This year I wasn't going to get an advent calendar, but in Tesco on about the 5th of the month they had them for 50p. Who am I to turn down a cheap and easy review!
Introducing Mr. Tumble!
I knew very little about Mr. Tumble before this experience. I know his name is Justin because there are apps that my 2 year old cousin taps away at and gets read stories by with his name in. I certainly had never heard of something special and was surprised to learn it's a TV show for little ones!
Mr Tumble isn't your typical TV clown though as pretty much everything he does is via the BBC and is full of educational value and worthiness. Again - I didn't know this before getting the calendar. I guess a clue should have been that a 2 year old picking up an iPad, skimming to find one specific story app and then requesting you help her clear the cobwebs isn't something that happened back in my day. The dreaded Teletubbies never did that! Also Mr Tumble plays all the parts so is frequently dressed up as Mummy Bear or Cinderella which I think is all kinds of good. He also sells the parts particularly well, which has lead to conversations with my older cousins with phrases such as #HailTumble and #Tumble3:16 as he'd make a pretty good Sports Entertainer too.
The doors contain typical 'chocolate' offerings which are both too small to be satisfying and yet able to get stuck at the back of your throat as they don't melt properly. Behind the doors you have a variety of characters in the Tumble universe (seems to be a sketch show) and catchphrases and Christmas sayings. If he has glasses on he's Granddad, a white hat and he's a chef (maybe even Chef Excellence himself!), always with the painted red nose.
As long as he doesn't appear at the end of my bed at 4am with an axe and say this I'm perfectly happy with the situation.
And then, suddenly, it all went bad.
Presumably there is a deadline for calendar submissions and they only have time for 14 actual good doors on the calendar. With 10 days to go we are introduced to the horrible concept of 'sleeps'.
There are no catchphrases and no pictures on the doors. Now I may as well be marking the days on the wall of my cell with my own blood in little tally charts. You do get a (contextless) picture of Tumblemania in the background to try to keep things interesting, but this endless and lazy countdown has spoiled what was a good fun thing to have.
Has everyone else's calendars done this too?
At the very least it's a talking point to explain to visitors why a 34 year old man with no children is doing with a Mr. Tumble calendar. I had pictured me destroying it utterly by the end, but Mr. Tumble deserves better. I'd suggest introducing your under 5s to him at the earliest opportunity, but they have probably already introduced him to you.
Something Special indeed.