Category Archives: Christmas

What to do on Christmas Eve

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and the flurry of shopping for presents and food is all but over for another year. It’s a day we try to pause the chaos a little and spend some time together as a family. We will have some preparation and thing to do, but being together is a priority for us. If you’re wondering what to do on Christmas Eve, then here are our suggestions.

Family Things To Do

We put together a Christmas Eve box which arrives on Christmas Eve. It’s packed full of lovely things including new PJs, a Christmas DVD, some Christmas books and nice nibbles. We curl up on the sofa for an hour or two and watch the DVD and just chill out. It’s lovely and a great way to change gear on the Christmas chaos and just wind down.

Crosby Beach

Go for a nice long walk. On Christmas Day we are mostly busy busy and stuck in the house. If the weather is reasonable, a good long walk on Christmas Eve is a great way to tire the kids out. It’s good to get some fresh air and burn off a few calories in anticipation of the feast to come.

More organised people will have bought tickets to a panto or a Christmas show like Elf The Musical. Going to a show together can be a really special way to spend Christmas Eve as a family.

Christmas Eve is a time for singing carols and feeling festive. Every Christmas Eve we trot off to our local church to take part in the Christingle Service. The service is so popular at our local church that they now have three services to accommodate the hundreds of children and families to come along on Christmas Eve.

What to do on Christmas Eve

For older children and adults, the Midnight Mass service is a beautiful way to start off the Christmas celebrations. It’s a little moment of stillness and calm, and the perfect place to belt out some Christmas carols. I love it.

You can find information on services local to you here.

Christmas Wrapping

Sensible people will have done this days ago, but *waves* I still have piles of unwrapped presents taunting me from the wardrobe. I know this will be done in dribs and drabs throughout the day but SODS LAW dictates that I will either run out of wrapping paper or sellotape. This has happened before, mostly because my husband always insists we’ve got too much wrapping paper already and then it turns out we have none. This is always discovered at 4pm on Christmas Eve. This will not happen to me this year. I have bulk bought both of these items, so much so that we may well never need to buy them ever again.

Preparation Preparation Preparation

I know some people cook their whole Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve; plate it up and just re-heat it on the day. There’s a lot of sense in that, but Christmas Day wouldn’t be the same to me without juggling for space in the oven, carving the turkey at the table and steaming the pudding.

I do however like to do some prep the day before. I will be roasting the potatoes and parsnips in advance, then on Christmas Day I can just put them on trays in the oven for half an hour and they crisp up beautifully.

This year I’m making stuffing from scratch (a departure for me as I’ve always been a packet stuffing kind of girl). I’ll also peel and prep the veg ready to be cooked on Christmas Day. There is lots to do; but if you’re methodical and you do as much as you can beforehand then it’s very doable!

Treats For Father Christmas

The last thing we do before bedtime is leave a mince pie, a small dram of whisky and a sprinkling of oats for Father Christmas and the reindeer. We make sure our stockings are hung up and we hurry upstairs to bed, hopefully for an early night.

What to do on Christmas Eve

It’s a busy day and a busy night, but spending time together is what Christmas is all about isn’t it. Merry Christmas to you and thank you for reading my blog.

What to do on Christmas Eve

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Christmas is a time for crafting and creating with the kids. We love doing Christmas crafts and we were excited when we heard that ex Blue Peter presenter and craft queen Konnie Huq, had partnered with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to create a selection of homemade STEM toys for Christmas.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Konnie Huq has put her Blue Peter powers to practice for a good cause, making Britain’s most popular Christmas toys at home for a fraction of the cost. The Christmas STEM toys she has created include –

  • Dissolving egg
  • Magnetic slime
  • Icosahedron bauble
  • Marble run
  • Balloon boat
  • Bouncy balls
  • Smartphone projector
  • Living gingerbread house
  • Kaleidoscope

Konnie has put together a set of free to download how-to instructions for all of the above crafts.

Konnie, who spent over ten years craft-making on Blue Peter, is supporting a campaign by the Institution of Engineering and Technology to inspire more children to consider careers in engineering. The toys are designed to make learning about science, tech, engineering and mathematics (STEM) more accessible and affordable. These handmade STEM toys – which include a dissolving egg, magnetic slime, a kaleidoscope and even a smartphone projector – are educational, as well as fun.

Making your own slime is so popular right now, but we thought we would try something a little different. We really liked the idea of building our own living gingerbread house.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Make your own living gingerbread house

You will need:
A number of plain sponges
Scissors
Toothpicks
Small plate
Seeds
Spray bottle (clean)

How to make a living gingerbread house
Choose one or two sponges to be your base. Fix them together with a cocktail stick, remember these are sharp so be careful of your fingers.

Choose more sponges to be the walls. Cut one sponge in half across the longest
side (i.e. make two regular rectangles, not two long strips) and fix those onto the shorter sides of your base with cocktail sticks. Fix two sponges onto the longer sides of the base.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Take two sponges and cut them down their long side on an angle so that they fit together to form the apex of a roof. Fix them together with cocktail sticks, put on the top of your structure and fix into place with more cocktail sticks. You should now have a house shape made of sponges. Put your house onto a plate.

If your house is a bit wobbly, you can secure it using a glue gun or some craft glue. If you have used glue, allow time for the glue to dry and set before you move on to the next stage.

Next, you need to cover the house with seeds. You can use mustard or cress but
there are many fast sprouting seeds, so the choice is yours. We chose cress.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Dab some water onto the roof of your house and spread the seeds onto the roof.
Pour a little water onto the plate so the sponge base can soak it up. Check the
sponge is nice and moist. Then sprinkle the seeds onto the base.

Leave your house in a warm, bright spot for the seeds to germinate. Spray the house with water using a spray bottle each day, and pour a little water over the house if it feels dry. In a few days the seeds should start to sprout, in a week they should be thriving.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

It’s so easy and lots of fun to make too!

 Disclosure: We were sent a shopping voucher to buy the materials for this craft.

Christmas: Make your own Candy Cane Hearts

I love a bit of Christmas crafting and I’ve found a really simple, festive and delicious craft which will delight the whole family this Christmas. I’ve been making candy cane hearts to hang on my tree.

Christmas: Make your own Candy Cane Hearts

Candy canes have long been a symbol of Christmas. They were originally white sugar candy sticks made in Germany around 250 years ago. No one really knows how they ended up with a stripe and in the distinctive J shape, but some say they were shaped to look like a shepherd’s crook, to remind us of the shepherds that visited the baby Jesus on the first Christmas. Whatever the real story, all I know if they’re delicious and we always have a candy canes hanging from our Christmas tree.

You can get candy canes in all sizes, but I picked up a box of Swizzels Mini Candy Canes from B&M Stores for £1.99 and I knew exactly what I was going to make with them.

Make your own Candy Cane Hearts

You will need – 
Candy canes
A baking sheet
Baking paper
Ribbon

Method –
Place your baking paper on your baking sheet and arrange the candy canes into heart shapes. The mini candy canes are the right size for this, but if you’re using larger ones you can trim them down if you need to.

Christmas: Make your own Candy Cane Hearts

Making sure the two candy canes in each heart are touching; put them into a warm oven and watch very carefully. It should take about 5 minutes for the candy canes to warm up and start melting a little at the ends. At this point remove them from the oven and carefully push the ends and the joins together on the heart. Remember this is hot sugar and you don’t want to burn yourself.

Once the joins have been pushed together, leave them to cool for 15 minutes. Once they are cool, tie ribbon around them and hang them on your tree.

They’re so simple to make and they do look super-cute on the tree. I think I’m going to make a batch for the table on Christmas Day too.

How would you use your candy cane hearts?

Christmas: Make your own Candy Cane Hearts

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

18 ideas for filling your Christmas Eve Box

A Christmas Eve box is a relatively new tradition for us. I’m not even really sure where it came from. We’ve always done the Elf on a Shelf thing and for the last few years the Elf has delivered a Christmas Eve box to our house from Father Christmas.

I think the idea of the Christmas Eve box is to give little ones something to tide them over until Christmas Day. Something that will help to calm their excitement and enthusiasm for not going to sleep or for waking up incredibly early. We’ve usually been quite lucky with the early morning wake ups, but the going to sleep on Christmas Eve is always a bit tricky.

To us, our Christmas Eve box should be filled with nice things we can do together as a family, things that’ll keep us cosy and things we will just enjoy. We have a small personalised sack we use for ours, but in previous years we’ve used boxes we’ve decorated. You can buy special boxes, but if you have the time and inclination, it’s nice to decorate your own.

18 ideas for filling your Christmas Eve Box

Your Christmas Eve box can be as simple or as complicated as you want. If you’re struggling to think of what to put in yours, here are some of my suggestions.

18 ideas for filling your Christmas Eve Box

  1. New Christmas pyjamas
  2. New Christmas slippers
  3. A Christmas book to read at bedtime
  4. A DVD to watch together on Christmas Eve
  5. A Christmas mug, hot chocolate and marshmallows
  6. Family snacks – popcorn, chocolate, candy canes, whatever you like!
  7. A special Christmas decoration to hang on the tree
  8. The Santa plate to leave a snack out for Santa
  9. Reindeer food
  10. Christmas crafts to make together
  11. A magic key if you need one
  12. Christmas cookie baking kit
  13. Christmas colouring or activity books
  14. Cuddly toy
  15. Letter from Santa
  16. Novelty Christmas socks
  17. Christmas bubbly bath, for Christmas Eve bath-time
  18. Christmas stockings to hang up for Santa

Obviously you don’t need all 18 of these ideas, pick and choose what works for you and create a box which suits your family. What will be in your Christmas Eve box this year?

18 ideas for filling your Christmas Eve Box

 

Nine Great Budget Ideas for Christmas Stocking Fillers

For me, Christmas is more about the little touches and small details. I love buying thoughtful little gifts for friends and family. My favourite part of present buying is putting a Christmas stocking together for boys. I fill them with little things I know they will enjoy and use over the year.

Our Christmas stockings tend to be a mixture of fun stuff and practical stuff. I’m not beyond padding out a stocking with a new toothbrush (because Santa really  cares about dental hygiene) and some new toiletries, but my Christmas stockings always have lots of fun stuff, chocolate and the obligatory satsuma in them.

Obviously shops like B&M are the perfect place to shop for Christmas stocking fillers, with everything or almost everything you need in one shop, it’s an easy win to cross off your list at this incredibly busy time of the year. I went to my local B&M store and picked up some great stocking fillers for my son. I tend to try to buy packs of things which can be broken down and individually wrapped to bulk out the stocking.

Nine Great Budget Ideas for Christmas Stocking Fillers

Here’s what’s in his Christmas stocking this year –

Chocolate Coins – it’s the law to have a bag of chocolate coins in your stocking. We’ve gone for these colourful emoji coins (£1). They make a bit of a change (pun intended) from your standard gold or silver coins.

Marvel Avengers Assemble Collectible Capsules – these little figures come in a surprise egg (not really an egg, more of a capsule). Kids love the surprise egg thing, so I know this will be very popular. I’ve seen them in other shops for £3.99, but these are a bargain £1.99 and I’m wishing I’d picked up a couple more now.

Hot Wheels Cars – toy cars are a regular feature in our Christmas stockings, they’re small, easy to wrap and popular. They’re also a pocket friendly £1.49 each, so I got two new ones for his collection.

Mini Block Tech Figures – These are Lego style mini figures, but they’re much cheaper than Lego. These figures come in a “blind bag” and there are three in the bag. At £1 per pack, these three mini figures come with their own accessories and they’re much cheaper than the brand leader!

Marvel Avengers Bath & Shower Gel – this pack of four shower gels (£3.99) is ripe for breaking up and wrapping individually. Each bottle is shaped and styled like one of your favourite Avengers heroes – Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Thor and Iron Man. I know these might even encourage him to spend a bit more time in the bathroom (maybe).

Marvel Comics Stationery Set – you can never have too much stationery and this five piece stationery set featuring his favourite Marvel characters will be a winner. The ruler, pen and pencil are all covered in comic book versions of Spider-Man; Iron Man; Thor; the Incredible Hulk and Captain America. At just £1.29 this set contains everything he will need to write a superhero story of his own!

Voice Changer – this is a silly little stocking filler. Speak into the microphone and it will change your voice so you sound like a boy, a girl or a robot. I know he will love this (and the dog will hate it, probably). At £2.99 this is a bit of silliness you need in a Christmas stocking.

Swizzels Mini Candy Canes – this giant box of mini candy canes (£1.99 for 240g) will be put to good use. I’ll slip a few into presents for other people, use a handful in some festive bakes and tip the rest into his stocking. The box contains four iconic Swizzels flavours – Drumstick lolly flavour; blue Refreshers; pink Refreshers and of course Parma Violet (I’ll be keeping those just for me).

Socks –  Christmas tradition dictates that every stocking must contain a pair of Christmas socks to be worn that day. I need to pop back to B&M and see what they’ve got in store.

That’s my Christmas stocking shopping almost finished and it’s only cost me £18.72, a bit of a bargain yes? All I need to do now is wrap everything up and throw a satsuma in the night before. I’m feeling uncommonly organised and that’s a great feeling!

What are you stuffing your Christmas stockings with this year?

I am a B&M stores ambassador and I was given a voucher to cover the cost of my stocking fillers in return for this blog post. All images and opinions are our own.

Days Out: Christmas at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Our nearest National Trust property is Dunham Massey. We are regular visitors to Dunham, we love the long (but flat and well-paved) walks they have. The gardens are lovely whatever time of year you visit and the house is full of upstairs-downstairs history. On 1st December we went along to the launch of ‘Christmas at Dunham Massey’ a magical, after-dark, illuminated trail which was jam-packed with Christmas magic.

Days Out: Christmas at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

This year, for the first time ever, Dunham Massey has transformed into a winter wonderland. It’s taken six months of planning and hard work (and probably millions of light-bulbs) to create a wonderful Christmas experience for families to enjoy.

The walk from the visitors centre to the courtyard gives you a little taste of what’s to come, but as soon as you walk into the courtyard you know you’re in for a real treat. The courtyard is filled with Christmas market style sheds selling hog roast, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and those big sausages you only really see at Christmas markets. There’s also a colourful vintage carousel to enjoy.

Days Out: Christmas at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

We picked up some snacks and some cups of hot mulled wine and headed off towards the lights, pausing to watch an Elf and Father Christmas welcome us to Christmas at Dunham Massey. Then on to the winter wonderland of the garden.

Days Out: Christmas at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

The trail is a one mile sparkling path through the gardens. It winds through the historic woodland and has surprises around almost every corner. From a giant (and I mean giant) reindeer, to huge baubles lit in flickering flames in the scented fire garden; not to mention twinkling tunnels, stunning reflections of light on the water and the wonder of Pealight Heaven (named for the 100,000 pealights it’s made from.

Days Out: Christmas at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

There are lights, there’s beautiful music and there are mulled wine stands at very regular intervals (try the mulled cider, it kept me warm on a cold night). Stop by Pealight Heaven and buy a marshmallow to toast over the fire – an absolute must!

Days Out: Christmas at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Days Out: Christmas at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

It’s such a beautiful, magical way to spend an evening with your family. It’s well thought out and incredibly well stewarded. There are helpful, smiley faces around every corner. Even though the paths are flat and well-made, you can never be too careful walking in the darkness. It felt reassuring to know there were helpful people around if you got stuck.

Days Out: Christmas at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

It’s an after-dark event, so if you do go, make sure you’re well wrapped up against the cold and you’re wearing good, sensible footwear. You might also want to slip a torch into your pocket just in case. We took a torch but didn’t use it, everywhere was so well lit.

Christmas as Dunham Massey is utterly gorgeous. Our highlights were the giant reindeer, the huge lawn absolutely covered in lights and the scented fire garden. The small Christmas market was excellent too and the food and drink were really good quality. I hope they run this again next year. I can see a visit to Christmas at Dunham Massey turning into a festive tradition!

Days Out: Christmas at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Christmas at Dunham Massey runs until 30th December 2017, 4.45pm – 10pm with 9 timeslots each night. You will need to pre-book tickets on the website here.

We were invited guests of Christmas at Dunham Massey. All images and opinions are our own.

Christmas Book Review: The Christmas Snowflake

One of our family traditions is a Christmas Eve box. We pack up a box full of lovely things for Christmas Eve, new pyjamas, some nice treats to nibble on and a Christmassy book to read together at bedtime. This year we’ve chosen The Christmas Snowflake from Wonderbly, a wonderful personalised Christmas story.

Christmas Book Review: The Christmas Snowflake

The Christmas Snowflake tells the tale of a lonely snowflake who is looking for a place to call home this Christmas – but only you and your family can help! Like with other personalised books from Wonderbly, The Christmas Snowflake is beautifully illustrated and full of wonderfully festive images.

Christmas Book Review: The Christmas Snowflake

This heartwarming story includes personalisation for up to 9 family members, friends or loved ones and as the final page is turned, you’ll find a charming pull-out-and-keep ornament – something that you can hang on your Christmas tree!

The Christmas Snowflake is written in a lovely rhythmic style, which reads well. The personalisation within the book is very smoothly done and children will enjoy spotting familiar names throughout the story.

Christmas Book Review: The Christmas Snowflake

The book comes in a hardback format and contains 34 colourfully illustrated pages. The style of the illustrations is almost vintage, and of course it’s wonderfully festive. The pull out snowflake on the last page is inspired and a lovely surprise at the end of the story.

Christmas Book Review: The Christmas Snowflake

The Christmas Snowflake is a wonderful keepsake book which you can bring out and read year after year. I can’t wait to read this special story with my son, personalised stories are such a treat.

Personalising your book with Wonderbly is really easy, just visit their website, choose your story and add the names of up to 9 of your child’s favourite people. You can also add a personalised dedication to be printed on the first page.

The Christmas Snowflake costs £19.99 and makes a wonderful gift for any child or family this Christmas; or you could put it in your Christmas Eve box like me.

We were sent The Christmas Snowflake from Wonderbly for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Elf the Musical – a sack-load of family fun at The Lowry

Each Christmas, regular as clockwork we dig out our Elf DVD, snuggle up on the sofa and really get in the mood for Christmas. It is my favourite Christmas film by far and one we all love to watch together as a family. But would the Elf the Musical version live up to our expectations?

Based on the 2003 hit film starring Will Ferrell; Elf is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Elf the Musical - a sack-load of family fun at The Lowry

Elf The Musical stars TV and West End star Ben Forster as Buddy and former Atomic Kitten Liz McClarnon as Jovie. Joe McGann stars as Walter and Jessica Martin as Emily Hobbs, not forgetting Louis Emerick as Santa. There are a trio of local boys playing the role of Michael too.

Ben Forster as Buddy fills the stage with energy, managing to channel some of the personality of Buddy the Elf from the film, whilst putting his own spin on the character. Atomic Kitten star Liz McClarnon as Jovie is in excellent voice throughout, with a spot on accent and flawless performance.

From the start the stage is busy with the ensemble, first as a group of little-legged toy making elves, then crowds of New York shoppers, to the staff of Walter Hobbs office. They’re all fantastic and help to bring warmth, rhythm and humour to the production. Deb played by Lori Haley Fox especially stands out, putting in a performance full of humour.

Elf the Musical - a sack-load of family fun at The Lowry

The set is lavish, beautifully festive and almost constantly changing in this fast paced production. The musical set pieces are well done, though I was expecting the musical to end with the crowd singing Santa Claus Is Coming to Town like it does in the film, which is a bit of a shame. However, it does end with a happy ever after; a snowstorm and Santa’s sleigh floating off across the streets of Salford.

We loved it, my 7 year old was transfixed throughout and has talked of virtually nothing else since. It’s like the film, but quite different in many ways. Some aspects of the film I missed; but the singing, dancing and the warmth of the performances made up for everything. It’s a firm thumbs up from us, we loved it and would happily go again and again.

What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to see Elf The Musical at The Lowry! Get your tickets now, it’s bound to be incredibly popular!

Elf The Musical is on at The Lowry from Friday 24 November 2017 until Sunday 14 January 2018. For more information and tickets visit The Lowry website.

The Twelve Days of Christmas at Tatton Park

If the grey weather is getting you down and you’re feeling a little bit bah-humbug about the onset of the festive period; then I can heartily recommend a visit to Tatton Park in Cheshire. Over the weekend we braved the rain and struck out in search of some serious festive fun. Which we found a short drive from our home in South Manchester.

The Twelve Days of Christmas at Tatton Park 2017

Tatton Park have pulled out all the stops and thoroughly decked the halls of their beautiful mansion as well as laying on a whole raft of lovely family festive activities this Christmas. When we visited over the weekend we filled a busy afternoon with Christmassy fun and could have stayed for more if it wasn’t closing!

When we arrived we headed straight for the warmth of the mansion. It’s a stunning building on any day of the week, but it’s been beautifully decorated with fresh foliage and greenery, with a series of grand state rooms and servants’ quarters decorated with a 12 Days of Christmas theme. It’s lavishly done, with turtle doves, gold rings, ladies dancing, maids a milking and so on.

The Twelve Days of Christmas at Tatton Park 2017

We entered a room filled with the most beautiful Christmas tree and a choir took their place on the staircase and serenaded us with Christmas carols. It was so lovely. We made our way to the servants’ quarters and discovered a very helpful butler in The Still Room who offered us freshly baked flapjack and some history of the house. There was also seasonal crafts for the children to try as well as a wish tree you could write your Christmas wishes on.

The Twelve Days of Christmas at Tatton Park 2017

The Twelve Days of Christmas at Tatton Park 2017

Once we’d finished our tour of the mansion, we wandered into the Christmas craft fair which was on and we managed to pick up a few presents while we were there. We stopped for a quick coffee in The Stableyard cafe and then we wandered down to the farm.

We love the farm at Tatton Park. Whatever time of year you visit there is always something interesting going on in the farmyard. But we weren’t really there to check out the livestock, we were there to meet Father Christmas.

The Twelve Days of Christmas at Tatton Park 2017

A visit to Father Christmas at the Farm is something of a tradition for us. We’ve visited Tatton Park a few times before and each year it’s slightly different. This year we were greeted by a brass band heartily playing Christmas carols, which was lovely. We said hello to the donkeys and had a look at the nativity scene. We then wandered past the small fairground attractions and headed straight to say hello to the reindeer, sit in the sleigh and have a look at the two heavy horses in the stable.

The Twelve Days of Christmas at Tatton Park 2017

Up the cobbled lane to have a quick look around the Elves Workshop and on to the grotto. It was a cold rainy day, and there was no queue at all, something of a marvellous bonus. We were greeted by a very friendly French plate-spinning elf who entertained us while we had our faces painted.

We were then led down to the grotto to see Father Christmas himself. Ben had a good chat with him about how good he has been this year and what he would like for Christmas. Father Christmas gave him a little present to open on Christmas Day; presumably to save him carrying it on the big night.

The Twelve Days of Christmas at Tatton Park 2017

I wanted to show the boys the pigs. We were incredibly lucky to arrive just as Sienna, a Saddleworth sow was giving birth to her piglets. We hung around and watched in awe as the pig gave birth to piglet number 4. It was something incredibly special to watch and a fantastic little biology lesson for the boys.

The Twelve Days of Christmas at Tatton Park 2017

By the time we left the farm darkness was creeping in; so we hot-footed it to the car to head home. Tired, cold but absolutely bursting with festive spirit. It was a fabulous way to start this year’s festivities!

Tickets to Father Christmas at the Farm are £7.00 for adults and £6.50 for children (including a gift). Mansion ticket prices are £10 for adults and £6 for children. Parking is £6 per car.

To find out more information about the full range Christmas events at Tatton Park, including carol concerts and other family acitivites, visit their website

We were invited guests of Tatton Park and we were given complimentary tickets in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are our own.

Five Quite Interesting Advent Calendar Ideas

Christmas is the time for spreading a little bit of magic and cheer. What better way to do that than by doing something each day during Advent. In the olden days, when I was a little girl (in the 80’s), my advent calendar was a cards with windows which you’d open and there would be a picture behind it. It was all very lovely, but times have changed and kids and grown-ups expect more.

I’ve picked out five quite interesting advent calendar ideas for you, which if you’re quick, you can get cracking with before 1st December!

Traditional Chocolate Advent Calendar

There’s something simple and cheery about traditional chocolate advent calendars, they’re great for children and adults too. They come in a pretty huge range of different themes and characters; but this colourful Teletubbies Advent Calendar is a winner. Behind every window in this kids’ advent calendar there’s a delicious milk chocolate treat to help you count down the days until Christmas.

Five Quite Interesting Advent Calendar Ideas

The Teletubbies Advent Calendar can be found in a wide range of retailers, but I’ve spotted it in B&M for just 89p – a bargain!

Elf & Seek Festive Countdown

Little Treats Bakery have recently launched a fun, festive countdown activity in the form of freshly baked festive treats. Known as Elf & Seek, you get a box of 24 individually wrapped and decorated gingerbread elves to hide around the house each day of December.

Five Quite Interesting Advent Calendar Ideas

Elf & Seek is an interactive, exciting and tasty way to keep the magic of Christmas alive. Simply hide one of the little elves around your home each day of December and the kids have to hunt it down as they countdown to Christmas. It’s the perfect advent calendar if you’re a bit tired of the same old kind of calendars each year.

The fun doesn’t stop there. Take a selfie of your biscuit elf, uncovered from its hiding place; share it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ElfieSelfie – the winner will win an extra special, tasty treat; a hamper of biscuits tailored to a theme of their choice!

Elf & Seek Festive Countdown is available to order from Amazon for £10.

Five Quite Interesting Advent Calendar Ideas

Playmobil 1.2.3 Advent Calendar

For little ones (18 months+) this Christmas they can enjoy an outdoor Christmas with Santa and his forest friends. The 1.2.3 Advent Calendar “Christmas in the Forest” contains twenty-four surprise items for each day of Advent. With a bright and colorful design and large, rounded pieces, this Playmobil 1.2.3 set is ideal for toddlers.

Five Quite Interesting Advent Calendar Ideas

This adorable advent calendar includes Santa, elf, angel, reindeer, sleigh, gifts, dog, bunnies, fox, forest animals, and other accessories to help complete this woodland Christmas scene.

Costing just £21.99 the Playmobil 1.2.3 advent calendar is the perfect way for little ones to count down to Christmas!

LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar

Star Wars fans young and old will love this year’s LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar. Open a door of this advent calendar each day in the run up to Christmas to discover a LEGO Star Wars themed minifigure, starship, vehicle or other collectible. There’s even a foldout playmat featuring images from Jakku, Starkiller Base and deep space for epic Star Wars encounters.

Five Quite Interesting Advent Calendar Ideas

The LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar is recommended for ages 6 years+ and is brilliant (we had one last year)!

Reverse Advent

The old saying goes – it’s better to give than to receive. At Christmas I find this to be especially true. Last Christmas we put together a reverse advent calendar for our local foodbank. I would very much encourage you to think about doing the same.

No only did it make us feel warm and fuzzy; it fed a family or two for a few days. It also taught my son a few lessons about empathy, caring for others and made us all think a little less about what we wanted and more about what other people needed just to get by. Never bad things to be reminded of.

You can read my blog post about our reverse advent calendar and read about what you need to put one together too.

Giving back this Christmas - Our Reverse Advent Calendar

What kind of advent calendars will you be choosing this year?