In my youth, I remember being the careful owner of a beautifully illustrated cardboard advent calendar which I used year on year, counting down the days to Christmas by opening various painted doors and windows of a picture-book toyshop to see the gifts behind them. It was exciting at first, then ritualistic. And eventually the doors and shutters, windows and latches broke off until it was given up on the Boxing Day fire. After that, my sister and I would get a supermarket calendar endorsed by some cartoon character or another, from which we would each prize a small, saccharine, injection-moulded milk chocolate every morning. It was fun to see which of us could hold out the longest before wolfing it down. While I am still convinced no actual chocolate or milk was involved in the making of these calendars, the anticipation of Christmas was building with every flap lifted.
But there’s something a bit depressing about buying something with so much inherent magic in the weekly shop. So I’m delighted to see that Danish brand Fabelab have teamed up with lr kids designer Lærke Rune to create an advent calendar that will take the anticipation to whole new levels in our house. In The Woods is a series of 24 sewn pockets. Peg them up along a string and pop a gift or treat in each one. The real surprise, though, is when you take them down and turn them inside out to discover that each one is a different creature, mountain, cloud or tree. The entire set creates a beautiful woodland scene. So there’s a bit of old-school Christmas magic, right there.
£67 from Scandinavian Minimall.