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Types of advent calendars

In the past, my kids have had those commercial cardboard advent calendars with cheap and nasty chocolate inside. I’ve always wanted to do something better but it gets to 1 December and I haven’t set anything up so back we go to the easy but meaningless commercial stuff.

Advent calendar graphic

twenty-four surprises is the fun of an advent calendar!

There’s still a good chance I won’t do better this year but at least I’m thinking about it ahead of usual…

I know you can put chocolates in envelopes (one for each day) or stick little bags on a page instead, but I want a little more exciting than that. I’ve heard of good ideas in the past but nothing is coming back when I need it to. So what advent calendar ideas do you have? Which ones have worked well?

 

 *Image courtesy of iguanasbear, 123rf 

Keep Christmas colours, not gender nonsense

I hope it’s ok that I have a whinge here! But it really annoys me that so much of the ‘first Christmas’ stuff is only in pink and blue.

For one thing, I am still pregnant so don’t know if I’m having a boy or girl (I’m due on 20 December so buying in advance is pretty necessary!). But I don’t want lots of pink or blue according to gender anyway.

Christmas Eve - red stockings, tree, snack for Santa

Traditional red stockings suit many people more than pink or blue stockings

I see no reason to distinguish between genders with colours at the best of times, but at Christmas I would much prefer red or green to stick with Christmas – or maybe purple as that is a trendy Christmas theme colour.

Is it just me or can we tell shops to get rid of gender-based Christmas gimmicks and concentrate on Christmas as the only necessary theme?

Edible snowflakes

Ok, they aren’t part of an Aussie Christmas, but snowflakes do have a traditional Xmas feel and these ones are quite yummy 🙂

To make 60 snowflakes…

Sanat's cabin in Canada!

A white Christmas in Canada has snowflakes – Aussies need edible snowflakes!

2 cup icing sugar
5.5 cups plain flour
250 g butter
2 eggs
2.5 tsp vanilla essence

get eggs to room temperature.
Cube butter and put back in fridge
mix flour and 1.5 cup sugar together then add butter.
Blend until you get a mixture looking like fine breadcrumbs.
Mix in eggs and vanilla essence until a dough forms.
Knead dough until lower surface is smooth.
Push dough into two circles about 20 cm across and wrap in grease-proof paper. Put in fridge for an hour or so – should be firm to touch.
roll out dough until about 5mm thick – sticks less if you put it between sheets of baking paper.
If you can find a snowflake cutter, now is when to use it! If not, use a star cutter and a knife to adjust it or try a Christmas tree cutter (instead of snowflakes or join two together for a snowflake-ish look).
Put trays of biscuits into fridge for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat over to 180 Celsius and prepare baking trays (grease or use baking paper).
bake for about 10 minutes
cool completely on trays then dust with icing sugar to enhance the snow feeling.

 

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