Written by A Guest Blogger
Hello reader – me again, Laura Newby! The average Mum of one Son (Jude, 6) with the basic Craft skills AND Lego obsession. I’m back with another crafty type thing you can do to gain serious Mum points.
Christmas can be a hugely busy time, it’s easy to get lost in the wrapping and veg peeling, but somewhere in the madness of all things internet shopping, mincemeat and turkey related, it’s nice to take some time to enjoy the calm before the snowstorm. As a full time working solo parent– it is something I have very much strived for in the last few years and I find that I often turn to craft for this chill time.
Last year I bought some DIY advent boxes – from Next online – but I have Googled them and found them in all sorts of places on line – £10 for a set of 25 cardboard boxes. In these little cardboard boxes you can place anything you can think of that might be considered enjoyable for your child to open each day in the run up to the big day itself. Last year I put in a few sweets each day and little gifts such as a pencil sharpener, or a Lego minifigure blind bag. Anything bigger than the box, I put a note inside saying “See Mummy” and he had to come to me to receive that day’s gift. You can be as restrained as you like, not every day needs to be a gift. It could be something to do together, like watch a Christmas film, make a decoration, read a book etc. The ideas are endless.
This year – I got out the same boxes and thought I would do same. Then I saw a nifty box of festive Lego that my lovely friend Jo had bought on sale in the supermarket (I got mine in John Lewis in the end, but it was in Asda and Sainsburys too) and figured if I opened it up and split the pieces across the 24 days, then buy the end it would assemble the whole set.
So that’s what I did – in easy to follow steps;
- I put the instructions and the Father Christmas figure in the first box for the 1stDecember, and then worked through the instructions to split the steps up across the remainder of the boxes. Obviously – I’ll point out now – don’t put the instructions in the first box before you figure out how to split all the pieces! Each day can build up, step by step. Not so you’re having to collect all the pieces randomly and then build it all at the end. The set I bought has 34 steps, so I did a few together to make sure it worked out across the 24 days.
- I added a chocolate coin in here and there, to keep in with the whole advent calendar -door to open- type thing. Who doesn’t like a chocolate coin? Last year I bought chocolate balls wrapped up like sprouts. My Son LOVES sprouts – I think he must be the only child I know who does, and has been known to take them off the plates of adults who won’t eat them. He had a funny conversation with my Boyfriend recently, asking him rather incredulously, why he didn’t eat them? Had he tried them? To which my Boyfriend gently told him that when you are an adult you can decide what you do and don’t want to eat!
- Once filled you can close up the boxes. I hang mine from a length of festive looking string (that’s all I can muster at this early stage of December!) with a little peg from a Christmas set I bought in Aldi. Don’t make the boxes too heavy otherwise they won’t hang up.
Then await that excitement – followed with the rush to open them and remember to open them every morning when you’re trying got get them out the door for school. I can’t be responsible for that bit readers! Sorry if it causes chaos!
I should add – that last year when I did this I didn’t actually have them ready until the 2nd December. So there will be no judgment from me if you are late in starting! Better late than never they say! And if that’s too late
Merry December readers!
Laura Newby – an average full time working Single Mum to Son Jude, aged Six.
Each box contains a piece of Lego and instructions so at the end he'll have made a Christmas set
Here's the finished calendar, all strung up with festive string
This is the festive Lego set that Jude will make - getting the final piece from the last box on 25th December!