Advent Calendars

Inspired by Ali Edwards, I’ve now got a list of themes to work from for Christmas… Today I’m going with Advent Calendars!

When I was little we had the same advent calendar year after year. Because we were children, we didn’t remember the images that were behind the windows from year to year – apart from the last one, so it was what it was. Only the very lucky or very spoilt got advent calendars with things to eat in them or small gifts, and to be honest they were a lot rarer “back in the olden days” than they are now, so we didn’t feel like we were missing out.

When I told the children this, Joel patted my arm and said “aah”. I felt quite patronised.

We have a plethora of advent calendars. A traditional re-used one.


I think this one dates from early on in our marriage, before we had children. It has been used periodically. I was hoping that I would get to open this one, but apparently not, since Lily has opened the first two already. Still, the delight in the miniscule images of skaters whipping me up into a pre-Christmas frenzy is in no way diminished by that…

Then, we have the re-usable Felt Christmas tree. Sadly, one of the pieces fell apart last year (it’s probably still in my sewing box waiting to be sewn together, next to the Beavers badges I haven’t sewn on yet) so we don’t have one for the first of the month. I might switch out one from next weekend since we’ll be in London and the cat isn’t well motivated to do advent calendars in our absence.


The pieces are really sweet and it’s held up well after a few years of hard wear. My annual dilemma is whether to put the angel or Santa on 24th. I’ve plumped for Santa this year, but the alternative is to have himself on 6th and the angel on 24th. I’m sure I’ll be corrected by my increasingly pious children before too long.


And finally, we have the horribly commercial bought-at-the-last-minute ones with chocolates in.

In previous years we’ve had major traumas finding character based ones which will please everyone – princesses, moshi monsters, you name it, it’s caused tears because either it’s not the right princesses advent calendar or it turns out Lily isn’t a fan of “Hello Kitty” after all.

This year, they “chose” these calendars on the basis that they were the first ones the children saw when we entered the shop (nice product placement, Morrisons) and I realised it was 29th November so I’d better pull my finger out.


It turns out these are the best advent calendars *ever* because as well as a chocolate in each window, there is also a picture *and* a question. Yesterday’s was “Have you sent Santa your wish list yet?” and today’s is “Is it snowing yet?”. I like the application of the word “yet” which is giving a sense of loveliness YET to come.

Which, at the end of the …month is what advent is all about, isn’t it?!