After hearing others talking about this one I decided I wanted to start it from next year; then we realised we got a new one last year in our stockings and Chris’ mum got us one this year too! So that tradition is officially started!
One Present on Christmas Eve
This is a tradition that we’ve both had separately since we were kids, so of course we’re keeping it as a couple! You get to pick one, just one, present from under the tree to open. It’s not as easy as it sounds! As a couple we do have an additional rule; the other person is allowed to veto one or two presents if they’re extra special surprises.
Star Wars Cinema Trip
This is brand new from last year, and is most likely going to happen this year. As Chris has been ill and in hospital we haven’t been able to go see it, so we’re going to see it when we’re down in London for New Years. Last year we went with my dad, and we’re doing the same this year. Since there’s many more Star Wars movies to come (WOOT!) I can see this becoming a yearly tradition.
Stealing Meat from the Carving Board
This is my personal one which I have been doing since I was a kid, and have subsequently done every time there’s a roast being carved. It started at Christmas though when we had big family gatherings at my nan and grandad’s house and while the adults served the food up, we kids would do little jobs like take stuff to the table. I’m not sure if it was my dad or my grandad – or both 😛 – who started it, but they’d sneak me bits of meat as they cut the roasts.
Pigs in Blankets
When I was a teenager my grandad decided to add something new to our Christmas dinner; pigs in blankets. He’d seen it somewhere, tv, newspaper, I don’t know but he was doing it and enlisted me to help. It is one of my fondest memories of my grandad before he died when I was 17, and I try to make pigs in blankets every Christmas. Sometimes not from scratch/by hand as he did, but we have them each year and not just because they taste awesome.
Yep, another advent calendar sharing saturday. The last one I promise and probably the most exciting one because I’m introducing you into the world of online advent calendar competitions – which are free to enter! I enter them every year and for the past couple of years have won several prizes. They’re great fun, a tad bit addictive and easy to take part in. There’s so many that I’m not going to list them, I’m just going to explain the types of competitions and then give you some sites where fabulous people have listed all the advent competitions they find.
Type of Advent Competitions
Instant wins are basically competitions which involve clicking an advent window, bauble or bingo ticket and instantly winning a prize. Expect a lot of ‘sorry you have not won this time….’ messages, but wins do happen! Last year I won my Star Wars BB-8 Sphero droid from one of these 😀 I highly recommend Tombola’s advent calendaras you always win something on it.
Fill out a Form
Like instant wins, you have to click on the advent number for the day and instead of getting an instant notification you have to fill in your details. Sometimes you’ll need to answer a question, or count how many santa hats are on a page. A winner is the selected and notified at a later date. If you don’t want your email spammed I suggest making a new one just for competitions.
Treasure Hunts require you to hunt around for an item, usually something christmassy like a santa hat, gift or candy cane. Sometimes these will be static, i.e. on a certain page/product, while others will be random. One that has a random chance is Top Cash Back which has a daily clue for a guaranteed humming bird (the treasure you need to find) and can randomly pop up on other pages as you browse the site.
Social media has made it so much easier to join in competitions, especially at advent time. These take place on facebook, twitter and instagram, and I’ve seen a few using snapchat as well this year. You have to like/follow the account/page and then follow the instructions. These usually involve sharing/retweeting, answering a question or tagging friends. It’s good because you can see how many people are entering, but don’t be put off by this! I’ve had some success with social media competitions and last year also had a company send me a wee little gift in response to something I said. There are real people running these competitions so every so often surprises can happen.
Several bloggers are posting advent calendar competitions as well, and they tend to use rafflecopter or gleam which is a little widget that asks you to do things. These include commenting, following social media accounts, sharing/retweeting etc. Some of my favourite ones to watch are Tanned Beauty Addict and Thou Shall Not Covet who have amazing prizes up for grabs!
Pass the Parcel
One of the most popular competitions is Marks and Spencers Pass the Parcel competition, in which you use the application on Facebook and pass parcels to friends and family – they then pass them back to you. The last few years the M&S one has become insanely popular and closes within days. It is worth it if you can play it though! Another one we’ve won on in the past few years 🙂 Other companies, such as Joules, have started doing their own pass the parcel and I’m sure some others will pop up too.
Lists of Competitions
So, now you’ve read about them… are you ready to see what’s out there?! Here are my favourite sites for finding advent competitions. You’re also welcome to follow me on twitter as I will be retweeting any I enter too!
Keep in mind – Some competitions have started already, while others that last for 12 days before christmas will open at a later date. So it’s worth while checking back at these sites for new competitions!
Rounded up the advent calendar Sharing Saturdays this month is luxury chocolate calendars! We’ve all had an advent calendar which promised chocolately goodness and failed miserably (I distinctly remember a pink chocolate Barbie one as a kid… urgh). So if none of the alternative advent calendars tickled your fancy indulge in some gorgeous chocolate in these calendars!
I love advent calendars, however, opening little doors just for a tiny bit of chocolate isn’t as appealing as it once was. I’ve been doing online advent calendars (I’ll introduce you to some at the beginning of December when they open!) for several years now, and last year I came across beauty advent calendars! This year I kept an eye out, found several different beauty ones as well as some other alternative advent calendars. So over the next few weeks I’m going to be posting the best ones I can find, starting with food and drink calendarsand last weeks Beauty calendars. This week it’s time to show you the best other calendars for 2016. From socks, to candles and jewellery – take a look!
1 – Nostalgic Advent Calendar Vintage Charms Bracelets from TanjaBraun on Etsy, £34.13 (Shop includes several different themed bracelets).