Disclaimer: I was sent a few of the following items in return for an honest review and inclusion within my gift guide, indicated by the use of an asterix *. The review words and opinions are my own. All photos are copyright property of Me Becoming Mum.
When John was a child his mum made him his own hand sewn fill-it-yourself advent calendar. She has since made Squidgy one; and previously we have filled it with chocolate, simply because it was easier. This year I decided that we would fill each pocket with an alternative idea, and to try and steer clear of the junk. I have written this post about the twenty four things I have chosen. Obviously if you don't have a fill-it-yourself advent calendar then these items would make fabulous stocking fillers!
Personalised Christmas Decoration
On the first of December we crack out the Christmas decorations and my house goes from a simply family home to a slightly over the top Christmas grotto that would rival even Santa’s own workshop. Each year I purchase a personalised decoration, and usually I would order from a small business however this year I left it a little too late so instead purchased some angels from our local Notcutts garden centre. Unfortunately they don’t have Squidgy’s name so instead I bought a “Special Daughter” one, and that is inside pocket number one of her advent calendar!
When I was out and about doing the last of my Christmas shopping in town last week, I popped into The Works to have a look for some paint for some Christmas crafts I have planned with Squidgy. When I saw the super cute Christmas Tree filled with miniature rubbers I knew they would make a perfect advent calendar filler. I have begun to teach Squidgy to write and having little rubbers is a fun addition to our learning.
Playmobil Special Plus
Mini Bath Toy
Everywhere we go on holiday, or out for the day we try and pick up a magnet to add to the collection we have at home, and so Christmas is a great time to add yet another one! Using it to fill a pocket on Squidgy’s advent calendar is a great excuse to fit it in, and I can’t wait for her to find it and pop it next to the others she already has!
You can pick up hair clips from pretty much everywhere these days, whether you want small plain ones or awesome bows there is something for everyone available. I love putting stuff in my daughters’ hair, however both of them have to be in the right mood to let me play and Little L is likely to pull them out as soon as I put them in. If you have a scroll through Instagram you can find some lovely small businesses that sell handmade bows and clips, or alternatively pop to your local Primark just like I did and grab some bows or Disney clips (I got both!)
Carrying along in the same theme as the last couple of advent calendar filler ideas, I have added hair ties into one of the pockets. Squidgy likes to have a plait or two, and occasionally a pony tail, in her hair when she goes to preschool (not that we always have time for putting her hair up in the morning rush!) and so hair ties are a great idea to add in to the mix.
John wasn’t so keen on this idea when he saw that I had bought Squidgy some nail varnish from Primark last week. To be fair though, I get mine done every two weeks, it was inevitable that she would want to do her own at some point. My Little Pony is one of her favourite things, along with pink and purple being her favourite colours, so the two pack of nail varnish I bought is right up her street. Adding just one layer on means it dries quicker and by the end of the day it had practically all rubbed off, so I don’t know why John was so worried! I think it’s cute and Squidgy thinks it’s the best thing ever!
Accessories are a typical addition to any outfit for pretty much everyone, and my daughter is no different. I am certain that I am to blame for the majority of the things like this that she loves due to the fact that I wear necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings on a daily basis. The flower set heart rings from Primark are a beautiful and sweet addition to Squidgy’s advent calendar and the smile on her face when she first saw the sneaky one I gave her from the set to take this photo melted my heart.
As well as accessories, I also like to wear a bit of make-up here and there and Squidgy is always asking me if she can wear some too. Although I am not a fan of putting make-up on children, the Disney Frozen children’s lip balm set from Primark make a good compromise. They are designed for and thus safe for children and it makes her feel like she is joining in with something she always wanted to be a part of. She already has one with Anna on, but of course Elsa is in her advent calendar ready to be found!
Let’s be honest, a girl can never have too many knickers; plus when you are buying age 5-6 you know they will fold up small enough to fit in the pocket of an advent calendar. No doubt on the day that these are pulled out, Squidgy will want to pull them straight on, thanks to the theme being one of her other favourite things, Paw Patrol. The fact that there are female heroes as part of the Paw Patrol team has always made Squidgy happy as Larry and she often talks about them being her friends.
I love socks, especially at this time of year, when the cold winter months close in. Buying a pair of cozy slipper socks (especially in a Christmas design!) seemed like an obvious choice to add to the advent calendar fillers. The penguin ones that I got from Matalan for Little L just about slip part inside of one of the pockets; however Squidgy’s had no chance. Instead I printed a little note for her with a picture of a sock on it and she will have to come to me and exchange the note for her socks!
Christmas Eve Box Token
Number 24 on an advent calendar obviously means that you have hit Christmas Eve; and thus things start getting really exciting! We love to have a variety of items in our Christmas Eve box including activities for the day and items for Santa. I will of course be sharing a post soon with all the items that we have included in this year’s box. For the final pocket on Squidgy’s advent calendar I have included a small “treasure” map; and the first activity of the day will be to find our Christmas Eve box and get ready for Christmas. An alternative option would be a simple token that in the same way as the socks can be exchanged for the box.
I am so happy with this year’s advent calendar fillers, and I hope that Squidgy will be too. Not long until we find out as we head into December at the end of this week! I hope that I have given you a few great ideas for alternative advent calendar fillers; and if you do choose to use a traditional chocolate option, maybe instead you can try some of these out as stocking fillers!
The countdown to Christmas has officially begun.
For more posts about Christmas, visit the Christmas category page. If you have any questions about any of the products included within my gift guide, which I have not covered in this post, feel free to ask in the comments section below.