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!
Stack of little buckets, £1 each, Hobbycraft (www.hobbycraft.co.uk)
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)
50s 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!)
Advent calendar storage drawers (choice of two colourways – black/white or lime/silver) £15 www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk
Buttonbag make your own personalised advent calendar kit £16 John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk)
Ciate Mini Nail Lacquer Advent Calendar Gift Set, £42, John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk). I would SO love to get one of these!
Yankee Candle 24 Tealights advent calendar £22 www.Very.co.uk (with a different festive-scented tealight candle behind each door!)
3D Advent Calendar with Chocolate, £10, Tesco (www.tesco.com). You could save the boxes to use again next year!