When I was a child, one of the most magical parts of the festive season was getting up every morning to see what lay behind the door of my advent calendar. I used to have two calendars - the first, a traditional picture one from Mum and Dad, normally covered in glitter and gorgeous illustrations; and a second, a secret one from my big sister, filled with yummy chocolates!
The chocolate calendar was always a bone of contention in our house. Away at prep school, a chocolate calendar was the only access we had to sweets outside of tuck shop hours, so obviously held even more appeal than normal! Luckily Laura came to the rescue and sent a delicious chocolate filled package year after year.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that chocolate isn't really the point of advent (or Easter really but that's another matter!). Christmas, like all other parts of life, seemed to have become unrecognisable to my parent's generation, and there is so much of this new materialistic mindset that I disagree with.
But for me, that little treat hiding behind a new window every morning, in whatever shape that might be, is still so exciting. These days, there is so much choice when choosing the perfect festive calendar, so we've compiled a list of some of our favourites, in case you need some inspiration for December 1st...
Personalised Wooden Advent Calendar, Lisa Angel, £28.00
These personalised calendars are a fantastic gift for baby's 1st Christmas. You can bring them out every year and fill each drawer with different treats. The excitement of this wonderful heirloom piece will never get old, and it will see your baby through from child to adult, bringing back nostalgic memories for them every Christmas.
Charm Bracelet Advent Calendar , Little Lulubel, £21.00
This is a unique take on the daily advent treat and is perfect for any mini fashionistas in your family. Every day has it's own drawer in this nutcracker jewellery box and is filled with an acrylic charm for their very own bracelet. Decorations include stars, Christmas trees, candy canes and many more...
The Naughty Advent Calendar for Children, Made by Helga, £14.95
We think this calendar is inspired! Each day is represented by a balloon to be popped by your little one where they uncover a 'naughty' treat which they can do during the day.
From jumping on the bed to eating sweets for breakfast, the idea of this calendar was inspired by the character Matilda - 'When I grow up, I will eat sweets every day, on the way to work, and I will go to bed late every night'. The irony of course is that, when you do finally grow up, most of these things lose their appeal. This calendar gives your kids the chance to do something they normally wouldn't be allowed to - what could be more fun than that?!
Beauty Goodies Advent Calendar, Cowshed, £85.00
Because the fun shouldn't be reserved just for the kids. Is there a better way to unwind during the hectic festive season than in a gorgeous bubble bath or with a beautifying face mask? We didn't think so...
By the Dram Advent Calendar, Master of Malt, £124.95
Any parent will benefit from this Ginvent calendar! Every day has a different delicious dram of gin to drink after a day navigating the Christmas crowds or making mince pies. Go on, you know you deserve it...
Doggie Treat Advent Calendar, Lily's Kitchen, £9.95
There's one member of the family who often gets forgotten about at this time of year. How about treating your beloved pooch to their very own calendar so they can have daily wholesome and delicious treats from Lily's Kitchen. Woof Woof!