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Homemade advent calendar/box?

(18 Posts)
twolittledarlings Wed 07-Sep-11 16:47:11

Is this a good idea?

I used to get the chocolates advent calendars for my 2 girls but the chocolates did not taste that nice. Then last year, I got them both the city lego advent ones. They were nice but costs £50 in total. As we have a lot of Lego now, was thinking of making my own advent instead.

Was thinking of makings little bags using floral/patterned (cardmaking paper) (24 each) and putting little trinkets things like erasers, pens, pencils, sharpeners, hairclips, hairbands, bookmarks, lipbalms, lipgloss, mini handcream pots, keyrings, little chocs, in them (things that are useful for them). Maybe 2-3 in each bags. Write a big date on the front and put them all in a Xmas decorated box. Then they can each day after breakfast just take one out leading to Xmas.

Any opinions?

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 07-Sep-11 16:54:30

That is a lovely idea, although my heart would sink somewhat at the thought of 48 additional small items being introduced into the house at a time of year when it is getting overwhelmed with stuff anyway and we seem to have millions of most of those items already. So I would probably go with chocolate coins (I have one of those reusable ones with little drawers to open, I put two choc coins in each drawer, one for each DC).

twolittledarlings Wed 07-Sep-11 22:38:02

I did think about that but these are items that I usually get when I go out and I see new items like this. I can get them in packets e.g rubbers, hairbands etc and split them up to put separately into bags. These are things that are not wasted.

I have a wooden advent calendar from Costco but the drawers are quite small and only have wppden decorations which you take out and hang it on the tree displayed of which the drawers are surrounding it. A couple of years ago, I just added chocs in each drawer.

My girls really look forward to opening the advent calendar but cannot find any useful advent calendar around. I don't want them to have too much chocolate.

KinkyDorito Thu 08-Sep-11 08:07:47

Okay, so inspired by you I am going to make little fabric bags and a washing line to peg them on, one for each day and one for each child. It will keep me busy for a couple of months, which would stop me buying presents.

I think I'll stick to nicer chocolates for the inside.

twolittledarlings Thu 08-Sep-11 11:30:26

That's a nice idea. A washing line. I may do that too.

I do like the fabric idea but if I make the fabric bags, I may not be able to fit the pens /pencils/ headband in hence using the paper ones, I can make them into whatever size fits however, cannot reuse them next year.

KinkyDorito Thu 08-Sep-11 13:03:29

I would like to point out that mine is a creative aspiration far above my actual ability to sew... I'm going to have a go though grin. It could end badly.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Thu 08-Sep-11 14:34:52

I am a bit confused about how I feel about the chocolate, but they don't actually eat a lot of it the rest of the year, so we let it go, I figure that before breakfast and teethbrushing is probably the least harmful time of day for it.

Having done it for the last 3 years though I don't think there's any going back, I don't think non-edibles would go down well now (wish I had had the foresight to think of the little gifts instead).

pinkhebe Thu 08-Sep-11 14:38:25

my husband made a large box divided into 25! we put the small presents inside and cover it with wrapping paper. The boys break into each cubby hole. They take it in turns each day so only 12 different presents needed.

Tinkerisdead Thu 08-Sep-11 17:39:17

I have a little train but the boxes are small. I use tiny little tags and write things on them, like visit santa today, go to the christingle church service or look under mums bed (if its a big thing like a christmas colouring book or santa letter kit). That way i can keep all the tiny gifts for the christmas stocking. My dd is almost three but dh loves the labels lots! It also gives a lovely month of activities and christmas based things in the run up. Oh and it allows you to swap days round if you dont feel like doing that days activity!

IwoulddoPachacuti Thu 08-Sep-11 17:44:01

TheDoctorsWife I love that idea! I'm going to do that! Let's see if I can think of 24 activities to do grin

Tinkerisdead Thu 08-Sep-11 18:57:01

You want me to tell you some of mine?

twolittledarlings Thu 08-Sep-11 22:40:43

I love the cubbyhole idea but am worried that I will not be able to fit some of the bigger things into it like headband/pencils/pens etc or maybe that they may accidently break the paper for the next hole/day.

I also love the train label idea a lot. However, if I promise to e.g. bake cookies on that day or make xmas decorations etc, I may not follow it through due to not enough time. I am struggling just fitting in the after school activities and homework in already never mind the cooking.

Have already picked up lots of little mini things - little bookmarks, mini highlighters, rubbers, headbands, tippexs, mini sellotapes and cutter, lipbalms, hairbands thats 44 little things.

Will get some slightly bigger things for their stockings.

Cannot wait for Christmas.

Tinkerisdead Fri 09-Sep-11 08:01:11

Twolittledarlings I hear ya on the "no time issue". I write all mine out of a big list in advance so I can see what can be swapped around and I put the label in the night before so that I have ample time to swap them.

twolittledarlings Fri 09-Sep-11 09:22:51

TheDoctorsWife46 - I'd love it if you can tell me whats on some of your labels. I may pinch a few of your ideas for future use.....

Thank you

Cristiane Fri 09-Sep-11 09:32:58

I have made two large cloth 'christmas' trees sewn onto a fabric rectangle. with a pole at the top to provide rigidity and to thread ribbon through so you can hang the calendar.

I have sewn 24 rings on the tree and I tie little presents onto each ring.

Obviously reuse it every year and this way you can have presents of differing sizes. I have decorated the trees with sewn on ribbon and used pretty fabrics.

Tinkerisdead Fri 09-Sep-11 18:56:34

Okay some of mine from last year
* write your letter to santa (had a little kit with pencil, doorhanger etc)
* make christmas cookies/mince pies
* visit santa
* take a walk by torchlight to see all the neighbourhood xmas lights
* make paper chains/snowflakes to decorate the windows
* make grandparents xmas cards (provide craft kit)
* have a candlelit bath, had foam soap, expandable flannel etc
* read xmas stories
* watch xmas movie(i do new pj's hot chocolate etc)
* decorate the xmas tree (new bauble)
* christmas colouring in book and new pens etc
* go to the childrens carol service at church
* visit a christmas market/fair
* collect things from a woodland walk to make a decoration
* decorate a plate for santas mincepie

Loads of it is usual stuff but by giving them little kits to find its more exciting and achievable! My dd is only little but even dh got excited each day as we had lots of built up to christmas. In our area we have a victorian market and christmas tree festival. I check local events pencil those dates in and then fill in with craft days.

twolittledarlings Fri 09-Sep-11 22:51:30

Thank you TheDoctorsWife46. That was very informative. Loads of ideas for me to keep my girls busy and looking forward to Xmas.

I'd love to look up and find the nearest xmas fair/festival here. As I live 2 stops away from the new ~Westfield which will open next Tuesday next to the Olympics site, there may do something Christmassy this year.

Thanks again.

mogs0 Sat 10-Sep-11 09:23:11

Thedoctorswife - I do exactly the same thing! I decorated an empty tissue box with Christmas paper. Some days I put a note in the numbered drawer saying look in the box and the activity for that day will be in there.

I am a CM so on the days that I have children here I include them in it too eg I bought a few sets of their bell shakers, put them in the box then put a note in the drawer saying sing jingle bells.

Last year was a particularly disorganised year (i didn't get the playmobil calendar out until the 5th dec blush and I think I just put mini chocolates in the drawers but I aim to be better this year grin.

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