10 Best Advent Calendars
A stylish-ly fun way to count down Christmas.
by Andrea Zimmerman
November 25, 2009
It’s almost Advent Calendar season! Let your kids count down to Christmas in style with 10 of our favorite holiday picks for every budget.- Andrea Zimmerman
It may look like a Christmas tree at first glance, but this festive tower is really an advent calendar! Masterminded by German company HABA, the calendar sits upright and doubles as three fun advent games. Depending on what day it is, your kids can either play a dice game or two matching games with the wooden animals that are tucked inside each of the boxes. Or let them assemble a Nativity scene as they collect sheep, donkeys, and the rest of the zoo crew. (Okay, a pig may not have been present for the big day, but nothing wrong with a little Christmas creativity, right?)
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Ahoy, mateys! If you look past the tricky assembly and the non-holiday calendar themes, you’ll actually find a pretty extensive set-up that will entertain your kids all season long. Playmobil has stepped it up a notch beyond flimsy pop-outs; offering constructible numbered boxes that attach to a background. In this pirate-themed one, boxes are adorned with gold coins and sit upon an ocean -themed backdrop. Every day, your child can open a box to reveal pirate booty like cannons, palm trees and a parrot, which will fill their own pirate paradise.
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We’re totally in love with this gorgeous, handmade calendar designed by crafty scrapbook mom Rebecca Atkinson. Made with an artist canvas and small tins and finished with scrapbook paper and mod-podge, Rebecca invests five hours on each calendar to ensure your gift lasts many Christmases to come. Instead of chocolate, she recommends filling each tin with a fun holiday activity like looking at Christmas lights or baking gingerbread cookies.
If your kids can build Lego mansions in their sleep, they’ll have one heck of a December assembling an entire city of chefs, police officers and a cast of other crazy characters. Each day, your kid can lift the flap of the calendar and punch out the applicable window, revealing a new Lego minifigure. It may be a week before the town starts coming together (and Lego heads find their corresponding bodies) but embedded within the slow construction is the often-overlooked Christmas virtue of yep, you guessed it: patience.
If you want to give your child something more meaningful than cheap candy this December, buy them this calendar. Instead of finding chocolate hidden underneath each box, your kids will find a code. With that, they can log onto Growing Great Families and unlock an inspirational story that focuses on Christmas values like love, kindness, empathy and gratitude. At the end, there are questions your whole family can discuss over dinner. One more reason to buy: A portion of your purchase goes to charity.