How did Advent Calendars start?
Germany and Austria are both credited for having created the Advent Calendar in the early 1900’s. An idea that formed from the traditional Christian lighting of the advent ring in Church. The reason for these early advent calendars was primarily to countdown the days to Christmas. Unbelievably, it was not until the 1950’s that Britain adopted the Advent Calendar. Advent Calendars of the 1970’s and 1980’s usually consisted of a chocolate treat or opening a door to reveal a picture. Cadbury created their first chocolate calendar in 1971. Although, this is still the idea, the advent calendars have become far more grand with seemingly a present everyday rather than solely to spark anticipation of Christmas itself.
When I was little, I use to have an advert calendar which was a card like shape. It would open to reveal a nativity scene with 25 tiny rectangular doors with a picture behind each. These pictures would include a lamb (in the 3 shepherds vain) or a doll, or best of all on the 25th, a gold star. Each year, I would look forward to that same advent calendar and feel a real sense of joy when it appeared out of the Christmas decorations boxes.
I never had a chocolate one as my Mother didn’t approve of chocolate for breakfast or the waste of throwing out the depleted advent calendar at the end of December. I don’t think my Mother was ahead of her time from an eco point of view, but she is someone who spent her first 14 years with WWII rationing so she instinctively knows how not to waste.
Advent calendars for kids
There are many different options for advent calendars depending upon person and interests. I don’t know of any of my children’s friends who have the same advent calendar every year. It is has to be chocolate or a toy behind each day.
The good news for parents is that there are some inexpensive chocolate based options out there, by Cadbury’s such in milk and white chocolate available for around £1 – £1.50. These provide a small chocolate treat to countdown the days to Christmas.
There are more luxurious chocolate options from Hotel Chocolat from £8.50 or Lindt which charge £6 for the Golden Teddy Bear version which makes and excellent advent calendar for kids and the bigger kids too.
Lego Advent Calendars for Kids
Each year Lego bring out several versions from their different lego ranges including Lego City, Lego Harry Potter and Lego Star Wars to name a few. So very popular with children who just about have time to build the little figure (if that is needed) before school. I particularly like the Harry Potter Lego Advent Calendar. All calendars retail at approximately £30.
Advent Calendars for Stationery Lovers
If you want the excitement of the countdown gifts that an advert calendar gives but have a stationery addiction then a Stationery Advert calendar is perfect. Paperchase have an excellent Advent calendar which contains 24 days worth of stationery including a 2023 diary and £5 gift voucher. Look out for Martha Brook Advent Calendar due out before the end of September. A luxury stationery calendar which usually sells out quickly.
Adult Advent calendars
If wine is your tipple of choice, then the wine advent calendar from John Lewis will wet your tastebuds, although not cheap at £85. Amazon have a gin Advent calendar from The Boutique-y Gin Company at a reasonable £49.95. The whiskey Advent calendar from Flaviar is expensive but looks stunning and makes and excellent Advent calendar for men.
Beauty Advent Calendars
Out of all the Advent calendars that have become popular in recent years, the beauty versions filled with delicious smelling creams, perfumes and luxury beauty treats have been the most popular. The price range is large with Cath Kidston being not only one of the best values but having a wonderful look of Christmas past about it. Look Fantastic’s version looks fabulous and is a great way of sampling luxury brands. The sky is the limit in terms of cost for these type of Advent calendars with some being towards the £400 mark. Charlotte Tilbury’s version is not as much as that but is still Christmas luxury if you can afford it. These are all excellent Advent Calendars for woman.
Quirky Advent Calendars
For a different advert calendar, look no further than the build and electronic game calendar. Each day reveals an electronic component that allows you to build an electronic game. A bargain at £22.50
For chocolate lovers, the Whittard hot chocolate advent calendar is created for couples and provides a hot chocolate treat in the run up to Christmas. Perfect for those cold Winter days.
Make you own Advent Calendar
You could make your own Advent calendar, especially a wall hanging one. All you need is some felt and patience and possibly sewing skills. I made a hanging Advent calendar at school but you can take the easier option. Not on the High Street and Amazon have child and grown up versions. Alternatively, you can purchase a wooden Advent calendar and put a little treat in each drawer. These type of Advent Calendars are more personal and can be used year after year, making them more eco friendly.