Yes, I know it's incredibly early to be thinking of Christmassy things, but some things do need a bit of planning and preparing an advent calendar for Little Bird is one of them I'm afraid.
Over the years we've had various types of advent calendar. In her younger years, I used to use a reusable hanging felt one, with lots of little pockets that I'd fill with bits and pieces. Some years we might just go for a normal chocolate one and very occasionally she got really lucky and we bought a Playmobil one for her and she'd get a little toy every day in the lead up to Christmas to add to her collection. To be honest this was a bit much and the whole of December seemed like a present fest and now she's older, she doesn't play with it so much anymore, so last year I made individual little paper envelopes out of wrapping paper and hung them up using red and green plastic pegs and filled them with stickers, moshis, etc., that she collected at the time.
This year, I've taken a slightly different tack. Whilst rummaging in the January sales earlier in the year I came across this lovely little advent set in M&S for just £2.50, reduced from £9.50. It's a set of 24 little cracker boxes that you can fill with sweets or whatever, and seal with the number stickers so that one can be pulled every day revealing a little surprise. I thought they'd make a fun change and for the price I thought they were good value and very pretty. In addition, I can use them to decorate the tree and save on buying some cheap crackers this year, although I still might indulge for our guests.
In addition to the number stickers, they come with 24 little activity ideas in place of a joke which suggest things that children can do in the lead up to the big day. Examples include write a letter to Santa, send out your Christmas cards, make a paper chain, bakes some Christmas treats, etc. I thought this was a nice touch. It will be pretty useful to me to remind me of what needs doing too.
I dug it out last night, from where I'd stashed it and decided that as we are almost half way through November I would start to collect a few things together to go inside it. I'd already picked up a couple of things such as some cute Rudolph nail stickers, obligatory chocolate coins and I have a few bits and pieces of inexpensive makeup and jewellery that I might add for the odd day. I'm afraid I usually do get a bit carried away. I think I probably enjoy it more than she does.
Anyway, I'm heading out today, so I will be keeping my eyes peeled for some very small little treats to go inside. I'm determined to try not to overdo it this year and as it's No Nonsense November budgetary restriction definitely do apply so that will hopefully keep me in check.