Sunday, 10 November 2013

A round up of this year's advent calendars

When it comes to this time of year, my thoughts turn to preparing for Christmas. I’m sure it comes round more quickly every year – I must be getting old! As well as all the presents to buy, cards to write and people to visit, comes the decision of which advent calendar to buy. When I was younger we would each get a traditional calendar, probably with a little glitter. There was then a big material tree with 24 pockets, which my Mum would fill with chocolate Santa’s, and we could eat one after our tea!

Over the years advents calendars have become big business and now there is so much choice out there it’s hard to know where to start. Do you want a simple traditional calendar, one filled with chocolate, or even one filled with beauty products or whisky!? The options are endless. So, with that in mind, I thought I’d put together a post summarising the different calendars I’ve found, to give you a head start on what’s out there in 2013.

Non-chocolate calendars

I’ll begin with the beauty calendars – companies are cottoning on to the idea of a calendar jam-packed with pampering goodies, which are going down a storm in the blogging world. These aren’t a particularly cheap option, but you can save a good amount of money on some of your favourite products, and with 0 calories it’s a good guilt-free option!

Boots £30. Latest in Beauty £Unsure. Ciate Mini Mani Month £42. Benefit Countdown to Love £50. Selfridges Beauty £84. Body Shop £55. You Beauty £49.95.

Next up are a selection of non-chocolate calendars aimed at children – all the fun without the sugar!

Hot Wheels £5.99 plus P+P. Moshi Monsters £15. Lego City £19.99. Mega Bloks £10.99. Barbie £18. Lego Friends £19.99. Playmobil £17.99.

There is also a good range of non-chocolate calendars suitable for adults – after all why should we miss out on all the fun?!

Biscuiteers £45 without cloth calendar, £85 with. John Lewis £35. Do Crafts £14.95. Whisky £165. Marks and Spencer Wooden £39.50. Marks and Spencer Giant Santa £95. Yankee Candle £21.99.

Chocolate calendars

So, there might be all these fancy calendars in the shops now, but there are still also plenty of chocolate ones out there. I’m sure the variety of these gets wider with every year that passes, so there should be something out there for every taste and interest. There are so many reasonably priced chocolate calendars in the shops, so obviously I’ve just had to pull together a selection of my favourites, but I can assure you that there are hundreds of choices!

Cadbury Wishes £3.50. Dairy Milk £3.50. Malteasers £2.75. Mars £2.75. Milkybar £1.75. Waitrose Woodland Friends £2.49.

For those chocolate connoisseurs among us, there is also a range of more luxurious (and expensive!) calendars available, which also include organic, fair trade and free-from ranges.

Divine Chocolate £3.99. Harrods £24.95. Moo Free £4.59. Lindt £5.29. Montezuma £9.99. Thorntons £3.99. Hotel Chocolat £26 for 2 to share.


As well as the standard chocolate calendars, there are also a plethora of novelty calendars (usually containing chocolate), with a wide variety of children’s characters adorning them.

And what the kids can do, us adults can do just as well! So, here’s a selection of novelty calendars suitable for the bigger kids among us!

John Lewis Gingerbread £12. Doctor Who £1. Tatty Teddy £1. Percy Pig £4.89 (also available in store). The Snowman £5.99.


I always think it’s important to remember the true meaning of Christmas, so for me a traditional advent calendar is quite important (even if that means getting 2 calendars so I can have a non-traditional one too!) I was quite surprised at how difficult it is to get a nice traditional calendar – there are a few out there, but to be honest the majority that I’ve seen have been fairly unappealing, which I think is a real shame. However, I did manage to find a few.

John Lewis £5. Traidcraft £3.75. Not on the Highstreet £29.95.

So, which calendar will I be purchasing this year? To be honest, I’m still undecided! However, doing this research has made me think about the calendars I’d love to see. I think it would be great to see a larger range of traditional calendars on the market – perhaps with cute cartoons and a bit of glitter, so that people can celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas but still have fun. Aside from that, wouldn’t it be great to see some High Street beauty brands like Rimmel, Barry M and Soap and Glory doing calendars? And stores like Accessorize, Lush, Paperchase and Whittards – I wouldn’t know which to choose! But anyway, back to reality…

Have you started planning for Christmas yet? Which advent calendar will you be buying this year?


  1. There's always making them too, then you can have a combo of beauty, chocolate, non chocolate items, even more fun if you do one for a friend/family member & they do you one :) I've seen lots of cool handmade ones online especially on pinterest.

    We always had traditonal ones growing up, older relatives of ours always found really clever ones for us & our cousins, I remember one I had that you had card characters to make up a Christmas nativity nativity scene.

    I have a fabric Christmas tree one too that my godmother gifted me years ago, mum always filled it with a mixture of sweets, chocolate coins and little sationert type items for the 4 of us (sometime 6 if she had something for dad & herself that day!), she did do it again last year & might do it this year too since all 4 of us are living at home again currently :)

  2. The Boots advent calendar sounds so good, I really like that it's not super super expensive either!

    Jennie xo |

    1. I agree - it's not ridiculously expensive like some of the others and seems to have a good range of products :) xx