Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

September 7, 2011

Planning Ahead | Advent Calendars

One of our favorite holiday traditions the last few years have been advent calendars from Lego and Playmobile.

I know it’s early.

I know we haven’t hit Halloween or Thanksgiving yet.

But man I like having these things in house and ready to go. The truth is that I think I like these just as much as the kids do.

For 2011 I went with the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar for Simon. If they didn’t have the Star Wars version we’d be getting this one: Lego city edition (7553).

Anna will have the Playmobile Christmas Post Office Advent Calendar.

Last year we had Playmobile Christmas in the Forest (awesome set of animals) and the Lego City Advent Calendar (2824) – both are still available and were great. The pieces were packed away with the holiday decor last year and will come out again in December (not as Advent calendars but as holiday toys).

We also love to bring out the Playmobile Nativity Set each year.


  • 1.
    Amy Albert said…

    Too funny, I was just thinking about this kind of Adent Calendar’s for my girls! I also get just excited as they do! I was also thinking last night about your cute, little advent messages with those messages and things to do in them for the month of Dec. Where do you get your ideas for ideas and messages? I love this advent idea as well because it gives and creates many memories and new traditions to start! Thanks, Amy

  • 2.
    taniawillis said…

    so weird to think how close Christmas is. i love this little tradition you have with your children and i’m so impressed–how do you keep yourself so organized ali?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Tania – I so don’t feel all that organized. Just thinking ahead to some of my favorite parts of the holidays.

  • 3.
    Susan said…

    hey, christmas is right around the corner. i’ve got much family coming in so i am planning much decorations and celebrating and traditions so a Lego advent calendar will go well – one less thing i have to make!!!!

  • 4.
    tracey said…


    A big Thank You!! My son wished for this and when I couldn’t find it I assumed they were already sold out. I just got one for him on Amazon, thanks to your handy link! You helped make a boy’s dream come true today!!

  • 5.
    Melanie L. said…

    I love that you’re thinking about these now because I want to get these before they sell out. I might get one set for myself this year. Thanks for all the handy links!

    • ….
      Torie said…

      Your post is a timely cobntiturion to the debate

  • 6.
    Sandi said…

    Last night my boys and I came across the Advent Star Wars calendar.
    They immediately choose it for this years Advent calendar. They talked
    all night about what characters they will get. Now I just have to place my order.

  • 7.
    Suzie Perrie said…

    I saw the Star Wars one when you Tweeted it and made sure to go grab one. My son is getting his bedroom redone in that so he will be very excited. Thanks!

  • 8.
    denise said…

    thanks for the reminder ali. i bought two of these for ethan because i couldn’t decide which one to buy! i am thinking i might do the star wars one for his birthday…which is november 30th and then the lego city one for christmas. i’ve also been filling his advent calendar (i think it was a karen foster kit with 25 little boxes) with trinkets from places we visited this summer. it will be a grand holiday season this year!

    • ….
      Linda said…

      Denise, thanks for sharing — I love the idea of filling the KFoster Advent with trinkets from thru out the year — what a wonderful way to relive the memories of that year.

  • 9.
    Sue TR (Your Story 2011) said…

    Thanks for the info on the advent sets!!!
    Was thinking of Simon this week as the girls both got HUGE lego sets for their birthdays last weekend (Lily got H.Potter Diagon alley, something like 3 million pieces and she’s almost done — Gwen got a “City” Firestation and the Cars2 V-8 Cafe they both added up to Lily’s one) Simon would be loving the lego construction table we’ve set up in the new Family Room and would have had a blast with the girls, had he not lived 3000 miles away ;)

    Will definitely order those advent sets today for a christmas treat! Good luck on the first day of school (we’re on our second week already) !

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Diagon Alley is on the list here – can’t wait for him to get that one :) . Glad the move has gone well!

  • 10.
    Sue said…

    We have the same ones packed away and ready to come out after Thanksgiving. We have many nativity sets and the playmobil is our favorite.

  • 11.
    Jamie said…

    I ordered 3 of the Star Wars ones… 1 for each kid and 1 for my husband!!! So much fun, I am so glad they did a Star Wars one this year!!

  • 12.
    Carrie D. said…

    When it comes to Lego, it’s never too soon! I ordered mine within the last couple of weeks (Star Wars for my son, City for my daughter). Let’s hope I’ll remember where I hid them come December!

  • 13.
    Clare said…

    We have at least 10 Playmobile sets in storage from years past. We also had this same tradition every year except back then they did not have any Lego sets so ours are all Playmobile. Sad to say my children have now outgrown (23,19 and 15)these, but I am saving them for my grandkids. They are too wonderful to part with, we also have a huge Lego collection in storage plus numerous Playmobile sets. I can hardly wait for the next generation. Enjoy these moments of memory building because they will remember, appreciate and treasure them. I have witnessed that already and mine aren’t even that old yet.

  • 14.
    Brandie said…

    I ordered the same two advent calendars a few days ago.

  • 15.
    nerdgrl said…

    The Advent Calendar is one of my most cherished memories of the Christmas season. Even though we have no children, I always get one (the Hallmark kind, not the Lego kind.) My husband thinks it’s silly; I say, “It’s a tradition I’m not willing to give up.”

  • 16.
    Jo-Lee said…

    Thanks for the tip Ali. I love getting Christmas presents purchased early. Makes for a more relaxed holiday season.

  • 17.
    Cathy said…

    Thanks for sharing this! I always want to do this but never order one in time. I’m on it this year!

  • 18.
    Ruth said…

    I agree about liking these calendars possibly as much as the kids and the Playmobil nativity is incredible (we got their advent calendar one year and it was cool but the nativity set rocks!!!) Lots of good traditions and it’s not too early to start shopping since these always sell out! TFS!

  • 19.
    Cindy said…

    Wow! I didn’t even know there were so many. We do the Lego City one each year, but this year we may branch out. Thanks!

  • 20.
    abbeyviolet said…

    My son is going to ADORE the Lego Star Wars set. So excited to catch it. We’ve really just done wall advent calendars with things I put in them (activities, sweets, small toys) so this will be new, but I think a lot of fun!

  • 21.
    Charity said…

    Those look like a lot of fun. I hadn’t thought of looking for this type of advent calendar, but I know the boys would love it. We have the little people nativity set and they really enjoy that.

  • 22.
    M. MADISON said…

    Just ordered the Star Wars Advent for my son and a Lego City version for my Daughter yesterday. I too like to start early and love that I am not alone.

  • 23.
    Christine H said…

    My almost 16 year old son is too old now for these types of toys but we have a count down to Christmas decoration. Santa sits at the top of the chimney and as you pull a brick out each day he comes down the chimney. The bricks are numbered 1-25. I am always pleasantly surprised each year when my son starts doing the bricks without prompting and asks me to keep it up on the weekends when he goes camping with his scout troop.

  • 24.
    jennifer said…

    Ali, thanks for being one step ahead! Now I’ll be sure to beat the rush and get our advent calendars. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for Daily December this year!

  • 25.
    Danielle said…

    Ali, I love that you share your traditions. My dd is 17, and we do some type of advent calendar every year. It is always a hit! Which reminds me, I need to get started picking up some things.

  • 26.
    Queen Mary said…

    Ali, I’m really confounded by a Star Wars Advent Calendar — how does it work? Is there a nativity scene at the end or does Yoda just win? I’m thinking of these for a goddaughter (Playmobile) and a sorta godson/nephew/adopted son of my cousin I went to Russia with to pick up — and I just want to make sure there’s an actual Advent component — is there? Thanks, Mary

  • 27.
    Mary (Happy Now) said…

    You are amazing. That is all. :)

  • 28.
    jodi said…

    love this idea, but would be worried about the small pieces with my toddler. :(

  • 29.
    Candy said…

    I got one for my grandson coming to visit Hawaii for Christmas!
    May the force be with all of you! Aloha.

  • 30.
    Sarah said…

    I LOVE this idea!! Thank you so much for sharing. Alexandra is almost the same age as Anna and I know she will love it too!!!

  • 31.
    Raylene said…

    Haha! I enjoyed seeing someone else who gets going early on the Christmas holidays! I always begin my shopping while we are on summer vacation on our Goldwing! One can find all kinds of interesting little things while travelling . . . I especially like the key rings that have names on them, just add a ribbon and you have a dandy little Christmas ornament!

  • 32.
    Mrs. V said…

    What perfect timing. I had a note for myself on my to-do list for the fall to make an Advent calendar; however, this year I think that we are going to get Lego’s for the girls, so it will be perfect to have a Lego Advent calendar. Even if I don’t buy a pre-made Lego calendar, I will use the idea to put Lego’s in one that I make. Thanks for sharing!

  • 33.
    Steffb said…

    Ha ha, my husband texted me the image from the Lego shop last week – he managed to wait to buy it lol

  • 34.
    Jewel said…

    Thank you for the reminder! Just ordered one for my son. I waited too long last year and they were sold out of the one we wanted. I just bought some clear Christmas ornaments to make into gifts at Michael’s today – can’t believe I am thinking of Christmas already!

  • 35.
    emily ruth said…

    we did lego & polly pocket advent calendars last year…polly was not quite as exciting as lego (polly only had one little piece per day) but it’s a good alternative if you’ve got girls who aren’t into playmobile… super fun :)

  • 36.

    Hi Ali.

    I have been doing christmas for several weeks. Making wreaths,and hand made ornaments and a quilted panels for the
    kiddos….never to early. I already have my fall decorating ready to go even though it is not till9/23 for Autumn…besides living in the desert of Phoenix it makes psychologically cooler even though the thermo sez 105

    hugs and blessing

    Sharon Dryjanski

    • ….
      Ali said…

      You are totally on top of it Sharon – that’s awesome!

  • 37.
    Dana Johnston said…

    The advent calendars have become a big part of our Christmas tradition as well. I sometimes think the kids enjoy them more than the abundance of gifts they get on Christmas Day. We did the animal set when Tate was two, this year she picked the horse stable. We also have the Playmobil and Schleich nativity sets. When I was small, my mom would put out her creche scene with the traditional camels, sheep, and donkey for accessories, but she would also put in any additional small animal she had found throughout the year in her thrifting. It wasn’t unusual for an elephant to want to visit the baby Jesus. So in continuation of the tradition, we dig into our Playmobil stash and extensive Schleich collection and pull out our circus animals, our forest creatures, pets, etc. The animals far outnumber the people, but I love it now as much as I loved it then.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I totally need to check out the Schleich nativity set.

  • 38.
    Tanya W said…

    for the last few months Ive been painting little boxes for advent boxes like what your done Ali, and looking forward to putting a little treat for each of the kids and a different activity for each day bring on december hehe….

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I love those boxes so much!

  • 39.
    Karen M said…

    What a wonderful idea! My two nephews are so into Star Wars and Legos — I immediately ordered the Star Wars advent calendar for them. I think buying it was almost as much fun as they will have opening it! :)

  • 40.
    MonicaB said…

    We love the Lego Advent calendars! Thanks for the reminder because last year I waited too long and it was very hard to find one.

  • 41.
    Suz said…

    Have two sitting in my closet already for this year as I missed out last year!!

  • 42.
    Marsaille Knight said…

    Ali, I love the Woodland Advent from last year. I think I will do that one! I am planning a Christmas party playdate and this will go with our theme. The theme for our party is Christmas for the Animals. We have just under 7 acres and are going to fill the feeders, hang suet, put out oranges, apples and a salt lick, and of course make pinecone feeders and string popcorn. Thanks for the advent idea to tie in with our theme.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      That one will be perfect for your theme!

  • 43.
    Jen A said…

    I’m so happy I snagged one on Amazon the day someone on one of the forums mentioned it. We’ve never done the lego calendars before, but I have a boy with a Star Wars room who LOVES legos, and needs some motivation to finish homework quickly in the evenings. I think this may be just the ticket, we’ll open the calendar each evening AFTER the assignment is complete.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Love that idea Jen – awesome motivation.

  • 44.
    Michele H. said…

    I’ve always been late to the party when it comes to these awesome advent calendars. By the time I’m ready to purchase one…they are all sold out. But…not today! My daughter loves Lego City and this one is perfect to ring in the season. Thanks for the links!

  • 45.
    Anita said…

    I’m like you: Love planning ahead and love Lego & Playmobil! :)

  • 46.
    Krista said…

    We love Advent calendars in our house too – I think this will be a fun new way to celebrate the season!

  • 47.
    Asha said…

    I was just looking at those the other day, I plan on buying mine early as well. My son picked the same Star Wars one you bought for Simon and my daughter (she’s 5 now) picked the Playmobil Unicorn Paradise. I’m so excited. I had a bad experience last year when I decided to buy them little trinkets I saw here and there for their advent and when time ran out, some days they didn’t receive anything! It was crazy and hectic last year so this year, I’m buying these!

  • 48.
    Carey said…

    Thanks for the Lego Advent reminder!!! We love those!

  • 49.
    Jonda said…

    I had no idea Lego made such a thing! This is definitely bookmarked and will discuss with my DH. My Simon and Ben would love this! Although, that probably means 2 calendars so they don’t fight each and every day until Christmas! :)

  • 50.
    Filzi said…

    Wow, you’ve already bought Advent Calendars. Wr collect Playmobil and we also love the Advent Calendars and the Nativity.

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