The 12 Days of Christmas. Day one: the advent calendar.


Thanks to the lovely people at Lakeland Limited, Flea and I have the most gorgeous advent train this Christmas. It’s a proper Santa’s workshop style train with 24 little cargo drawers, which can hold a small treat or sweets.

Being a TOP-NOTCH Mummy, I spent the last weekend of November scouring ELC for tiny dinosaur figures that would fit into the little drawers of the advent calendar. Come December 1st, each drawer contained a single dinosaur and a chocolate coin.

Flea was really excited to open the first drawer when she got home from school. She was thrilled with her little pterodactyl – dinosaurs are one of her very favourite things. I left her playing and went to make dinner.

When I came back into the lounge 10 minutes later, I found my daughter playing schools with 24 little dinosaurs. “You’ll never guess what Mummy… there was a dinosaur in EVERY drawer!” she said.


It felt somehow anti-Christmas to be cross, so I just said, “Oh, that’s nice, but you know you only have one chocolate a day, right?”

The next day, I trekked back to ELC and bought another 24 mini dinosaurs (see? Total top-notch Mummy conduct). While Flea was at school I carefully re-filled the drawers. When she came home and opened drawer number 2, her eyes were like saucers. “Wow,” I told her. “Father Christmas must have put another one in there.”

Then, we cuddled up on the sofa together under a blanket to watch Flea’s favourite DVD of the moment – Alvin and the Chipmunks. Obviously, I fell asleep. When I woke up, Flea was still snuggled under the blanket next to me. Bless. And on top of the blanket? Were 48 miniature dinosaurs, all riding in the back of a toy lorry.


Just FYI, I’ve told Flea that due to supply chain issues, the elf-store won’t be getting any more deliveries of  dinosaurs until January.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 10th December 2009 / 11:23 pm

    She is very clever for a young one!!!
    Father Christmas doesn’t fill ours until the task has been done each evening. I learned my lesson last year.

  2. 11th December 2009 / 10:53 am

    Hehe, classic 🙂

  3. 11th December 2009 / 12:13 pm

    Brilliant! The best laid plans of mice and mummys gang aft whatever..

  4. 11th December 2009 / 3:34 pm

    yes…. know where you are with this. we have a beautifully carved wooden christmas tree with 24 little boxes. last year I spent a fortune on presents for it and because this year there are two presents for ech box i decided to just fill them with sweets (see, not such a top-notch mummy). lo and behold all my wonderful training has succeeded and my four year old has shown great self-restraint by understanding we only open one a day. Until I got to day 10. Empty. as were 11, 12, 13…. et al. oh my four year old is still well trained. unfortuntely my 2 year old is not! still, i filled them all up again – it is Christmas after all.

  5. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    11th December 2009 / 4:29 pm

    Perfect, and what a lovely advent calendar – you’ll be able to use it year after year. We have a couple of ‘green’ ones – plus the more trad choc-in-cardboard ones too.

  6. 12th December 2009 / 12:41 am

    That is clever and lovely 🙂

  7. 12th December 2009 / 9:11 am

    Now that advent calender looks fabulous. Suddenly our cardboard one looks rather pathetic!

  8. 13th December 2009 / 3:34 am

    So she’s not into delayed gratification, then?

  9. Sally
    15th December 2009 / 12:33 am

    @TheMadHouse – there’s a task? Genius.
    @Dan – yes, I feel I’ve learned an important parenting lesson here. When it comes to kids, there’s no such thing as deferred gratification.
    @Elizabeth – as ever, really.
    @MummyMania – that made me laugh – you started well, though.
    @Liz – yes, Lakeland have the loveliest Advent calendars.
    @April – thanks, she’s a cutie, really.
    @Rosie – yours is biodegradable, on the upside 🙂
    @Natalie – Oh my goodness! Advent catastrophe indeed. I love that he just took it out, though – didn’t the 19 on the front of the pocket give him a clue??!
    @Iota – is any four year old?

  10. 17th December 2009 / 2:35 pm

    Haha that’s adorable and so funny. Am laughing at my desk (people around me are starting to stare…)