Advent Calendars

(35 Posts)
ValiumQueen Sun 04-Aug-13 12:07:54

Yes I know it is only August, but with three young children I need to be prepared for December.

I have an Advent Calendar with little drawers in (home made) and put things in for each day - activities, coins and/or sweets.

I have seen some wonderful suggestions on other threads, but thought it might be helpful to have a dedicated thread for this.

Two things I have learned is to 1) put activities in the night before, not all at the beginning, as they are very much dependent on weather, time available, energy levels etc, and 2) do not put sweets in until the night before otherwise they disappear grin

sillyily Sun 04-Aug-13 13:30:41

We do this too- we have a nativity scene from Lakeland which has boxes with a different 'character' in each one, and we also add a couple of coins smile
Also this year I'm going to wrap up a Christmas book /DVD/ craft for each day to be opened. I counted up all the xmas books &dvds already accumulated over the last 3 years and I have 13 books and 7 DVDs so just need to find 4 more by dec smile also our elf brings us a hamper on the 1st while decorating the tree, which has an advent calendar for all 4 of us grin possibly going overboard....! I'm getting married on the 14th dec and determined not to let that, and the stresses beforehand get in the way of Xmas for the kids so planning all now :-) eeeeeee I'm excited!!

ValiumQueen Sun 04-Aug-13 15:06:13

I am really excited about Christmas already as we had a newborn last year so it kinda got missed in the blur of those early weeks. Having a wedding to look forward too must be awesome grin

lunar1 Sun 04-Aug-13 15:25:14

I have bought one of those candy grabbers and will be wrapping up some little things for the boys in there.

ValiumQueen Sun 04-Aug-13 16:44:05

Lunar where did you get it from? Sounds like fun smile

lunar1 Sun 04-Aug-13 17:30:04

Amazon, if you search candy grabber they are around £20

My advent calender comes out every year (it's a Family Tradition now grin
There are tiny ornaments in the boxes to hang on a little tree (it turns round and plays a tune)
I put chocolate coins in each drawer then last year two £1 coins in the Saturday boxes instead. DC had an extra £1 a week to spend (or in DS case, squirrel away in his jar)

iklboo Sun 04-Aug-13 18:28:41

They make a gin advent calendar (different miniature gin behind each window). If I don't get one of those this year there will be sulking.

sillyily Sun 04-Aug-13 19:09:11

Iklboo- where cAn I find one of these?!

hippoherostandinghere Sun 04-Aug-13 20:36:16

Silly I love the idea of a nativity advent calendar but its £59.99!! Will keep searching.

iklboo Sun 04-Aug-13 20:40:19

Can't link on this phone but if you google / amazon gin advent calendar it'll be there. A bit dear (70 quid I think) but I reckon I've been a good girl smile.

There was a Cosmetics one a couple of years back (Clinique or similar) with a tiny perfume or cosmetic behind each window.
Wonder if they sold them 50% off after the start of December?

everydayaschoolday Sun 04-Aug-13 21:05:15

I've bought Squinkies from Home Bargains (£1.99 for 12) to go in the drawers this year. And a big Squinkies adventure set to wrap up from Santa from JFT at £14.50 (bargain, it is in Amazon for much more).

www.amazon.co.uk/Squinkies-75362-Adventure-Surprise-Playset/dp/B005603BO6/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1375646282&sr=8-15&keywords=squinkies

ValiumQueen Sun 04-Aug-13 21:14:13

Squinkies genius! (Adds to list)

The year before last we had polly pocket clothes that I had bought at a car boot sale. And an activity every day. I am trying to remember them but my brain is mush.

hippoherostandinghere Sun 04-Aug-13 21:16:24

Can anyone explain squinkies to me feels a little daft. I have een them and the dispensers in Home Bargains and wondered what they where?

hippoherostandinghere Sun 04-Aug-13 21:16:46

seen, obviously blush

fuzzpig Sun 04-Aug-13 21:22:26

I'd really like to get a decent wooden one but have never been able to find a nice one!

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 04-Aug-13 22:05:15

We have two wooden ones (one for me and one for DD) and DH has a chocolate one.

The wooden ones are from Costco and they have a little ornament in each box to hang each day.

In DD's I also put one of the miniature Cadbury Dairy Milk bars each day and a gift.

Last year the gifts included squinkies, hair bobbles and Ikea finger puppets (pack of ten for a couple of quid).

This year I have got some marbles, lip salves and hair bobbles already put aside for it, and a couple of Lego minifigures.

everydayaschoolday Sun 04-Aug-13 22:33:57

Squinkies: little squishy rubber people and pets. Can be used with the playsets. Lots of different sets to 'collect' inc barbie, hello Kitty, Cars, etc. They come in little plastic round balls so can be used in squinkie dispensers. Not everyones thing, and some might consider them tat - but my 5YO loves them!

I'm collecting for our advent calendar too. We have this one (although it was on £14.99 when I got it), because the buckets are open it means I can jam in slightly bigger things, but I do have to wrap them.

So far in my collection I have finger puppets (from the Xmas bargains thread), some dinosaur figures from a charity shop, balloons, stickers (i will cut a sheet up to spread out) and I have a couple of Xmas books (too pick for the calendar, but I prop them nearby).

I usually put really cheap bits in the calendar, and a few bigger things that I want the dc to enjoy in the run up to christmas (like christmas stories or an activity book).

everydayaschoolday Sun 04-Aug-13 22:45:44

Squinkies: little squishy rubber people and pets. Can be used with the playsets. Lots of different sets to 'collect' inc barbie, hello Kitty, Cars, etc. They come in little plastic round balls so can be used in squinkie dispensers. Not everyones thing, and some might consider them tat - but my 5YO loves them!

everydayaschoolday Sun 04-Aug-13 22:46:39

aargh - sorry posted twice (how did that happen?) blush

Belugagrad Thu 15-Aug-13 20:11:18

I make my calendar every year as I find it hard to find nice ones. Love the pop up snow dream one though. Growing up I always had a religious one no chocs but dh was against that!

Last year I did 'that's not my tree' theme, like the books but as a calendar and stowing sweets and stickers in sandwich bags with the tree on front. The stickers are 'x number of sleeps' off eBay.

This year I'm making 24 trees reflecting the change of seasons, made in the style of paper dolls. There is a family at door number 24 and a removable stickman that travels each day to get home to the family tree! Love that book.

"Blott" sell rubbers and pencil toppers (start at £1) and little plastic boxes to store them in.

I might buy some for DD stocking (and keep the traditional gold chocolate coins for the Advent Calender)

dementedma Thu 15-Aug-13 22:03:54

My dcs are very deprived. I refuse to buy one with chocolate or gifts in when they are about to get a load of gifts anyway on Dec 25. I buy a nativity scene advent calendar and they open the wee door. That's it. They love it and don't need a reward.

iloveholidays Wed 28-Aug-13 12:37:47

can I ask people with more than 1 dc and who make your own advent calendar do your dcs share the calendar or have one each? I have 3 DDs and plan to either make an advent calendar type thing or buy one of those felt ones. half tempted to buy 24 cheap stockings and hang down the banisters....

iloveholidays Wed 28-Aug-13 12:39:02

also looking for cheap Christmas related gifts to put in the advent calendar. Thanks

I'm making my own this year too. Am planning on filling money envelopes with bits. I'm doing individual calendars for all 4 of us.

So far I've bought lots of little bits for the kids from here and Avon perfumes samples from Ebay for myself & Dh.

I'm also planning on getting a tin of celebrations or heroes to add a chocolate to each envelope too Dh can have all the bounty

iloveholidays Wed 28-Aug-13 13:48:39

I thought about doing that. I was looking at little red and white sweet bags on ebay to fill. what are you planning to do with your envelopes? hang up or just put in a bucket? I was looking at perfume samples as well for dp

ilove Hard to describe but I sew/quilt so I'm planning on making 4 biggish squares/rectangles with a name at the top of each. The idea is the bottom 3 will have loops on to hang on buttons from the one above and the top one will go on a hanger. I'm thinking of running 4 strands of ribbon across each square to peg the bags to.

I've ordered some little mini pegs from a seller on Ebay.

A bit like this but more quilt-like.

ValiumQueen Sat 05-Oct-13 12:01:39

Shameless bumping as this is where I have written all my ideas grin

BaconAndAvocado Sat 05-Oct-13 12:30:52

I do an activity each day. Some are very low maintenance, e.g. A little note saying "In your room you will find a treat from the elves" which is a small chocolate Santa/snowman hidden in their room.

Higher maintenance activities include Xmas card making, Xmas baking, cover an orange with cloves, (actually quite painful!) letters to Santa etc, these I make sure are for the weekends.

BaconAndAvocado Sat 05-Oct-13 12:32:30

definitely agree Valium on putting bits in night rather than in advance!

Deters any peeking too!

ScarerAndFuck Sat 05-Oct-13 18:36:42

I put jokes and novelties from the previous years crackers in sometimes.

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