The only thing that makes the count down to Christmas less tedious; the only thing that makes the painful wait bearable, and keeps the giddy excitement at bay, is the advent calendar. Gone are the days where it was just a traditional paper or chocolate calendar, now you can wake up each day with a square of cheese, a shot of vodka or even diamonds!
To kick off our unusual list of advent calandars we could think of nowhere better to start than cheese. Why? Because there are very few people that aren’t potty about cheese. Annem Hobson was the only one however that cottoned on to this fact. Annem is a food blogger, and last year started a campaign where she replaced chocolate with cheese and proposed the idea of a cheese advent calendar. The idea took off and is now no longer a wishful pipe dream but a reality. For each of the 24 days running up to Christmas there is an individually wrapped little wheel of cheese, from the creamy to the crumbly there is a little piece of cheesy heaven for everyone…who are we kidding, for you, we mean, just for you.
You can grab yours on Annam’s website, available now www.sowrongitsnom.com
WINE (Wine not?)
Since we just spoke about cheese you should have guessed that wine would not be far behind. Now here’s our thinking, or logic if you will. One of you, be it flat mate of significant other, can buy the cheese advent calendar and the other can invest in its alcoholic partner in crime. Genius. The Virgin Wines advent calendar completely sold out last year, so it’s no surprise that its back, with a selection of the very best wines from across the globe. Not only is there an equal reds to whites ratio, but a luxury bubbly has been thrown in for the 25th.
Available now on the Virgin Wines website www.virginwines.co.uk
24 Beautiful Days
The Liberty advent calendar brings a bit of Christmas everyday. Featuring products from Votary, Le Labo, Diptyque and many more. With all the products being full-sized you can imagine that your calendar will weigh quite a lot at the beginning. Not one to waddle down a busy high street with, unless you’ve got the guns of Goliath (or your boyfriend has). We suggest click and collect.
Available now at www.libertylondon.com
For The Stationary Nerds
If you’re anything like us then you hold a special place in your heart for stationary. We don’t know what it is, that’s a lie we do. It’s the fresh smell of books, the clean crisp feel of new paper. The multitude of little gadgets that fill your desk, that rarely get used but sit there and look effortlessly chic and professional. Kikki.K has launched its advent calendar and it’s a stationers dream.
Get your mits on one at www.selfridges.com
Bubbles not Buble
This year why not swap out the crooning tones of Buble for the sweet bubbles of Prosecco; far more likely to get you in the festive spirit me thinks. 24 fizzy surprises hiding behind the calendar doors, ready and waiting for you whether you feel like waking up in style or ending you day with (alcoholic) bubbles, in your bath. Rosé, Prosecco, Cava or Champagne, what will it be today?
Buy yours at www.debenhams.com
The Naughty But Nice Magic Box
We had a little peek at a beauty calendar earlier but this one is a little more specific, brought to you by the goddess Charlotte Tilbury herself. Each day (and there’s 24 so try to contain your excitement), you will be gifted a little makeup miracle. We say little, because they are actually travel size. Perfect whether you’re having to pack up some supplies in your party clutch or are flying away this Christmas.
Available at www.charlottetilbury.com
The Anti Advent Calendar
For all you grinches out there don’t think we’ve forgotten you. We know being festive isn’t your thing, but how about jumping on the anti-festive band wagon and purchase your own Misfortune cookies advent calendar. Every day brings with it a new cookie with a new misfortune to fill your grim and gloomy day. They promise dark humour delicious insults and grim prospects. Yay, for negativity, it’s time to fuel your inner scrooge.
Available now at www.prezzybox.com
Forget Advent How About Ginvent
The Gin Foundry were the first to do a Gin advent calendar. Since the beginning however the team has made the calendar more user friendly. The original calendar measured 2 x 2 metres, and although it was hugely popular people were begging for a miniature version. Now five years down the line they’ve cracked it, with 24 gins representing all the categories across the board. It won’t just be a gin count down to Christmas, it will be an education, and a chance to find your perfect Ginmate.
Available at www.ginfoundry.com
24 Days of Diamonds, Yes Please
Yes, you heard us. Diamonds everyday for a month. Don’t faint. Just listen. Octagon Blue GCV have launched the most decadent advent calendar to date. For each day of December they can add an extra sparkle to your day. No, there are no diamonds behind doors, but enclosed in carved glass tubes. Hand engraved with the appropriate numbers for each day of the count down, and adorned with a glass angel. The design of a unique piece of jewellery is also included. Weighing in at a staggering 81 carrots this is not one for mum to send in the post.
Is it surprising this one is made to order…perhaps not you can enquire at Octagon Blue GCV
St Nicholas’ Toy Shop
Ok, let’s have a breather, change tack a little. From diamonds to wood. Fortnum and Mason have made a musical wooden advent calendar. Charmingly painted with the facade of a traditional toy shop, on opening each wooden door, a different Christmas tune plays. Perfect for children and one that can last for years. There are 24 doors that can be filled with the treats and trinkets of your choice.
You can shop this particular calendar at Fortnum and Mason www.fortnumandmason.com
Whiskey or Vodka?
We could hardly mention a gin advent calendar and not cater to your other alcoholic needs. So “That boutique-y Whiskey” company, have made your whiskey dreams come true. Each day brings a new and different flavour to your palette. One day you’ll be enjoying a single grain staple, the next you’ll be trying a more rare Speyside single malt speciality. Having obviously cottoned on to a good thing, they have reeled out a Vodka calendar too, we’re all individuals after all, each with our own favourite tipples.
Both calendars can be found on the Selfridges website. www.selfridges.com
Elf and Seek
Not much screams Christmas like the smell of baked goods and cinnamon. The “Little Treats Bakery” obviously thought so too. Bring out the Ginger Bread! This year why not be a little adventurous and grab a part of the fun. “Elf and Seek”, is a box filled with 24 ginger bread elves. Each are hand decorated and individually wrapped so that you can hide them about the house and enter into some festive fun. Just another way of keeping the impatience for Christmas at bay.
Available on Amazon
For Some it’s Just All About the Chocolate
Come on now, did you really think we could do a blog about advent calendars and not include a chocolate one. We know we can encourage you to explore and experiment with your advent calendars this year, but we’re not naive, some of you will never stray from the good old chocolate variety. So here it is; “The Grand Chocolate Advent Calendar”, by Hotel Chocolat. Stop that dribbling we haven’t even told you whats’s in it. Daily surprises include “salted caramel vodka, crackers filled with dizzy pralines, a meltingly-smooth hazelnut bûche and the irresistible new treacle tarts”.
For major indulgence: www.hotelchocolat.com