Advent Calendar ideas: from home-made creations to pricey products

A few years ago I did not know what the big deal was with the Advent Calendar until – guess what?! – my son started asking me for one because his friends came to school with little things every day. So I had to quickly catch up and did my own research. I clearly cracked it to the point where last Christmas I created my very own Advent Calendar and I am planning on being even more creative this year. Here are some ideas for mums from home-made creations to pricey but ready made products. It’s your pick! advent calendar 1

An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. Most Advent calendars begin on 1st December, regardless of when Advent begins.

Most Advent Calendars are rectangular shape card-boards with 24 windows: one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. The doors are opened starting with the first one. Consecutive doors are opened every day leading up to Christmas.

The calendar windows open to reveal an image, a poem about the Nativity of Jesus or a small gift, such as a toy or a chocolate item.

Below you can see what I made last year with lots of recycled material – I would call it my Junk Advent Calendar. This is the most cost effective and easiest Advent Calendar ever (although not the prettiest one)! Here are three simple steps to make it:

1- Recycle old gift bags or small envelopes;

2- Label them with number tags (we used some from cloth hangers and labeled them with the suitable numbers);

3- Fill them with little messages and pressies (not expensive but meaningful to your kids). I put them all in a basket. It does not need to be super cute or amazing looking. But if you add your thoughts about Christmas, songs, photos and other personal things, your child would love it because the idea of you making all these things makes it so special.

advent calendar home made collage

To make this, I was inspired by this one I saw on the internet which is much prettier. But then I found myself time-deprived with all Christmas preparations and ended up putting everything in a basket.




My favourite Advent Calendars are sold at the National Gallery Shop online. I absolutely love them because they have a vintage look and feel and remind me of my childhood in the Seventies.

Advent calendar 1 National Gallery xmas shop 2014

The most original modern ‘ready-to-go’ Advent Calendar on the market this year must be Playmobil Advent Calendar Police with cool additional surprises. At £18.99 it’s good value and certainly ideal and attractive to boys. The box is much bigger than you expect and the retail price does not seem high when you see the size and the weight of the packet.

Playmobil Police Advent calendar 2014

The amazing pack includes a ‘catch a thief’ themed figurines. It contains twenty-four surprise items for each day of Advent. Once all the pieces are revealed, the kids are encouraged to put on the police badge and set up the alarm system to warn when a thief is present! To create a realistic police raid there is a backdrop, two figures, police quad car, bicycle, mummy, pharaoh’s bust, treasure chest, snake, and other accessories. Germany’s largest toy manufacturer Playmobil has turned 40 this year! This Advent Calendar is recommended for children in the age group  4-8.


smiggle advent calendar


Smiggle is the name this year when it comes to stationary. They have a wonderful selection of products online and an amazingly colourful shop in Richmond. Their Advent Calendar is certainly not going to cause any decay 🙂 With limited edition smiggle goodies (lots of funky rubbers) plus the chance to find 1 of 25 hidden golden tickets to WIN a £25o spending spree! RRP £20



Lego Friends Advent Calendar Christmas 2014

Since the creation of the Lego Friends brand, girls have enjoyed lots of new construction types of toys. This is great news as these girls are the entrepreneurs of the future. Girl Power! This year there will be a new LEGO® Friends Advent Calendar for girls to do the countdown to Christmas. They can build the holiday story while they follow Mia on a sledding adventure. Or they can spot the wildlife in the forest on the way to her friend Ewa’s house. They can pretend helping their mini dolls prepare a delicious Christmas dinner and then sharing in the excitement as they open all their presents! The box Includes Mia and Ewa mini-doll figures, a sled, deer, fireplace and a Christmas tree, for a total of 24 buildable surprises in a calendar with 24 secret compartments. This calendar is suitable for kids aged 5 to 12 years. RRP £19.99



advent calendar born gifted

Instead of opting for a ready-made advent calendar, you can choose a fabric Christmas Tree with pockets where you can add little treats for your children every day until Christmas. My favourite of this kind is the Giant Fabric Christmas Tree Advent Calendar sold by Born Gifted.  It comes in a giant-size (approx. 40cm 110cm) and has 24 large fabric (felt) pockets (Pocket size approx. 8cm 7cm) for the ‘Elves’ to hide treats! A lovely traditional design which would make a wonderful addition to any home this Christmas.And the good thing is that you can use it again and again for many Christmas to come.


Ideas for advent calendar pockets’ fillers


Sweets and Chocolates are classic choices but not the healthiest options.

The Chocolate Show Oct 2014 on offer at the show

Lego minifigures

LEGO® Minifigures Series 12 contains 16 random LEGO Minifigures including a Space Miner, Battle Goddess, Wizard, Dino Tracker, Swashbuckler, Jester, Piggy Guy, Hun Warrior, Fairytale Princess, Pizza Delivery Man, Video Game Guy, Spooky Girl, Prospector, Genie Girl, Rock Star, Lifeguard Guy. They look lovely and each random Minifigure  contains a special code inside the packet which enables you to unlock that specific Minifigure in the LEGO® Minifigures Online Game.

london mums magazine xmas party goodie bags lego 71007_Box3_in



Lego Keylights are great little minifigures but with a torch. Really cute!

Lego Friends Olivia RRP £6.99 stockists Sainsburys

Lego Keylight Lego Movie Lucy aka Wyldstyle RRP £7.99 stockists Toys ‘R’ Us  

Lego Keylight Santa RRP £5.99  stockists Tesco, John Lewis

STOCKING FILLERS Lego Friends Olivia Product STOCKING FILLERS Lego Movie Lucy Key Light - Product STOCKING FILLERS lego Santa key ring


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