Tomorrow is the start of advent - hurrah!
For my two boys it couldn't come sooner.  The count down of days until Christmas Day.   Rufus started asking me in mid-November, 'how many days now Mummy?'  And who can blame him?  It's exciting, no?

This year I decided to make my own advent calendar - little packages of excitement to open every morning.  I've had so much fun doing it, thinking of cheap and different things for each day.

Here's how I did it:

First I thought up what would come on each day... on some days there is a definite activity/surprise happening. So I wrapped up something that would signify it.

My list is as follows:

1. Something to read (new small book)
2 Chocolate Coin
3. Tattoo
4. Chocolate Coin
5. Dinosaur glider
6. Lion & Wolf (going to Longleat to see Father Christmas and the Animals)
7. Picture of a Cat & a Fiddle (going to the Theatre to see Hey Diddle Diddle)
8. Chocolate Coin
9. Christmas Cards (the boys can write them to their friends at school)
10. Tattoo
11. Chocolate Coin
12. Lego Mini Figure
13. Lego Tree (choosing and cutting down our Christmas Tree)
14. Lego Mini Figure
15. A sheet of tracing paper (to make snowflakes for the window)
16. Train tickets (going to Bath on the train with Grandparents to the Panto)
17. A bauble to go on the tree
18. Popcorn (watch the Polar Express)
19. Badge
20: Tea Light (to make Solstice Lanterns)
21. Marshmallow (Hot chocolate after school in a cafe - end of term!)
22. Addressed envelope to the North Pole (write a letter to the big man)
23. Star shaped cutter (to make biscuits)
24. A jewel (to make a crown for Nativity at the church)

So.. as you can see lots of trips and activities.  Of course there is chocolate and chocolate coins are sooo Christmas aren't they?  And Lego - there HAS to be Lego in this house.  I have had so much fun - I love this time of year.

I used a mix of brown paper and red & white striped paper from Ikea.  Tied them to a Silver Birch branch with bakers twine and hung it from our fireplace.  (The branch we found in the park, blown down in the recent storms).

You will notice not all the days are up there, I didn't want it to seem too cluttered, so I will be adding to it as the weeks go by.

I love the finished result.
Hope you can have a go too.

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