It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and there’s nothing that screams ‘It’s Christmas’ more than a festive advent calendar accompanied by a daily countdown to Christmas Day. The advent calendar market has exploded in recent years which means that the whole family can get involved in the festive excitement from December 1st, and not just the chocolate lovers.
After what can only be described as another drawn out year for us all, there’s something to be said for treating a loved one (or, of course, yourself) to an early Christmas gift. We’ve pulled together some of the most luxurious for Santa’s list, from whiskey and wine to chocolate and children’s gifts.
Virgin Wines – red wine advent calendar
Virgin Wines has pulled out all the stops with their alcohol advent calendars, offering everything from mixed wine calendars, to all-red, all-white, gin and beer. As a red wine lover, I opted to try the all-red version enabling me to explore different grapes from premium vineyards – and I have to say, it’s felt like the gift that keeps on giving.
It comes impressively packaged and would make a fantastic gift for any wine lover. There are 24 doors to open, each offering a 187ml bottle of wine, plus, on Christmas Day you’re treated to a full-sized bottle of prosecco. This has brought me so much joy over the past month and would make a magnificent present for both wine beginners and experts alike.
Where to buy: virginwines.co.uk
Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar
If you enjoy a dram of whiskey on a cold winter’s night, then the Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar is the perfect way to indulge and experiment with a few new brands and blends. Each day gives a different dram of whiskey with many well-known names included. However, more exciting is the variation and some nice examples of whiskey from more varied parts of the world such as France, Sweden, and Finland, that aren’t traditionally whiskey making countries.
If whiskey is your tipple or if you have a whiskey lover in the household then this is the go-to calendar.
Where to buy: masterofmalt.com
Craft Gin Club’s Very Merry Gin advent calendar
Sip and celebrate your way to Christmas with gin subscription service, the Craft Gin Club’s sturdy, slick and compact advent calendar. This gin-tastic advent calendar has 25 different winter gin surprises behind each door from 24 different distilleries, as well as one from Craft Gin Club themselves.
The calendar enables you to experiment and enjoy a double gin and tonic in new and delicious flavours. Should you need some professional advice on how to pair your tipple, then Craft Gin Club’s ambassador Philip Schofield is on hand with online videos which can be viewed via a QR code behind each door. Each of the pairing tonics can be bought separately via that Craft Gin Club website and make for a very fun run up to Christmas.
Where to buy: club.craftginclub.co.uk
Ciaté London x Ruby Taylor advent calendar
For many women, nothing screams party season more than a fresh mani and pedi.
Ciaté London’s advent calendar has collaborated with illustrator, Ruby Taylor, to create a beautifully illustrated must-have, vegan advent calendar with a gorgeous array of nail polishes. The calendar is filled with 23 miniature versions of the brands hero new nail formulation ‘Plant Pots’ in some of their best-selling shades. From nude pinks to dark purples, as well as a festive yet biodegradable glitter, the variety is endless and a great way to experiment with new shades without investing in a larger pot.
Hidden behind one of the doors, you’ll also receive Ciaté infamous Watermelon Burst Hydrating Primer which has become a little addictive especially now that the cold weather is playing havoc on drying out my hands and nails. Formulated with up to 80% naturally derived ingredients the polishes are both luxurious and environmentally friendly. The brushes on the polishes are the best I’ve ever used, coating the nail, and drying quickly with a salon quality shine. I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to use another brand of nail polish ever again.
Where to buy: ciatelondon.com
Artisan Coffee Co’s limited-edition coffee and chocolate advent calendar
Who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of fresh coffee in the morning? Artisan Coffee Co’s limited-edition coffee and chocolate advent calendar is both slick and sturdy. Designed to share, there are 24 cute little drawers to open with two servings of coffee and chocolates in each. This is the perfect gift for both coffee lovers and those wanting to expand their knowledge alike. Available in both a coffee pod version and ‘brew in a cup’ there’s one suitable for every coffee snob!
Where to buy: artisancoffeeco.com
Evolve Christmas advent calendar £95
I think that we can all agree that whilst the run up to Christmas is magical, it can also be stressful and hectic and take a toll on our skin. British, vegan, and sustainable brand, Evolve Organic Beauty has launched a 12 days of Christmas advent calendar featuring their best sellers – all handmade in their eco studio in Hertfordshire.
I’m already a fan of the brand and have used their moisturisers and serums in the past, however, these 12 miniatures allow you to road-test more in the range without buying full sized items. The calendar is beautifully designed, making it feel high-end and luxurious – it would make for a fabulous Christmas gift, as well as an advent calendar.
Where to buy: evolvebeauty.co.uk
BeautyPro’s 12 days of Christmask advent calendar
After sell-out success last year, BeautyPro has relaunched their sheet mask advent calendar. Featuring 12 award-winning full-size sheet masks for the face, eyes, hand and feet, BeautyPro’s advent calendar contains a skin nourishing sheet mask behind every door. So, whilst you wrap presents or enjoy a festive tipple, you can put on and enjoy one of the award-winning masks, safe in the knowledge you’re going to be left glowing and party ready. I’ve already tried out all three of the eye therapy masks which left my undereye dark circles, hydrated and rejuvenated. BeautyPro not only offers masks for the face, but hands and feet too leaving you fully pampered and party ready from head to toe.
Where to buy: beautypro.com
The design of this advent calendar is as festive as it comes with Christmas nostalgia making you smile as soon as you see it. Father Christmas himself taking centre stage with an assortment on the magical North Pole and its famous elves scattered around.
It’s almost too nice to open but knowing that they’re filled with scrumptious assortment of dark and milk chocolate pralines, croquant with milk chocolate, flambeed marzipan makes it all too appealing. Plus, some days you are even be treated to two delicious treats Christmas coloured wrapped treats. This must be the most festive of them all!
Where to buy: johnlewis.com
Lakrids by Bülow
This delicious range of festive liquorice treats offers 24 days of unique taste experiences, and behind each door, you’ll receive two pieces of liquorice, ready to share with someone special. The flavours include all-time favourite flavours including chocolate liquorice and fruity flavours (the banana is delicious) along with some new and exciting tastes that will leave you salivating for more.
The book like box is sophisticated in design making you intrigued to know exactly what’s inside. Leaders in their passion to reduce CO2 emissions, Bülow were the first brand in the world to use 100% recycled and recyclable plastic packaging. The cardboard used in the calendar is made from recycled cardboard and is fully recyclable.
Where to buy: lakridsbybulow.co.uk
Montezuma’s Truffle advent calendar
Chichester based chocolate brand, Montezuma’s not only offers delicious chocolate with unique flavour combinations, but they also ensure all their products are in recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging.
With seven different advent calendars available including children’s versions, we road tested their mouth-watering truffle advent calendar. Each door is home to one of their best-selling truffles including salted caramel and white chocolate with raspberry. It’s a sure-fire way to tantalise your taste buds this festive season whilst knowing that Montezuma’s do everything they can to protect our wonderful planet.
Where to buy: montezumas.co.uk
Barbie Dreamtopia advent calendar
I think all parents will agree that littles ones have more than enough sweet treats over the festive season, so why not blow your little one’s mind with a toy advent calendar instead? Amazon has a wide selection of non-chocolate advent calendars for boys and girls of all ages.
Our tester tried out the Barbie Dreamtopia advent calendar where littles ones are treated to a Barbie on 1st December. Everyday thereon they unleash accessories or storytelling pieces for their doll. Transform Barbie into a princess, mermaid, or fairy. It’s a great way to let their imaginations run wild, whilst you get to see the magic in their eyes.
Where to buy: amazon.co.uk
LEGO friend’s advent calendar
I’m not sure that I’ve ever met anyone who isn’t a huge fan of LEGO, and what’s not to love? The possibilities with the little bricks are endless, allowing your little ones to experiment and create as soon as they pick up their very first brick.
The LEGO friend’s advent calendar is as charming as they come, with 24 gifts briming with seasonal details. There is a cute little build behind every door, plus characters. Our tester loved creating each morning, building cosy winter scenes. This is brilliant value for money and will be a firm favourite for years to come.
Where to buy: johnlewis.com