29 November 2012
It’s that time of year again for Advent calendars. Luckily, we use the same hand made calendar every year that my mum embroidered for me thirty-odd years ago and which has now been passed on to the boy, so I don’t need to worry about making the actual calendar, but there’s still the question of what to put in it. So many little things you can buy are not suitable for under 3s, and you don’t want the calendar to end up costing a fortune. So, after seeing a box of Lego Duplo farm animals on sale for half price in the summer, I decided then and there I’d make our own Lego Advent Calendar
I was confident, since I’d started thinking about it so early, that I’d find other Lego on sale before Christmas, and sure enough, a couple of weeks later I found the zoo animals set on sale, also at half price. Normally the sets cost around 12 Euro each, so essentially I got two for the price of one.
I tipped both boxes in to one big pile, and started to count through them. If I separated out the animals and figures from the bricks, and always took two small bricks together and large bricks on their own, I came to exactly 21 items. Add in three Lego flowers we’d held back from previous sets because the boy had still been to small for them, and voila – 24 calendar fillings!
A store bought Lego calendar comes in somewhere between 22 and 60 Euro, whereas I paid a total of 12 Euro for mine. A reasonable price, I think, for what is only meant to be a pre-Christmas gift. And the store bought ones don’t come for the regular Lego anyway, i.e. age 5 and up, so that wouldn’t have even been an option. As a bonus, instead of hanging a cardboard Lego box on the wall, the boy gets his Advent Lego in this beautiful family heirloom:
If you don’t already have a re-usable calendar, a really easy option is to fill the Lego items into plain brown paper bags and decorate them with number, stars, ribbons etc, either drawn on with silver or glitter pens, or cut out of pretty paper. I made a similar calendar to give away a couple of years ago. The paper bags were then all strung up on some twine and hung in front of a mantle piece. You could also hang them on a window sill or a book case, if you don’t have a mantlepiece.
Tomorrow I have a quick and easy idea for an alternative Advent wreath for you, then the boy and I are off for a long weekend to see my sister. I hope you all have a lovely first of Advent too!