the idea on Pinterest (of course!) and adapted it to suit our needs. I made 24 little hanging boxes and got the boys to help decorate them, they hang on strings of yarn across the wall and I put a treat in each night for the following morning. Apologies for the rubbish photo and the creepy snowman which I have to take credit for!
However this calendar is getting a little shabby after a few years of use, so I bought a new fancy one this year from the Design Life Kids shop (which you must visit, they have the most adorable things). It is made up of little box houses and buildings which form a pretty Advent Village when they are all built. I am thinking I will sneak in a little treat when we make each one for the following day. My challenge is finding suitable treats which will fit in the itsy bitsy houses.
I am trying to think of teeny treats for older kids to put in the village, so far I have come up with sweets, Lego minifigures (they will have to be out of the packaging to fit), Mega Bloks minifigures, Squinkies (are they even still around?), coins, rocks (I have a rock collector in my house, so I don’t just mean rocks from the back yard..!), notes with a ‘prize’ written on like lunch out or going to see a movie, puzzle erasers, toy soldiers, toy animals, toy cars. What else can you think of to fit in houses which will be a few centimetres high?
Another Advent ‘calendar’ I made last year was a pom pom calendar which I loved making and it looked super once it was all full of pom poms. I got the idea from Pip at Meet me at Mikes and instead of plain poms, I made some of them into pom pom elves with felt hats and I hung them all on a branch which I picked up from the woods and spray painted with gold paint. I am going to do the pom poms again this year, but I think I will find some white and maybe sparkly wool and make plain pom poms and hang them all together maybe on a circle to make a snowball effect. I will be sure to share when I get started so that you can see how it goes!
Do you have any Advent calendar plans? Do you have the same one every year? How many? One per kid or taking turns? I must admit I vary on this and often end up buying a chocolate one so that they alternate with the handmade one and the choc one. Do you have a calendar just for you? That’s a fine idea, one full of wonderful fancy chocolates would be a good choice!
I’m currently in Advent calendar paralysis mode. Who knows what will happen… can I just say how much I ADORE your pom pom and cone hat calendar?? Oh my word, it is fantastic! And I like your drunk snowman drawing quite a bit, too.
You must make pom poms with me, get a lovely pom pom maker and let’s make a snowball calendar! Then get a chocolate one (or two) to keep the troops happy. My chalkboard art is a force to be reckoned with!!!
i LOVE Advent calendars but end up getting annoyed with myself every year that I haven’t made my own! This year the kids have picked a chocolate one each and I’m thinking about making 24 little envelopes (maybe Christmassy paper or an old book) with Christmas messages/tasks/treats in each. Something for us to do together or a voucher for a special little treat maybe. Can you tell I’m thinking out loud?!
Isn’t it amazing what a little thinking out loud can create?! I like the envelope idea, putting a task in there is also a good idea. Possibly making a cake rather than vacuuming!!
What a lovely post with all the different ideas for an advent calendar. This year I made a perpetual calendar, but I am liking the idea of doing boxes and stringing them together and then buying some Quality Street chocolates to put into them :-). Thanks for the inspiration xx
Ohhhh, Quality Street! What a great idea, I miss tins of Quality Street at Christmas.
For years (ever since my 15 year old was very young) we’ve been using one that I made with him. It has stood the test of time but I’ve noticed the last couple of years it’s looking a bit shabby. So for the past few years we’ve used that plus the kids each have one of the store bought chocolate ones. But you’ve got me thinking that it might be a nice family project to make a new one to replace the oldie. It will be hard parting with it though – I’m so sentimental.
Maybe you can incorporate the old calendar into the new one. I am sure I will buy a chocolate one this year too!
Oh I love this Clare and have always loved advent. My Mum still buys me an advent calendar each year and I buy her one… But this year, I am making up a Christmas stocking advent calendar with 25 little stockings. It is very time consuming though and I don’t think I would have entered into it if I’d realised how long it would take! It will be an heirloom stocking! The pom-pom version is cool and I love that you foraged for the branch 🙂
Just think how lovely the stockings will be all together!
I made a really lovely one last year, hopefully it’s survived being packed away for the year!
I am sure it will be beautiful and sparkly all ready to go!