Best advent calendars 2017: I’m going to spend most of this week looking at what to wear over Christmas but before I move on to that, it’s time to get your advent calendars ordered. Advent calendars have become a really big deal over the last few years. I still think the cardboard ones that we used to have as children were lovely, with a different Christmas scene every day but they’re quite hard to find now.
About advent calendars
As I know from my year spent in manufacturing, the problem with advent calendars is that they’re very expensive to produce. Firstly the packaging requires a lot of engineering not only to hold the products securely but also to survive being posted if they’re ordered online. In addition it tends to cost almost the same to produce a miniature product as it does a full size one. And then you need to consider the postage. They’re bulky items – so the retailer will nearly always lose out on delivery charges. (I wonder if you can tell that producing advent calendars gave me a major headache for a whole year)!
So although they can seem to be an expensive treat, advent calendars are often developed by brands as loss leaders. Their hope is that they will build brand loyalty by giving customers a series of experiential treats over a period of time and so there are some good buys.
I’ve looked at what’s out there (there’s a lot) and selected the ones that I think are the best value or just the most interesting. The Marks and Spencer one that I featured on Friday sold out by Sunday but keep an eye out for them restocking it here. If you’ve missed it, there are lots of other options though. I think most women deserve a little something to look forward to in December. As the days grow ever darker and our lives become even busier, why not treat yourself with a countdown to Christmas Day?
Beauty advent calendars – from budget to blockbuster
Best value beauty advent calendar
Currently on offer, this beauty advent calendar is filled with House of Fraser’s Linea beauty products. It’s a great price for little everyday treats that will completely restock your make-up bag for the new year.
Best teen novelty beauty advent calendar
A good one for teens, this ‘selfie’ advent calendar has 24 beauty treats along with cut-out selfie props such as moustaches and Santa beards
Best (affordable) single brand beauty advent calendar
If you haven’t discovered l’Occitane yet then this advent calendar is a great way to do it. It’s particularly good for travel sized bath and body products – you’ll be holiday ready all year. It’s sold out nearly everywhere in the UK but I’ve tracked it down for you. There is also a luxury version with larger sized products.
Best full size product beauty advent calendar
If 24 bits and pieces feels like too much bathroom clutter, why not narrow your window down to the 12 days of Christmas and benefit from a few really good products instead. This advent calendar gives you 12 full size, serious skincare products from brands such as Eve Lom, Caudalie and Paula’s Choice worth £349.99.
My 12 days always start on 21st December which is the eldest’s birthday and they end on 1st January. This advent box would really help you to track the ‘time off’ from your usual sensible, healthy way of living. When you open the last box on 1st Jan, it’s a sign that it’s time to get back on track.
Food and drink advent calendars
Best advent calendar to share
I really like this advent calendar for two. I would open it with Mr MC when we finally sit down at the end of the day. It would be lovely to enjoy a surprise chocolate with a decaf latte. (I’ve just realised how very midlife that sounds)! Of course you could just buy this for yourself and enjoy both the chocolates.
Best quality wine advent calendar
Now this is great – Virgin have created small sizes of all of their customer favourites for you to try. There’s even a little bottle of champagne for Christmas Eve. Such a good idea and there will no doubt be Virgin offers all over the place should you then wish to buy a case of your favourites.
Best novelty food advent calendar
So here’s an unusual one – a calendar full of different flavours of pork scratchings. If you’re an overseas reader, pork scratchings are crispy cured pork rind – traditionally sold in pubs in the UK. These include salt and vinegar, maple cure, black pepper… and they’re all hand cooked
Best traditionally British advent calendar
English tea – a different flavour pyramid teabag every day. Sounds as though you could have 10 minutes of calm amidst all of the mayhem.
Advent calendars for men
There are endless options of beer calendars but they’re very expensive. How about these instead? Both of them are 12 day advent calendars so you could buy one to justify your Beauty Expert treat.
Best male beauty advent calendar
12 days of skincare and grooming from Clarins, including shower gels, face wash and exfoliator
Best men’s grooming advent calendar
This is a great alternative for men who are unlikely to use facial skincare products. As well as soaps and shower gels it includes accessories such as tweezers and scissors. It’s a really great value treat.
Advent calendars for pets
Best (and most attractive) advent calendar for dogs
No-one needs to be left out. I nearly clicked on this for Gary and then realised I’d have to buy two more for the cats… and it has to stop somewhere!
And lest we forget… advent calendars for cats!
Advent calendar for the office
Best advent calendar for your desk
I really like this – it would be great if you’re counting down the days until you finish work. It’s an advent calendar for anyone who loves stationery – which is most people I think. Something new and useful every day.
Advent calendar for your own treats
Best DIY advent calendar
I confess that I save my M&S advent calendars and fill them with treats for the boys. Practical or Northern? You choose. However for something that you can bring out every year, how about this?
So – there we go, the first of my quick Christmas posts. I may already be regretting saying that I’d post every day. However, I am aiming to bring you something a little different to open each evening… a bit like an early advent calendar I suppose! See you tomorrow.