These The Best Advent Calendars You Can Treat Yourself To This Year
It’s that time of year again! While I know some people think the type and price of Christmas advent calendar around these days has got silly, I actually think they’re a nice way to treat yourself over the busy holiday period, and sometimes are a great way to discover new products – my parents have sent me the Sunday Times Wine Club advent calendar this year (it is the same one they do at Laithwaites*) with a little single glass bottle of red, white, rose and fizz each day and I’m hoping that through it I’ll find some new favourites to fill our wine rack with – now I no longer have French supermarkets to shop in, it is starting to look a little empty!
I’ve tried to choose something here for every price point across, food, drink, beauty and home, and as I wrote this on Monday, fingers crossed everything featured is still in stock! Also, please be aware that this post is stuffed full of affiliate links – a little, sporadic reminder that I can’t pay my bills on sponsored posts alone! All of these are marked with a clear * next to the link. Those are the new rules as of last week I’m afraid – sorry it looks messy!
Food & Drink
For me, the best chocolate you can buy in the UK is Hotel Chocolat, so obviously I always put their calendar offerings at the top of my list. They tend to do the same ones as standard (The Everything Advent Calendar featuring all their greatest hits and The Advent Calendar for Two* featuring two truffles to share each morning are always a good shout) but this year I want to point you in the direction of The Grand Advent Calendar which includes slightly bigger offerings, including miniatures of their cocoa gin*, cocoa salted caramel vodka*, their cookie wreaths, their slabs, their cocoa tea and yes, lots of their classic Christmas truffles.
We all start with kids calendars, usually stuffed with chocolate when we’re small, and here are three that are great for kids, and grown up kids. My parents used to get me a Kinder Advent Calendar* every year in the French supermarket and it’s a good one, and my Mum had the Hotel Chocolat kids calendar last year and the chocolate was great quality, it was fun to open every morning, and it is also amazing value for money. Also, if you’re looking for a kid-friendly calendar and chocolate is not what you’re after, you can also get a Jelly Belly Advent Calendar*.
Booze advent calendars I think are the ultimate for grown ups. There are *so* many on the market at the moment, but I think M&S have the best offering this year with a calendar that gives you a different gin every day* with Edinburgh Gin and M&S gins (though you can get the classic Edinburgh Gin calendar here*), and if you’re looking for ones that are good value, for £10 each they’ve got a gin and a whisky calendar of boozy truffles with a little bottle of booze to open up on the final day. Oh, and in store there is a M&S cheese calendar, too!
Elsewhere in the gin department, John Lewis have a great multi-brand gin and tonic calendar*, and Cambridge Distillery, whom I discovered at Taste of London this year have a 12 day calendar with a special gin glass.
Hot drinks more your thing? There are loads of great tea calendars from John Lewis*, Teapigs* and Twinings* out there, and John Lewis also have a hot chocolate advent calendar* for sale this December.
One of my favourite calendars this year is something a little different, The Spicery’s The 12 Curries of Christmas Advent Calendar* – each day for 12 days you get a selection of spices with a new matching recipe, taking you around the world of curries – how cool is that? (Also, if you love the sound of this Leon gifted me their new book Happy Curries* last month and it is just of this ilk and everything looks so delicious and healthy in it!)
Another pair of my picks for the very best food calendars this year are Fortnum’s Feasting Advent Calendar – full of all their amazing hamper faves including preserves, chocolate truffles, biscuits, liquors, sauces, fizz and spirits – and Bonne Maman who have a calendar of those cute little miniature jars with a different flavour each day, great for choosing your favourites without having to commit to a whole jar!
If these two sound up your street, The Bay Tree also have a 12 Days of Christmas preserves calendar this year.
Family & Home
I really like this year with some of the home advent calendars we’re moving away from mass consumption onto calendars that you can either re-use every year or that contribute to your Christmas in a meaningful (non-edible) way. I love this 12 day calendar that helps you build, day by day, step by step a beautiful Christmas wreath. John Lewis also have a craft advent calendar this year*, The Make Arcade have a sewing advent calendar*, and Kikki K have a stationary lovers calendar* if you’re collection is running a little low!
Sticking to this theme, while it is probably the most expensive calendar in this roundup, I think this Wedgewood calendar* is a beautiful investment piece, with a blue and white signature porcelain tree decoration each day.
My favourite keepsake calendar this year is this beautiful Villeroy & Boch Porcelain Tree Advent Calendar*, with a beautiful tree you decorate with a different little decoration each day, which you can put away and bring out every year,. You think that things would get a little boring with the same calendar every year, but I used to have a cardboard 3D tree to decorate each year as a kid and I loved getting excited for my favourite decorations appearing. Also one of my top picks this year is this cardboard advent village* where you build a new house to build the village every day (it is a remake of one I had when I was small and I’ve still got somewhere that I loved even more than the tree) and Biscuiteers have teamed up with Sophie Conran to make a beautiful cloth pocket calendar which you can buy with a tin of iced biscuits to fill it, or add little gifts for someone you love yourself.
Makeup & Beauty
If beauty calendars were my thing The White Company Beauty Advent Calendar would be the top of my list. I adore their scented candles (I light one of their Winter candles* every December 1st) and I often give sets of their beautiful products as gifts as their scents are so beautiful – as well as that lovely candle, the calendar is stuffed full of eau de toilette, shampoo, conditioner, hand wash, body wash, hand cream, body lotion and votive candles.
Another good calendar shout is to use it to discover new scents from brands you already love and use everyday. As well as the calendars pictured, NUXE* do a great calendar, L’Occitane always do a couple*, Kiehls have a great Kiehls x Janine Rewell collaboration one this year*, Charlotte Tilbury has one for those more makeup than skincare inclined*, and Cath Kidston have put one together for all you pattern lovers out there*!
Another way I think beauty advent calendars can be a good thing is if you’re looking to discover lots of new brands with a beauty site or big department store calendar. I used to love getting a Glossybox for this (you can find their calendar here*), and it can be a better value way of doing it rather than splashing out on full sized products, especially as you can usually find out exactly what is in the calendar online if you don’t mind spoiling the surprise. I like that this year Feelunique have a 24 day* and a 12 day calendar* so you can choose how much to spend.