I have a mixed success rate with Christmas advent calendars.
The first year I bought a calendar that revealed tiny stickers of fairies as each day passed (no sugar #parentwin).
The next year I was inspired by a clever friend who made a Christmas tree out of paper bags, and filled them with things like flower seeds to plant, or vouchers for books. It was ethical (no plastic!) and creative. I ended up with paper bags hanging from a clothes line in the hall filled with plastic trinkets (#parentfail).
Last year I thought I had hit gold when I invested in a felt Christmas Tree with pockets, that I then filled with some lollies and some small toys. It was a mix of wins and fails (this time I did include seeds #win, that we planted and then forgot to water #fail).
I firmly believe there is an advent calendar for every family persuasion. Sweet and simple, religious, ethical, creative, cheap and cheerful and completely over the top. Here are the best calendars I could find.
Sweet and simple
My first parenting win came from a beautifully illustrated advent calendar that was a series of windows with stickers underneath.
Religious (and ethical)
The advent calendar is traditionally a way for Christians to count down the days until the nativity of Jesus at Christmas. If you want to teach your children the history of this tradition, you might want to try The Divine Advent Calendar sold by Oxfam.
Each window includes a story related to the nativity, as well as a Fairtrade chocolate heart.
The back of the calendar also explains how Fairtrade chocolate is made.
Ethical (without religion)
Most parents would love kids to know that Christmas is not all about getting presents.
There are 25 cards with different instructions on them, like writing a note to someone you love and leaving it on their pillow. How sweet is that? You can either buy the cards, bags to put the cards in, or a wall hanging (that the cards then slip into for each day).
Any purchase you make from Camp Quality goes towards supporting children with cancer and their families.
Cost: Cards only: $21.95, Calendar Bags: $44.95, Calendar Hanger: $64.95
If you’re the creative type you probably don’t need to be reading this. You’ll have already done your homework on Pinterest and be sewing up a storm on your Singer.
If you’re more like me (time-poor and uninspired) why not turn the crafty tables back on the kids?
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Cost: $34.95 (note: this is for 12 items only)
Cheap and cheerful
Want to avoid the daily intake of sugar, but don’t want to pay through your nose for it?
You can’t really go past Kmart for reasonably priced alternatives.
The Stationery Advent Calendar will be enough to supply your little one with wonder on the countdown to Christmas Day, without breaking the bank. It might also encourage them to keep on crafting.
Completely over the top
If you’re willing to spend a decent amount of money on an advent calendar then I say you can’t go past Lego. Let’s face it – most advent calendars will be full of small plastic things – so those small plastic things may as well be constructive, and continue to be used with all the other small bits of plastic you already have (that is, Lego).
Cost: starting at $39.99
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