There used to be a time when advent calendars were traditional and all about Christmas – the Nativity and Christmas story. Plus, they were mostly aimed at children.
We’d count down the days to Christmas by opening a door of a pictorial calendar, getting excited to find a smiling angel, donkey or shepherd peering back out.
Over the years, though, Advent Calendars have got so much more commercialised. Chocolate treats became a familiar sight on opening the daily calendar door and all sorts of brands developed calendars with no resemblance to tradition.
Now the advent calendar world has gone one step further and there are umpteen Advent Calendars filled with products and aimed at adults. Beauty products, candles, gin, tea, beer, cola, beard products, you name it, there’s a calendar with it in (even remote control helicopter parts, would you believe?). And some of them come with a pretty hefty price tag.
It does beg the question, though….has it all got a bit gluttonous? Especially given that it’s the run up to a season that’s meant to be all about giving gifts to other people, not yourself.
Or should we be counting down the December days, and easing the stress of the hectic-run up to Christmas, by treating ourselves to a daily advent calendar gift?
If you’re intrigued by the alternative calendars available, here’s a rundown of some of the top calendars filled with home, garden, DIY, food and drink related products.
1. Wax Lyrical Colony Advent Calendar
Nestled behind the doors of this triangular Wax Lyrical Colony advent calendar are 24 best-selling scented tealight candles and a glass tealight candle holder. They’re all in festive scents, so you could be getting into the Christmas spirit throughout December. It’s £22 from House of Bath.
2. Gin Advent Calendar
Tis the season to….drink gin? If this rings true for you, then let us present the Gin Advent Calendar. Produced by The Gin Foundry, the calendar contains 24 different types of gin, from market leaders to rare artisan brands. You can order it from Firebox for £114.99.
If gin (or whisky or beer – see below) doesn’t float your boat, there’s also a rum, vodka or Naga chilli vodka advent calendar available. You certainly could be feeling very jolly by Christmas with these!
3. Yankee Candle Snow Globe Advent Calendar
Yankee Candle have several designs of Advent Calendars available, but one of the new ones for 2015 is this snow globe. It contains 24 tea light candles and one sampler. Available from House of Fraser, for £24.99.
4. Yankee Candle Carousel Advent Calendar
If the snow globe style calendar doesn’t appeal, then another option from Yankee Candle is the carouse Advent Calendarl. The calendar contains 20 tea lights and four votives in appropriately Christmas themed scents. It’s available from Amazon for £25.46.
5. Seed Advent Calendar
Here’s an advent calendar with gardeners or would-be gardeners in mind. Produced by Seedlings Cards, the seed advent calendar helps you count down to Christmas with packets of seeds. There are 24 packets of seeds and gardening wisdom. You have to do a little bit of DIY with this one – it comes with envelopes, pegs and red and white twine, so you can hang and peg the envelopes up. It’s £29.95.
6. Beer Advent Calendar
Maybe a beer a night is the secret to a successful Christmas? The Best of British Beer Advent Calendar comes in the form of a 3ft cardboard Christmas tree and contains 24 craft beers. It’s £99 from Amazon.
7. Whisky Advent Calendar
Or perhaps a daily dram of whisky helps advent go smoother? The Drinks by the Dram Advent Calendar is filled with 24 3cl drinks, from top producers around the world. £149.95 from Amazon.
8. DIY tools Advent Calendar
Are you a fan of DIY, or just getting into it? You could build up or add to your essential tool kit with the Wera tool themed Advent Calendar. The set contains 23 high quality tools, plus a textile bag to pop them all into. The rrp is £105, but it’s available for £49.95 from the UK Tool Centre.
9. Diptyque Advent Calendar
Luxury Parisian company, Diptyque have produced an advent calendar available exclusively at Selfridges. It contains a selection of luxurious candles, fragrances and creams. It’s a mere £250.
10. Fortnum’s Wooden Tea Advent Calendar
For tea fans, you could be sipping on a selection of rare teas from India and Far East throughout December. The wooden tea filled calendar is £125 from Fortnum and Mason.
11. Arran Aromatics Cherish Advent Calendar
The Arran Aromatics Cherish advent calendar is filled with treats for your home and body. It’s available for £40 at John Lewis.
12. Busy Bee Candles Advent Calendar
Love scenting your home with fragrance? The Busy Bee Candles Christmas Advent Calendar is filled with 24 different high strength wax melts, so your house could be very aromatic in the run-up to Christmas. The calendar is £19.99 from Busy Bee Candles.
13. Biscuit Advent Calendar
Munch your way to Christmas, with the biscuit advent calendar. Not just any old biscuits, of course – these are hand-decorated, seasonally themed biscuits. They come in a lovely keepsake tin and the final biscuit – the special Christmas one – can be personalised with the name of the recipient. Available from Honeywell Bakes, for £25.
14. Advent Calendar of Coffee
Perhaps the perfect solution to go with the biscuit calendar is the advent calendar of coffee. This one is from Imperial Teas (who really do specialise in coffee too) and includes 25 freshly roasted coffees to take you through advent. Each packet provides three cups / one mug of coffee, plus they include two larger packets of seasonal favourites so you can share with a friend. If you need extra caffeine to get you through to Christmas, this could be the one for you. It’s £33.
15. Advent Calendar of Tea
You can’t beat a good old British cup of tea a day and perhaps it could be the perfect antidote to staying sane until Christmas? This Advent Calendar of Tea is a tad more affordable than the Fortnum and Mason version and contains 24 sachets of luxurious loose leaf tea. Each sachet has enough for two cups of tea, so you can either hog them both yourself, or share them. The tea advent calendar is £39.50 from PostTea.
16. Liberty London Advent Calendar
Liberty go in for advent calendars in style and the 2015 one is no exception. Strictly speaking it’s beauty-themed, but it does include a few home-related products, such as a luxury Diptyque Figuier candle, Byredo Parfums Eal D’Afrique hand cream and a liberty print soap (perfect for use in your bathroom or cloakroom, to wow visitors). Eleven of the products are full-sized, with the rest being deluxe samples. Overall they say there are £400 worth of products in total. The calendar itself costs £149 and it’s available exclusively at Liberty.
So, what do you think – are advent calendars for adults great or gluttonous? Will you be buying one this year? Share your views in the comments below.