I love it (hung low in the downstairs hallway so Maura can reach)! Its basically a big felt Christmas tree (with 24 buttons on it) and every day Maura pulls out an ornament from the corresponding pocket and hangs it on the tree. By Christmas Eve, with a special gold star ornament, the tree is fully decorated!
I went with this advent calendar for a few reasons. I knew the one I wanted to get would be an investment, I wanted to be able to take it out year after year and use it as one of our family traditions. I also knew that there was no way I would be able to keep up with the kind of calendar that you have to fill up with little presents and gifts and treats everyday. That would just stress me out way too much, and I wanted this to be fun. I also wasn't sure that I wanted our countdown to Christmas to be focused on more gifts. I like the idea behind this, each day you are surprised with what ornament is in the pocket, so there's still suspense and other than that, its just about the simple joy of seeing the tree fill up.
Seven different kinds of ornaments come with this calendar, plus the unique and special gold star for the top of the tree on Christmas Eve - snowflakes, cardinal birds, bulbs, peppermint candy, silver bells, and holly. They are all beautifully made and I love the subtle and sophisticated color palette (its not screaming over the top Christmas). Its your job to fill the pockets with the ornaments in whatever order you decide, I of course tried to separate them out and make it so there would be balance in color, shape, etc when the whole tree is done (ha!) but Maura gets so excited that she tends to peak, or take out some and put them back in other pockets, etc. Oh well, she's having fun!!! Its still hard for her little fingers to actually string the ornament loop over the button, so usually I end up doing that part, but I can see her having the hang of it by next year:)
Sorry, took these photos last week on the 4th of December. So by now we are hanging ornaments on the third row of the tree (and it's hitting me that Christmas is only 2 weeks away!!) However, here's a product shot from Dani's shop with the whole tree done up. Isn't it so cute?! Totally random, but I just noticed that the bottom row of my tree is the same as Dani's - ornament, snowflake, bird, peppermint candy. What a weird coincidence! I just randomly picked the different ornaments and put them in the pockets right before I hung it up!!
PS. Do you guys have advent calendars? Where did you get yours or did you make them? If you do the treat every day kind, how in the world do you think of that many little things to put in there?!