One of my favourite things about Christmas is how there isn't just one way to do things and that every family has their own unique traditions and ways of doing things.
In our family, one of my favourite traditions is our Advent Hamper. This is very much like the more traditional Christmas Eve box but the elves deliver it to our house at the start of advent so that the contents can be enjoyed throughout the month of December. The best bit about this is that when the elves deliver the hamper, they also decorate our Christmas tree! On the Saturday nearest the beginning of December, we'll all go out as a family and choose our tree. Then the kids go to bed and me and my husband make our favourite festive cocktail (a negroni sparkler if you want to try it too!), bake a camembert, put on the Christmas tunes and decorate the tree, leaving the hamper of goodies underneath it. The next morning is always full of joy as we sit around our tree, admiring the elves' hard work and opening up the hamper.
Our Advent Hamper always includes the same set of goodies; an advent calendar, Christmas PJs, a festive jumper, something yummy to eat, an activity to do together or a new game to play and a new Christmas book (as well as returning all of the books from previous years). Here's what the elves will be bringing this year...
We have a gorgeous wooden advent calendar from Meri Meri that we have reused each Christmas for about 6 years now. Each day you open a different component and when you put them all together they make a sweet little scene. Ours is a nativity set that unfortunately I can't find anymore but I love this train set (and wouldn't it go so perfectly with out Winter Express Play Kit?!) that's currently available and they have other sweet options too. We put our pieces into a fabric advent calendar from Ferm Living.
Now that my kids are 8 and 6 years old, and super tall too, I struggle to find nice Christmas pyjamas in their size. I was so excited when The Bright Company launched their new Christmas print recently, it is absolutely stunning and they make children's PJs up to age 13. I have shopped with The Bright Company before and I love their designs and the quality is just amazing. The fact that they are a small, ethical business is a bonus in my eyes too. In fact I was so excited that I may have also bought a pair for myself and some PJ bottoms for my husband. Yes, we will be that family this Christmas. Sorrynotsorry.
I often bought the kids clothes from JoJo Maman Bebe when they were younger and found that they were always great quality so I was disappointed when they got too big for their stuff. However, this year they have extended the sizing on some of their festive clothing up to 12 years old, and they have matching adult and dog options available if that's your thing (before you ask, no I didn't buy one for our puppy Toby too!). I love this red, fair isle jumper for both the kids, the red is perfect for Christmas and the reindeers are super cute too. My daughter will wear hers with a navy skirt from Boden and my son will no doubt reject the chinos I bought him in favour of his favourite dinosaur leggings from Bear and Babe!
I was fortunate enough to be sent some Hawkens Gingerbread by the lovely Casey from Festive Fingerprints to celebrate her Christmas launch back in September and OHMYGOD it was a life changing moment. They were like nothing I've ever tasted, and I have made and sampled a lot of gingerbread in my 36 years. I've got gingerbread men for all 4 of us (because there was no way I was going to miss out!) and while I was there I bought some extra bits and pieces for gifts as well.
Every year the elves bring us an activity for us to do together as a family during December. This year I have fallen in love with these wooden puzzles from Wentworth Puzzles. They have a huge variety of festive designs to choose from but I particularly love their London scenes as they remind me of our family's annual trips into town to see the Christmas lights. You can also select how many pieces you would like which is great when shopping for kids!
A Christmas book
My favourite part of our Advent Hamper is definitely the Christmas book. We have been adding a new book (or two...) to our collection each year and we now have quite the stack of beautiful, festive children's books. Quite often the kids will push aside the other items in the hamper so that they can pull out all of their old books from years gone by, they love looking back at them and remembering the stories.
This year I wanted to get them a chapter book but I was at a bit of a loss as to where to start so I turned to instagram and you had the best suggestions! I had about 10 books in my basket at one point but I eventually managed to whittle them down to How Winston Delivered Christmas. This book has 24 chapters and the idea is that you read one each night throughout advent until Christmas, isn't that the sweetest idea?!
So tell me... do you do an Advent Hamper or a Christmas Eve Box in your house? And what will be going in yours this year?