Alternative Advent Calendars
There doesn’t have to be 24 choccy-filled days
Yes, it’s the middle of November already, and time to start thinking about all things festive. We have some lovely Christmassy things in store for you, but this week we’re kicking off with advent calendars. Not so long ago the choice was simple: the traditional paper kind or a supermarket-shelf chocolate-filled one (where the little chocolate squares somehow always tasted better than chocolate you could eat at any other time of the year). How things have changed. Now there are all sorts of ways to enjoy the countdown to Christmas. Whatever your budget, preference or interest, you’ll find an advent calendar to suit every child (and big kids, too – LP’s mum still buys her one every year). Here are our Fussy favourites for 2015.
THE WOODEN ONE: Make a true celebration of Advent with this Meri Meri wooden Nnativity calendar. Packed in a wooden box containing five trays, it has 24 windows of wooden pieces with which to build your own nativity scene.
THE ARTY ONE: Enlist the help of some happy elves to pass the time throughout December. Colour in one elf a day until Father Christmas arrives!
THE INTERACTIVE ONE: This cute wooden pixy room is an interactive advent calendar and also a lovely little play set. As the instructions explain: ‘In the pixy room, the pixy sleeps on soft mattresses during the day, and on each day of December he will sneak out during the night to write the next day’s date on the board and put a new gift in the cabinet’.
THE STATIONERY ONE: If your little one is a stationery geek, they’ll love this advent calendar from the creators of the fun, bright, fashion-forward brand. It’s filled with over £40 worth of Smiggle erasers, toy and pens.
THE CHOCOLATE ONE: OK, we couldn’t resist it, and this one is filled with delicious milk Fortnum’s chocolates. Just remember, it’s only one a day and it’s for the kids, not you…
THE TRADITIONAL ONE: No bells or whistles with this one, just a simple, beautifully detailed paper advent calendar. And it’s glittery.
THE TOY ONE: Of course, it has to be Lego for the toy advent calendar, with 24 mini-figures, including Father Christmas and a Snowman. Also comes in Star Wars and Lego Friends versions to suit all Lego fans.
THE FABRIC ONE: Exquisitely decorated in Scandi Christmas style and quilted to make it durable, this could become a lovely family heirloom. Be creative and fill the 24 pockets with not just sweets or chocolates, but maybe tiny gifts, or clues to special festive activities. It can also be personalised with your child’s name in your handwriting. Clever.
THE DIY ONE: This kit is sure to prove popular, especially with girls and teenagers! Fill the bags, boxes and packets with gifts, treats and notes. It could be sweets, cosmetics, Christmassy clues like ‘Tonight we’ll decorate the tree!’ or ‘Today we’ll see Father Christmas’ . Stamp the numbers on your parcels, seal and decorate and hang from a branch, twig or rod.
Our favourite? We love a twist on a theme, so they’re all pretty appealing, but the fabric one gets our vote. Something you can fill with all sorts of wonders and delights and bring out every Christmas as a family tradition you can pass down, it’s something they will never grow out of.
The last of our Christmas gift guides! And there's something extra special about Christmas when there's a baby in the family, even if they don't know quite what's going on (and, let's face it, you're so tired, neither do you...). Here's our gorgeous selection of gifts, featuring small and unique Brands We Love so you can support the independents as much as we do.
Festive gift inspo for the little lords in your life. Whatever they're into, we think we've found something to bring a smile to their face this Christmas morning. Focusing on classic, quality gifts that will inspire curiosity and encourage creativity, these should keep them busy beyond Boxing Day.
Festive gift inspo for the little ladies
We love to review toys for Busy Bird - but sometimes the best review is just watching a child open the toy and play with it, that way you get their honest reaction. And this is just what happened when we were asked to be part of an 'unboxing' for goodtoknow.co.uk recently. Let's just say Wet Head is no fun when it's Mummy's head getting wet...