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  • FIRST POST
    • kippers
    • By kippers 28th Nov 17, 8:28 PM
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    kippers
    Old style Advent Calender...
    • #1
    • 28th Nov 17, 8:28 PM
    Old style Advent Calender... 28th Nov 17 at 8:28 PM
    I dont know about anyone here but im fed up of seeing rediculously expensive advent calenders with wine, lego, expensive chocolates, make up etc on sale.....i think this will cause a lot of un nesserssary misery to parents on a budget........so i thought i would share an idea that we will be doing in our house this year....

    I have made a calender with 24 'small, random acts of kindness' - each day we turn a page ( or open a door ) and there is a random act to do. I made some things up and googled other things.... Eg

    Smile at someone today
    Say happy christmass to someone today
    Ask someone how their day is going
    Share a happy christmas memory today
    Open a door for someone today
    Give out free hugs
    Tell someone how much they mean to you
    Donate some food to a food bank

    Etc etc until you have 24

    Im so looking forward to sharing this calender with my family
    Last edited by kippers; 28-11-2017 at 9:04 PM.
Page 1
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 28th Nov 17, 9:24 PM
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    VfM4meplse
    • #2
    • 28th Nov 17, 9:24 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Nov 17, 9:24 PM
    Great idea! Share the full list when youíve completed it, please?

    After 24 days, random acts may even become a habit. If everyone in the world did the same...
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • Cappella
    • By Cappella 29th Nov 17, 8:23 AM
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    Cappella
    • #3
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:23 AM
    • #3
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:23 AM
    Lovely idea.
    And I quite agree about some of the ridiculously expensive advent calendars Iíve seen this year too.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 29th Nov 17, 8:33 AM
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    PasturesNew
    • #4
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:33 AM
    • #4
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:33 AM
    I'd just stick chocolates in it, then scoff them .... mostly on day 1.

    • monnagran
    • By monnagran 29th Nov 17, 8:43 AM
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    monnagran
    • #5
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:43 AM
    • #5
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:43 AM
    Grumpy old woman alert.

    First let me thank you kippers. This is an inspired idea. I am am trying to compile a list to add to yours. So far I've just got...phone someone who can bore for England but you know is lonely, let someone go ahead of you in the supermarket queue, send a quick note to someone who has been bereaved this year as they will be feeling far from festive, invite a lonely neighbour round for a cup of tea, give a baby-sitting 'voucher' to a harassed mum....it's a work in progress.

    Now the grumble.

    When did expectations rise to the ridiculous heights they have achieved lately? When did the sheer joy of being with friends and family disappear under the ,mountain of lists,, shopping, frenzied cooking and debt. When did advent calendars involve a gift every day for every child.

    OK, when I was a child, advent calendars hadn't been invented, either that or there wasn't room for one in the Anderson shelter. When my children were small we had one calendar for all of them and there was just a small window that opened to reveal a different Christmassy picture every day...a star, a cracker, fir tree, stocking...... until Christmas Day when we lit a candle and opened the last big window to reveal a nativity scene. It seemed exciting enough then.
    Those children are now parents themselves and THEIR children expect numerous calendars each, all with chocolates, toys or toiletries etcetera every day.

    I know that I'm old and cynical, but where is this all going to end? When is enough ever going to be enough?
    In my gloomier moments I imagine that there will be some catastrophe that will reduce everything back to its simplest base line. Maybe it would make us happier in the long term.

    I bet that has added to your Christmas spirit. Sorry.
    Last edited by monnagran; 29-11-2017 at 9:09 AM.
    I believe that friends are quiet angels
    Who lift us to our feet when our wings
    Have trouble remembering how to fly.
    • kippers
    • By kippers 29th Nov 17, 9:31 AM
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    kippers
    • #6
    • 29th Nov 17, 9:31 AM
    • #6
    • 29th Nov 17, 9:31 AM
    Grumpy old woman alert.

    . So far I've just got...phone someone who can bore for England but you know is lonely,

    I bet that has added to your Christmas spirit. Sorry.
    Originally posted by monnagran
    Actually that really made me laugh and I totally agree with you.

    I came up with this idea as an extra to my '12 dates of Christmas' for my family (me, dh and my two dd's aged 18 & 19). The '12 dates of Christmas' is for family fun eg. a facebook video to say happy xmas to friends/ family, a meal in town (courtesy of tesco vouchers), each give a presents to 'toys on the table' charity, go to see the xmas lights, decorate miniture gingerbread houses competition (I will make the g/houses) etc etc - these are the bigger things.

    So for our family I chose SMALL acts of kindness that we can do easily day to day at work and home and I thought it would be fun to discuss them around the dinner table each night.

    These are some of the things I have written but you can make up any to suit your family and time schedule (there are loads on line if you are short of ideas):


    Tell your parents about a happy memory with them.
    Tell a joke to someone to make them happy.
    Write a nice note to someone and leave it where they will find it.
    Thank someone in your family for loving you.
    Give complements to as many people as possible today.
    Hold a door open for someone today
    Smile at as many people as possible today.
    Gift some pet food to the RSPCA.
    Buy some food to donate to the food bank.
    Give out free hugs today
    Write a thank you note or email to someone
    Tell someone something you appreciate that they do or did for you.
    Ask a loved one about their day and actually listen to their reply and ask questions
    Write three things you are grateful for on a post it note and stick on the fridge for all to see
    Write a ‘positive’ note and give it to a family member (i.e something positive about them)
    Tell someone why they are special to you
    Go a whole day without complaining – only positive language allowed
    Do one thing today that YOU enjoy
    Tell someone you love them
    Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ today and really mean it
    Discuss a happy family memory from your childhood
    Say ‘Happy Christmas’ to as many people as possible today (or ‘Have a lovely Christmas’)


    I printed it out - (a separate piece of paper for each day) and it will be hung up for everyone in the family to see it. But it can all be done on one handwritten piece of paper if you wanted - it doesn't matter how its done.

    If I can possibly figure out how to upload photos i'll post the photo on here lol


    Hope this helps someone out there XXX
    Last edited by kippers; 29-11-2017 at 9:34 AM.
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 29th Nov 17, 10:00 AM
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    Slinky
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 17, 10:00 AM
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 17, 10:00 AM
    Monnagran I remember those advent calendars with just a picture behind them. We had a couple as children......... and they were re-used for years. I even remember (40+ years later) that one of the doors was a bit damaged and had a fold across it.

    I remember the chocolate ones appeared when I was maybe something like 10 or 12. We had one between two of us. I made the mistake of opening day 1..... so my brother got the big chocolate on day 24. I think that was the only one we ever had, however at least I remember it, which is more than most kids who get one every year will.
    • luxor4t
    • By luxor4t 29th Nov 17, 11:31 AM
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    luxor4t
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 17, 11:31 AM
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 17, 11:31 AM
    ...... When my children were small we had one calendar for all of them and there was just a small window that opened to reveal a different Christmassy picture every day...a star, a cracker, fir tree, stocking...... and opened the last big window to reveal a nativity scene. It seemed exciting enough then.........
    Originally posted by monnagran
    Yes, that is what we had too My sister and I had a lovely one from our grandparents one year, shaped like a cuckoo clock. We opened alternate windows until 24th December when there were 2 doors to reveal the nativity scene. We used it for many years until it was falling to bits. Never did manage to persuade our 'cruel' parents that one each would not cause utter destitution

    I still get an 'old fashioned' cardboard calendar each year and photograph the window each day on my Facebook page.... I get to open it all myself though
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 29th Nov 17, 11:38 AM
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    newgirly
    • #9
    • 29th Nov 17, 11:38 AM
    • #9
    • 29th Nov 17, 11:38 AM
    I understand where you are coming from, but if you can afford it and enjoy it then why not?

    My calendar from my mum is always an old fashioned one with pictures, this year of Canterbury cathedral. But I've also made some for my kids and aunt and mum this year with lots of little treats collected through the year.

    The best calendar I ever had was homemade by my grandad when I was little, I loved scary stories so he made one and painted little pictures behind each door of nasty things, a hangmans noose, a bloody dagger etc. Probably not the most festive idea but I loved it

    Im happy making the effort and spending a bit of money if it's appreciated by the kids, if I take wasn't I'd soon stop! I would assume that lots of the crazily expensive calendars are bought by adults for themselves? My mum has bought herself a posh chocolate one this year for over £60 I try not to judge , but you know , it's hard
    MFW 21
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    Mortgage £47,354 years 8 months left. Total owed £62,871.22 planning to clear in 18 months
    Weight loss target 37lb/22lb gone.
    • soblivion
    • By soblivion 29th Nov 17, 11:46 AM
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    soblivion
    Thank you for the post kippers, how wonderful to read. A lovely idea.
    I have a brand new first grandchild, he will be 6 months at Christmas.
    I wanted to mark the occasion of his first advent but 24 baby toys was a definite no and obviously no chocolate so I bought a cheap basket and 24 books - they are bedtime story books that mum and dad can read to him for many years to come and then he can read himself after that. I just got some brown paper and wrapped each one and stuck on some numbers and stickers to pretty it up a bit.
    The books were cheap from a store I don't know if I can advertise but they are lovely books.
    • stoozie1
    • By stoozie1 29th Nov 17, 11:50 AM
    • 391 Posts
    • 245 Thanks
    stoozie1
    Great post.

    Also annoying new trend is 'Elf on the shelf' as this seems to imply there are presents throughout advent, and also Christmas Eve pyjama hampers.

    I'll go and sit with Monnagran on the grumpy step.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 29th Nov 17, 4:31 PM
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    iammumtoone
    Its a lovely idea and I am not knocking but what is wrong with the alternative way.

    My son has a lego advent calendar he is not spolit at Christmas I take the cost of the calender out of the whole Christmas budget. He also has a christmas eve hamper again the cost comes out of the whole budget, these are not extras they are just spreading the cost. I also got myself a beauty advent calander and am not going to feel guilt for it, I can afford it why should I begrudge myself a treat. Not everyone is in debt and if by buying these things you are not making yourself short, why not?

    My son loves his advent calender I think he gets more joy about opening that and a little toy each day than he does his bigger things on Christmas day, he also plays with it every day adding a bit as he goes along to the set. Personally I don't see what is wrong with that?
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 29th Nov 17, 4:35 PM
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    iammumtoone
    My mum has bought herself a posh chocolate one this year for over £60 I try not to judge , but you know , it's hard
    Originally posted by newgirly
    Why should you judge your Mum treating herself? can she afford it? is she going to be in debt due to it or eating beans for the week to afford it? If the answer that is no, its up to her what she spend her money on.

    PS do you have a link to it? I personally I couldn't justify that amount myself but good luck to those who have more disposable income than me I don't begrudge them.
    • Ginmonster
    • By Ginmonster 29th Nov 17, 6:41 PM
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    Ginmonster
    Last year some friends bought our son a playmobil advent calendar for his birthday which is at the start of December and I think he got a lot more fun out of getting a little bit of his toy every day than all in one go. He's played with the toys all year as well so it was longer lasting than a chocolate one one would have been!

    We're not going to do elf on the shelf as such in our household but we are going to have a visit from the kindness elf who asks the child to help them do kind things every day. I'll be pinching some of these ideas from your advent calendar I think. :-)

    As for beauty advent calendars, I'm not a great user of cosmetics myself but my friends who are tell me they work out a lot cheaper than buying all the individual products.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 29th Nov 17, 7:01 PM
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    newgirly
    Why should you judge your Mum treating herself? can she afford it? is she going to be in debt due to it or eating beans for the week to afford it? If the answer that is no, its up to her what she spend her money on.

    PS do you have a link to it? I personally I couldn't justify that amount myself but good luck to those who have more disposable income than me I don't begrudge them.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    It was meant in a lighthearted way she can easily afford it and I certainly don't begrudge her buying it! I don't have a link but it was probably from hotel chocolate as they are her favourite.
    MFW 21
    Target for 2017 £38,545 / £17,514.78 paid so far

    Mortgage £47,354 years 8 months left. Total owed £62,871.22 planning to clear in 18 months
    Weight loss target 37lb/22lb gone.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 29th Nov 17, 7:20 PM
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    iammumtoone
    It was meant in a lighthearted way she can easily afford it and I certainly don't begrudge her buying it! I don't have a link but it was probably from hotel chocolate as they are her favourite.
    Originally posted by newgirly
    Sorry I was a bit defense in sticking up for buying advent calenders. I love hotel chocolate, I bet the contents are worth more than that.

    I really like what the OP has done its a great idea. I might do something simular next year, alongside a bought calender. I don't see the harm in doing both.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 29th Nov 17, 8:02 PM
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    newgirly
    No need to apologise for sticking up for buying calendars, my dd has aspirations of beating the vicar of dibley this year with her "collection"
    MFW 21
    Target for 2017 £38,545 / £17,514.78 paid so far

    Mortgage £47,354 years 8 months left. Total owed £62,871.22 planning to clear in 18 months
    Weight loss target 37lb/22lb gone.
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