the busy mum's advent calendar

I have loved advent calendars since I had those cardboard ones from the grocery store as a child.  You know the ones, a picture of the Three Wise men with angels, stars and manger scene,  and little numbered doors that each hide a single sticky foil wrapped sweet.  Mine was always stuck on the wall next to my bed so that I could open my eyes and immediately enjoy the normally forbidden treat of sweets before breakfast. 

Since then advent calendars have become much prettier and cleverer, a feature of the home Christmas display.  I know we have all been pinning our favourites for months.  Does this mean I have made one?  Not yet but I do have a plan.  But if you are out of time and energy have a look at the online calenders below.  I promise neither you or your children will not feel short changed.
Granny S sent the first online advent calendar to us three years ago and we are waiting eagerly for the 2012 one to begin.  These gorgeous interactive calendars by Jacquie Lawson begin with a pretty scene, this year there is an Alpine scene (above) and a London one (below).  Every day has a numbered ball, when pressed a little scene unfolds as the town gets ready for Christmas.  
Of course I don't know what happens yet either but I remember last year: carol singers sang hymns ...

...through the town and people came out of the houses to listen; Christmas decorations went up in the stores; all the trees were lit up.    There are little hidden games like designing your own snowflakes that then fall across the screen, or choosing the colours of the fairy lights in the trees.  I am as just as excited to see what happens as Miss E.

They have become part of our Christmas tradition, Miss E springs out of bed and runs to the computer to see what will unfold each morning.  This year we will be sending them to our niece and nephew who are an ocean away from us so that they can share in the fun too.

Only a few days to go...

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