I bought this brilliant little wooden advent calendar “cabinet” a few weeks ago. It’s from a great kids’ toy brand called Great Little Trading Company – really well-made, attractive wooden toys that are such a blessed relief in what has become a sea of garish plastic in my living room.
I didn’t know whether Angelica was too small for an advent calendar – she certainly won’t understand what it is this year – but I wanted to get something that would last her for years and years and that would become something of a tradition. I love the tiny doors on this wooden one, the Christmas figures on the top of the cabinet (easily removable so hopefully they won’t snap when it’s in storage) and the countdown messages inside each cubby hole.
The idea is that I fill the spaces with different things each year and, as Angelica gets older, the surprises get more interactive. So they could be little rolled up scrolls with challenges on them, or activities to do in the run-up to Christmas. “Find pine cones and spray them silver,” that kind of do-goody twee thing that in my previous life would have made me do sick into my mouth. I sort of want to steer away from the whole “sweets and chocolate” thing, at least on the whole (putting them inside random days will make finding them that bit more pleasurable!), so that the advent calendar becomes this really exciting part of the Christmas preparation rather than a glorified sweet holder. (In truth, it’s because I know I’ll eat all of the sweets in the evening and keep having to refill the calendar every day and I’ll be the size of a house. I haven’t turned into a fun-less, functional bra-wearing berk. Not yet.)
So I’ve been wracking my brains to think of little things to put inside that Angelica will get excited about but she’s still so small and it’s quite a challenge! Any ideas you have, send them my way. I was thinking about tiny gingerbread bites for some of the days (there goes my “no sweets” sentiment) and I have these amazingly cheap-but-cute finger puppets that I bought from Amazon here…
They were £7.98, which I thought wasn’t too bad for twelve little finger puppets. I just have to find something for the other twelve days, now! The beauty of the refillable cubby holes is, I suppose, that you could even put perishables in a few minutes before the door is due to be open, though I’m the sort of person who would like to know that each space has been filled in advance before the 1st December…
You can find the GLTC wooden advent calendar online here – it’s £40, but if you’re reading this on Cyber Monday then it’s £20. Sorry for those getting this email the next day, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles in terms of email scheduling I’m afraid!
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