Are reusable advent calendars worth the hassle?(36 Posts)
I've been debating whether to invest in large felt advent calendars this year for my 3 DDs however was chatting to a friend last year who said she had one for her DD but all she wanted was a chocolate one. I don't want to spend hours doing them if all my girls want are chocolate so I'm throwing it out there....
are they worth the effort?
I was planning to do a lot of activities but I could just put these in envelopes with numbers on so don't think it's worth buying a calendar just for that.
We have a wooden one and DS loves it.
He doesn't care that it doesn't have some cartoon thing on the front.
We put chocolates and very small novelties in it and even jokes saved from the last year's crackers.
Ds has a felt one that we were given (by mil). I find it is a pain as pockets are on the small size and ds doesn't eat sweets or chocolate....
Just for anybody thinking of buying a felt reusable one - there's a mumsnetter called coldcomfort who sells them, they look amazing! coldcomfortcrafts.wordpress.com/fabric-advent-calendars/
I have a gorgeous advent calender that I got many years ago from QVC .
My DC are now 13.6 and 11 and this has been part of their Christmas Traditions all the years they can remember.
I cannot remember how much I paid for it.
There's a little resin , painted tree with tiny hooks that sits on a turning stand (plays tune)
There's a handpainted winter scene on the doors of the little cupboard containing 24 lift up doors. Each holds a small ornament (about 1" long) to hook on.
I put a couple of chocolate coins in each box and (new tradition) a shiney £1 coin for DS and DD on the Saturdays.
At the end of Advent we carefully put it all away.
We have two: a felt one and a wooden one with boxes. The DCs take it in turns to open them. They are 16 and 14!
We've had the felt one for 14 years.
My children have now the reuseable calendar I had as a child. I like that it's being handed down.
I got a strong card one from IKEA last year. I fill each day the night before, depending on what we're doing the next day.
Eg. Write a note with watch a Christmas film, and where the popcorn can be found.
Today you can start playing the Christmas CD in the car.
Make Christmas biscuits with Mum after school.
Go to visit Santa (that was a bit disastrous as I had d&v all night and forgot to swap the note )
Today you can get the Christmas tree out and decorate it.
Some days there were just a sweet each, but I tried to mix it up a bit. Will definitely be doing the same thing this year...makes the build up a bit more magical (for me mostly )
fuzzpig you can buy a felt one on ebay or folksy/etsy. You do'nt need to know how to sew yourself
My DD's godmother made her one for her first Christmas. I put it up every year and put chocolate coins in it, saving the largest ones for the last few days.
No hassle and minimum cost each year.
Costco sell wooden ones every year. This year's one is very sweet - here.
They contain tiny wooden decorations that hang on the calendar itself. For DD I also put in a small chocolate (the teeny bars of Cadbury's Dairy Milk) and something small like a Squinkie, finger puppet, bobble or hair clip. She loves it!
We have the Playmobile nativity scene and a multi pocket hanging. We build up the nativity each day with more pieces in the calendar - sometimes I'll add a chocolate or two also.
The nativity scene got a bit hectic last year - but as dd2 gets a bit older, (she's 2 now) things should settle down.
We've had felt ones - 3 different designs ( Father Christmas , angel and snowman) - for about 15 years now. We put a heros or celebration in each pocket. Ad we even do it for those not living at home anymore - for when they make it back. For them it's part of coming home......
Feetheart, if you feel like they are about to work it out you could switch to columns instead of rows, that might string it out a bit longer
I'm just bumping this to see if anyone has any particular recommendations for a reusable calendar?
I'm not good enough at sewing to make a felt one (already ambitious enough planning to make my 4yo a Fix It Felix outfit ) and would quite like a wooden one or really solid cardboard. Would probably still put mostly chocolate or sweets in, with the odd activity and very occasional gift (eg new fancy hairclips for DD on the day of Xmas play) - I would really enjoy finding gifts for every single drawer, but knowing my toy-obsessed DCs I think it would make them a bit too demanding of Stuff if that makes sense.
For myself, I am determined to be more organised this year and make sure I get a thorntons or hotel chocolat one before they sell out
Shhhh, don't tell
Drawers are in rows but numbers are all mixed up - we fill each row with either chocs or things then they seem to come up randomly. Taking bets as to how old they will be when they work it out.
DC have a sturdy cardboard Christmas tree=shaped one each that I got in Marks' about 8 years ago. DH and I have fun all year looking for tiny things to go in the drawers.
We do a 50/50 mixture of chocolate and toys and have a system that the DC have yet to work out (they are 10 and 7) so they don't know if they will get toy or chocolate each day.
We all love the tradition
We have one with little buckets. I love it as I love finding little things through the year to go in. I suspect dd1 would be just as happy with a choc one, though.
We have a wooden one which I LOVE.
I fill the windows with activities or clues to find crimson-related items around the house (eg small Santa shaped chocolates or christmas edition of,their favourite comic)
The only problem I find is remembering to put the little pieces of paper in the window the night before, otherwise cue very disgruntled DCs the next morning!
We have a re-usable card one (it's very solid) with drawers, I put two chocolate coins in each drawer, one for each DC. We tried the activities thing a couple of years ago, but found that a lot of the time the suggested activity didn't end up fitting in with other plans, so not going to do that again. We've never had a supermarket chocolate one and the DCs have never asked for one.
We also buy an old fashioned German glitter and picture one each year from a local card shop, love those.
my auntie made beautiful advent calenders for DD and DNiece, and they love them - there's a different cross-stitched picture for each day - angels, shepherds, decorations. But neither have been introduced to the world of the chocolate advent calender! I hate choc ones though, I like the really old school ones with lots of glitter on them.
I 'made' one last year for DS, who had just turned two. That's in inverted commas because it was one one of those felt kit ones that I think are actually for children .
He loved it, and still remembers it now, which is quite impressive and shows it must have had an impact. I filled it with sweets and toys, meant to put in activities too buy never quite got round to it. His favourite thing (well, after the chocolate coins) was stickers.
I want it to become a family heirloom-type thingy - something he can keep as a grown up, to which many fond memories will hopefully be attached. Must make one for DS2! Won't bother this year as he's only six months, but he can have one next year.
My DS has been indoctrinated by me that the ones in the supermarket are for kids not lucky enough to have a big one on the wall. So far he's not asked for one.
I made mine it's a huge sewn Christmas tree with pockets which I fill with chocolate coins or sweets. It's dead easy and looks nice on the wall.
the playmobil ones are fab
felt ones sound a big hassle but if you like buying all the stuff to go in them, i bet they are great fun. i am not that organised or into buying small bits and bobs, but love playing with the playmobil
you could always buy a playmobil set and put it in the felt thing i suppose
we had one - I was really up for it, got little treats / activities to put in it... then BOTH my DM and DMiL decided that the DC couldn't possibly not have a crap one so bought them as well..... 3 advent calendars each was not in my plan.... I have since given up
We have one with boxes which is a bit of a pain in the arse because you have to get things which fit the space - it's been really useful for DD who can't have dairy though - we put sweets in.
We also have a larger wooden one with Christmas tree decorations to hang on the tree which I really like when they kids are small - they enjoy having their 'own' tree and decorations, and I'm not giving them sweets every day... plus it's pretty.
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