Folks, I’m unbearably excited to announce that it’s that time of year again: ADVENT CALENDAR TIME!
Okay, so we’re not quite at Day 1 of the advent, but in order to be prepared for the first of December, you need to get your act together in November. Seriously – some of the best advent calendars have already sold out for 2017. As they say, the early bird gets the best calendars.
If you remember my post from last year, I am a total advent calendar nut (see Figure 1 below).
If you’re on board with the DIY advent concept but want to go a little fancier than paper bags in a shoe holder, I’ve included a few fancy store bought type kits at the bottom of this post. But first: some fabulous, indulgent, and (usually) expensive ways to satisfy your Christmasiest advent wishes.
Isn’t it beautiful!!!
I bought this calendar for myself the day it came out back in October, and I am so excited to swing open those doors (which have a satisfying magnetic clasp thing) and sample 24 days of teas. I have found that I only need half of the amount in the tin to brew a stellar cup of tea, so I save the other half of each tin for 24 additional glorious days in January. Two months of tea for $45 – that’s well worth it to me for a once a year splurge. Plus, the Christmas joy it brings me is priceless.
FYI: I have recently discovered that Squamish’s own Lucas Teas offers a tea advent calendar, too. I have no idea what they charge, but I love the idea of supporting a local business and I’ve enjoyed every Lucas Tea I’ve ever tried. If you haven’t already picked up a David’s Tea calendar, check out Lucas’s option.
Beauty in Wonderland… WHAT?!?!
It’s not hard to figure out where my advent calendar love comes from – it’s all my mom’s fault. (You can read about her past hits and one miss in last year’s post.) I received a surprise parcel in the mail from my parents that contained this magical box, which opens up to reveal five drawers. Each drawer contains five boxes, and each box is numbered 1 through 25. I have NO IDEA what is going on with this amazing advent calendar other than the following:
- I’m guessing it has something to do with beauty products
- It’s from the UK
I am purposely not researching anything about it to maximize the surprise factor.
I just about died when I saw this super adorable Bonne Maman advent calendar. I have toast every morning, so this jam fest would be perfect – plus, it’s a fun way to branch beyond the usual raspberry jam and Bonne Maman jams are soooo good. Alas, three advent calendars would be a little much – even for me. Maybe next year?
I’m not sure if this one is still available. If you go to the Bonne Maman website, it is still featured on the front page, but clicking the link leads to a dead page. If you’re able to find it, let me know how the 24 days unfold!
A few years ago, I had an Occitane advent calendar and I adored it. It’s a great way to stock up on little bar soaps, hand lotions, and other divine skin and bath goodies, if that happens to be up your alley. This year’s calendar is $69, which isn’t cheap – but neither are Occitane goods in general.
They also have a luxury version (ooh la la), which comes with a luxury price tag of $134. I consulted the list of products between the two boxes*, and there are a lot of overlaps – the luxury one seems to contain a few products from their Immortelle line, which are on the pricey side, but I don’t think those merit the substantial price difference. But hey, maybe you’re in the mood to treat yourself, in which case – advent away!
*Note: I would NEVER sneak a peek at the contents of one the calendars I was actually using for the year. This is sacrilegious for an advent calendar devotee.
I’m not much of a lipstick person, but I thought this one was pretty fun. It has a variety of NYX lipsticks, glosses, and lip creams and the design is super cool. You can still get your hands on one via Asos. I’ll set you back about a hundred bucks – I can’t decide if this is a lot. On the one hand, $100 for an advent calendar is definitely a lot. On the other hand, $100 for 24 lipsticks – even smallish ones – does not seem terribly unreasonable.
Unlike the other calendars featured on this list thus far, here’s one that I think Cedric could get behind. Twenty four days of craft beer would make for a very merry Christmas indeed. This one is available across most provinces and territories – the Facebook page will tell you where to pick it up. I’ve noticed other beer advent calendars at liquor stores in years past, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get your paws on one. If I didn’t DIY Cedric’s calendar, I’d probably pick one like this up.
For many people, an advent calendar is not an advent calendar unless it contains chocolate. If you’re one of these people, I completely respect your advent approach and I offer you an alternative to waxy cardboard-tasting chocolate: this little Purdy’s number. I love Purdy’s chocolate (hedgehogs!) and it’s nice to support a Canadian company. At $25, this advent is also a little more reasonably priced than some of the others on this list.
I’m making a notable exception for the Saje calendar – I generally do not consider “12 days of Christmas” types to be true advent calendars (24 days are required, thank you very much). However, Saje is a popular shop in my group of friends and I thought this calendar of twelve different diffuser blends would be a nice bet for people obsessed with their Saje diffusers (see: my sister). It’s $110 – yikes – but if you’ve ever been to Saje, you already know everything there is pricey.
DIY Advent Calendars
Okay, time to tackle DIY advent calendars. I love using my shoe pocket thingy because it allows for large treats – for instance I’ve included hardcover books and jumbo bottles of beer in the past. The ones below are one the smaller side, but you can still have a lot of fun with them. Ideas of things to stash include, but are not limited to: lip balm or make up, nail polish, extra razor blades (so practical), candy, nuts, mini booze bottles, socks, tiny magnets, jewelry, underwear, gift cards (even $5 for a morning coffee), tea or coffee, a Christmas ornament, etc.
I think this little paper house village set up is so charming – and it’s only $7.99 from Ikea. They have a multicolour mountain set, too, for the same price (pictured below).
I see a few main draws to this wooden advent calendar from Canadian Tire. It is solid and sturdy enough to survive storage over the rest of the year, so it can be reused year after year, unlike many others. Plus, it looks like you could easily scramble the order of the boxes, which is always a plus.
Calendar Kit from Billie’s Flower House
I was recently perusing Billie’s Flower House downtown Squamish and I came across this little fillable advent set on sale for $20. While I’m on the topic of Billie’s, it is a WONDERFUL place to browse for adorable Christmas decorations and gifts. A lot of the companies that the store carries are the same ones you see at some of the local holiday markets. Everything in there is so lovely – and they are also the best place to find a greeting card in Squamish.
This picture isn’t the best, but this little stocking garland calendar is equal parts advent calendar and decor. One word: CUTE.
The countdown is on, you guys. See you on the 1st!