It’s a quick post from me today because I have a really heavy workload but I want to talk quickly about advent calendars 2019 and at the end of the post you’ll see why I’m doing it so early. In the space of a few minutes last week I had two different emails. The first one alerted me to the fact that The Tiffany & Co Advent Calendar was on sale – for £104,000. The next one was from our local Food Bank releasing their Reverse Advent Calendar list.
It was so telling of the times we’re living in. Regardless of politics, I don’t think any of us can fail to recognise the increasing division between those who have it all and those who have nothing. So today I’m going to pull together a selection of advent calendars that will enable us to both receive and give back.
Advent calendars in themselves interest me because on the whole, they’re so expensive to manufacture and deliver that they have to be subsidised by brands’ Christmas marketing budgets. It’s a very difficult retail landscape out there at the moment as you know and the sheer volume of them on the market this year is a reflection of the fact that brands are grinding hard to delight the customer and encourage spend.
I was feeling a bit bah humbug about Advent Calendars until I read a conversation in a group that I’m part of. Somebody had started a thread by saying that they should be left to children and that as a grown woman she felt infantilised by them. Her comment was very quickly counteracted by others who pointed out that they save up for them because an Advent Calendar is the only way they will have any surprises this Christmas. And I can understand that because even if you have a generous partner, they generally require heavy hints before the big day.
So, I’m going to look at a few different Advent Calendars 2019 today and I suggest that perhaps we take a ‘one for me, one for you approach.’ If we do that we have the chance to make a difference to other people’s Christmases too but we need to start right now – I’ll explain all of that when we come to the end.
Tiffany & Co advent calendar 2019
But first let’s begin with madness at Tiffany’s. There are only four available and as I mentioned they cost £104,000. To be fair, when you look at the content listing there are some amazing pieces of gold and diamond jewellery inside.
Diptyque advent calendar 2019
If I’d saved up for one (apparently you should budget £300 and start saving £25 per month in November for the following year), this is the one I’d go for. It’s hard to find in stock but I’ve tracked some down.
After my year spent working in home fragrance manufacturing, Diptyque is one of the only candle brands I’ll buy. Most of the others, even the ones from expensive perfume houses, are made using oils that come from the big fragrance factories. I’ll never forget the disappointment of being in a lab where they were developing new season ranges for a famous perfumery company’s candle collection on one bench and options for supermarket fabric conditioners on the other. There was a slight difference in terms of the concentration of the oil – but nothing else.
Beauty Advent Calendars 2019
As I said on Friday, the M&S beauty advent calendar is a great buy but it’s already sold out online – there may be some left in smaller stores. As far as the mid-range beauty calendars go, I had this one last year and I loved it, there’s a real mix of old favourites and new discoveries from lots of different brands inside. Most of the product sizes are big enough for a few days away so it’s added a touch of luxury to my short breaks all year.
12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar 2019
If you prefer full sized products, this “12 Days of Christmas” calendar is one of the best I’ve ever had because rather than having 24 sample sizes, you open 12 full sizes. It was sent to me two years ago and in addition to being delighted with unusual, high end beauty brands to try, I still use the box in my bathroom to store all of the tiny sample sizes I’m given. The drawers are a good size and even though it’s cardboard, it’s sturdy so it makes it easy to categorise everything.
Advent wreath making calendar 2019
Here’s another 12 days of Christmas concept but this time it gives you an end result. It’s a wreath making set and each door reveals a new piece of kit including dried flowers and succulents along with instructions telling you what to do next.
At the end you have a wreath like this
Wooden railway advent calendar 2019
For little ones (or big ones who haven’t grown up), this railway box contains 24 different wooden railway pieces…
… that add up until you have a proper railway track. It’s great value for something that will last and you could repack it and build it every year as a new Christmas tradition.
Advent calendars for pets 2019
No one should be left out, there are treats for our furry friends too…
Ways to give back 2019
And so, while you’re treating yourself (and your pets), there’s a great opportunity to really make somebody else’s Christmas better too. As you know, Mr MC and I are helping our district’s Food Bank. Demand is at an all time high and they haven’t even hit their busy period yet but it’s coming in December. All other Food Banks in the UK will be in the same situation.
I know some of you will say we shouldn’t need Food Banks but it’s a sad fact that we do. Maybe the situation will improve soon, of course there’s an election ahead and welfare policy may change but in the meantime we need to help people in our own neighbourhoods.
I should add that I particularly love working with the Food Bank because everyone is a volunteer which means that almost every penny raised as well as every donation goes directly to the people who need it. It’s a real grass roots charity.
So what we need to do right now is begin collecting food for the Christmas rush. They need us to do Reverse Advent calendars and we need to start now so that we can drop them off in plenty of time for everything to be allocated for Christmas. Saturday 14th December is ideally the latest date.
Below you’ll find the calendar that our Food Bank has published, it’s a pdf so you should be able to print it off. The idea is that each day you pop the suggested item into a box until on the last day it’s full and ready to drop off. If you do an online shop you can just add the items to your order every week.
Here’s a link to The Trussell Trust so that you can then find the nearest place to you for your donations. It would be great if you could spread the word too, maybe in your workplaces. I find people just don’t realise how easy it is to make a difference and demand this Christmas is likely to be unprecedented.
Charity Advent Calendar 2019
Alternatively here’s another brilliant way of giving back, the Advent of Change calendar.
It’s an old fashioned cardboard calendar and each day you open a door and discover which charity your purchase has helped to support, there are 24 in total.
The one above is the adult version but there are other options available including a cleverly designed one for children featuring charities that will capture their imagination and simple explanations of how they’ve helped.
And there’s even a braille version here. It’s all the idea of this lovely young woman who I met at the John Lewis & Partners’ Press Day. She’s doing it in her spare time because she isn’t in a position to quit her day job so it’s great that JL&P have backed her by stocking the calendars. She deserves it to be a success.
Looking forward to meeting (some of) you
And with that I must go. There won’t be a post on Friday because I’ll be in Leeds getting ready for our first readers’ event. A huge thank you to everyone who’s booked, I feel a bit nervous but very supported by you all.
If you haven’t booked and you’d like to join us there are three lonely tickets left here. Don’t worry if you’re coming on your own, a few people are and you’ll soon make friends with other readers. Oh and we’re going for a glass of wine at Issho afterwards so do join us, we’ll all walk there together in a very chic crocodile. I’m sure we’ll have lots to talk about and not enough time when we’re in store – after all I don’t want to interrupt your shopping when we have the Womenswear floor all to ourselves!
So, I’ll see some of you on Friday and everyone else next Tuesday. Have a good week.
Disclosure: ‘Advent calendars 2019 – receive and give back’ is not a sponsored post. My relationship with The Food Bank is unpaid.
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