Friday, 30 November 2018

Advent Calendar 2018 {Yep, That One}

Advent: the highlight of Christmas.


I always like to share this post, and this year I know I am cutting it a bit fine, but I have just been so busy.
Advent is such a beautiful time. The journey to Christmas is one that should be very much enjoyed, in fact the whole of the next month is a time for enjoyment and togetherness. The lead up to Christmas can be so stressful and there is no denying that, but for the children it is a time to start getting very excited. If nothing else, the advent calendar can answer the constant question "When is it Christmas?". Counting us all down is a great help really and having a little excitement each day makes the time go that little bit quicker. 

Making a Calendar.


For the last few years I have used the same calendar with the children {THIS ONE}. It is one I make up each year and one that you can do anything with really. Its base is simply a canvas with hooks on for every day of advent which leaves you to decide what goes on them. 
This year was actually the start of me cutting down what we give the kids. I think, maybe, I am too generous and even though I have filled it before with loads of little toys, I still think it is too much. Also, most of the time it has been cheap stuff that ends up in the bin so I was conscious of not doing that again. Really, I should maybe make it a bit more task based, something more thoughtful, but right now I recognise what the children want and they very much want excitement and play. It also can end up costing quite a bit and even though I tried to keep each item around £1 it always added up to over £30, and yes, for an advent calendar it seems just like an extra cost. It has always been successful though and the kids love it, but this year I feel I have done something they want for a better price and better quality of toy.






My own LEGO Advent Calendar.


I just happened to pick up a small Christmas set of LEGO from the supermarket, well two actually, and looking at them I was able to break the set down into 11 individual little items. It dawned on me that I could make my own advent calendar and break down these 2 £7 boxes of LEGO into 22 parts. With some little envelopes to help, I cut up the instructions and pocketed each part. This set was easy; 3 separate mini figures, train carriages, a tree, individual little shops; it seemed to just be a good set that could be broken down. Each envelope contains the instruction pages to build that little part and what I did was cut it up in order of the book so each page will follow on as they open them.
So two sets, alternating each day means the kids will open up a set of LEGO each but it will be a prolonged process. I couldn't quite break it down to be 24 sets so I got two little books from a charity shop for their last two turns. 










I like to make things pretty


It's the packaging and finishing touches I like the most. Little brown envelopes, tags and fake greenery all look perfect together. 
For the first year I have also hung the calendar in their bedroom so it will be even more exciting. Will they be able to wait to open it each day? Or will they be jumping out of bed to grab the gift?








This year I am really pleased with how it has turned out. LEGO does not get wasted in this house and this is a nice way to give that as a gift. The Children also open traditional paper advent calendars which also give us a nice addition to the religious story of Christmas which we love to follow.

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