Countdown to Christmas on the cheap with these frugal but festive advent calendars

THE Christmas Countdown has begun, so make sure you’re in on the act with an advent calendar.

Nine in ten families buy the fun festive favourites, so open the door to extra excitement with one of my top ten pics, all at under £20.

VALUE CHOCOLATE: Hot Wheels or Barbie Advent Calendar, £1 at Morrisons

YOUNGER CHILDREN:  Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Chocolate Advent Calendar, £2 at Morrisons

TOYS: Block Tech Christmas Advent Calendar, £10 at

BEAUTY:  Sunkissed Christmas 25 Days Of Beauty Advent Calendar, £14 at

CANDLE: Airwick Candle Collection Advent Calendar 24 x 12g, was £10 now £5 at Ocado

SAVE: £5

FREE FROM: Sainsbury's Free From Choc Advent Calendar 93g, £2.50 at Sainsbury’s

REFILLABLE: Blue Block Advent Tree, was £23.99 now £17.99 at

SAVE: £6 

PETS: Pets at Home Christmas Dog Advent Calendar Carob Flavour 70g, £2 at Pets at Home

LUXURY: Ferrero Advent Calendar 271g, £12 at Morrisons

BOOZE: 24 Days of Gin Advent Calendar, £10 at Wilko

Prices correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers subject to availability.

Website of the week: Letters to Santa sites

WHETHER you’ve been naughty, nice or a bit of both, it’s time to put pen to paper for your letter to Santa.

Writing the annual Christmas note this week means you know what your kids want, so you can snap up a deal in the Black Friday sales.

Here are three easy ways to sort a Santa message this Xmas.

FREE: Post your child’s letter by Friday December 10 to ‘Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland XM4 5HQ’. Make sure you use a stamp and that you include your own name and address, so your child gets a reply. There’s also a new option to instantly download his reply. See

FREE – but with a suggested donation: Build the excitement by typing the letter together with your child, which you can download for free. Every letter created in the new Childhood Trust charity service goes into a draw to win a video call from Father Christmas himself. See

£5: Order a personalised Letter from Santa straight to your door and feel good doing your part for children with a suggested £5 donation. The annual service from the NSPCC offers eight age-appropriate stories where you add in personal details like friends and hobbies to amaze your kids. See

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