A-door-able advent calendars

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One my favourite things about Christmas is the expectation – for me, the run-up is almost as good as the big day itself.

For that reason, I’ve always loved advent calendars, and since I left home many moons ago, Mum and I have been making each other a personalised advent calendar, filled with little bits and bobs (dinky nail polishes, tiny decorations, chocolates, earrings, fun push pins, etc) we’ve secretly collected over the year.

I made the advent boxes we use (it took me HOURS…) but now they’re getting a bit tatty, and it’s time to replace them. The problem is, many fill-your-own advent calendars have really tiny drawers. You can barely squeeze a chocolate mini egg into them, let alone something a bit more substantial like a cute lipbalm or fun keyring.

So, this year, I’m on the hunt for the ultimate advent calendar – and I thought I’d share my findings with  you, above and below. There are LOADS of good ones to choose from, and I’ve included both fill-your-own and ready-filled versions, for those of you who either a) can’t be faffed buying pocket-sized treats, or b) have left it a bit late!

TOP: Advent houses, £20 for set of 24, Hobbycraft (www.hobbycraft.co.uk). They’re displayed on a white tree, £20 also from Hobbycraft, but you could just paint some twigs with white emulsion and stick ’em in a flowerpot to make your own display instead!

Contact Marketing/ Press Office: 01202 596100Stack of little buckets, £1 each, Hobbycraft (www.hobbycraft.co.uk)

cardboard storage house advent

Cardboard storage house (decorate it yourself), £35 www.notonthehighstreet.com or £34.95 www.theletteroom.com (I love the extra large drawers for the 23rd and 24th)

Advent house retro dotcomgiftshop50s Christmas house advent calendar, £18.95 www.dotcomgiftshop.com (almost identical to the one above, except it’s already decorated and almost half the price!)

black and white reusable advent calendar

Advent calendar storage drawers (choice of two colourways – black/white or lime/silver) £15 www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk

Buttonbag make your own advent calendar £16Buttonbag make your own personalised advent calendar kit £16 John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk)

Ciate advent calendar

Ciate Mini Nail Lacquer Advent Calendar Gift Set, £42, John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk). I would SO love to get one of these!

Lego star wars advent calendarLego Star Wars, £16.65 and Lego City, £13.32 advent calendars (with little Lego men and bits to open every day!), Sainsbury’s (www.sainsburys.co.uk)

Yankee Candle tealights advent calendar

Yankee Candle 24 Tealights advent calendar £22 www.Very.co.uk (with a different festive-scented tealight candle behind each door!)

Tesco chocolate advent calendar £10

3D Advent Calendar with Chocolate, £10, Tesco (www.tesco.com). You could save the boxes to use again next year!


  1. November 27, 2013 / 9:59 am

    Amazing idea, I love the first one soo cute!

  2. thenorthpom
    November 27, 2013 / 3:27 pm

    Love the idea! I like the first one and the lego’s great for boys as I find it harder to find them little knick knacks!

  3. November 28, 2013 / 10:39 am

    I always make my other half an advent calender every year – wish I’d taken photos of them all. this year its little hand-made envelopes filled with choccies pinned onto a painted wooden board.

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