Advent Calendars We’d Like to Open

With December 1st right around the corner and the countdown to Christmas on, we thought we’d share our roundup of awesome advent calendars.  Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, these calendars are a great excuse for a daily treat!

The Basics

For the traditionalists out there, there are plenty of advent calendars to dole out your daily serving of chocolate while you count down to Christmas. If you’re only going to get one small piece, then it’s our opinion that the Dollar Store varieties just won’t do – you need the real deal! Laura Secord and Lindt are classics for your great quality milk chocolate. And here’s a tip: In the basement of Sears at the Eaton Centre, there is a Lindt discount store that is selling them cheaper than most other retail locations!

Kinder Surprise also makes a fun calendar, but we’ve been on a serious hunt for some dark chocolate and have come across two obliging chocolatiers: Victoria B.C.’s Rogers’ and the U.K.’s Montezuma (also offering other delicious flavours like Lime & Chilli, Orange & Geranium and Coffee!).  If you tend to overindulge on the weekends, consider leaving your calendar at the office.  Not only is it out of site, Mondays will suddenly become a lot sweeter!

From left to right: Laura Secord, Lindt, Kinder SurpriseMontezuma, Rogers’

The Boozies

If chocolate isn’t your thing or your simply looking for a more grown up way to get through the holidays, you’re in luck.  Master of Malt has put together a pretty impressive Whiskey Advent Calendar.  Behind each of the 24 doors is a different 1 oz. sample of whiskey, including a 50-year old scotch whiskey, which retails for £350 a bottle! (roughly $555 CDN).  For gin lovers, there’s also a Ginvent Calendar available (for about half the price).

For the Kiddies

For kids who can’t have chocolate (or whose parents would prefer they didn’t) there are loads of great alternatives out there.  Playmobil offers a selection of themed advent calendars, gifting the little one a new toy each day.  Santa’s workshop, the forest winter wonderland and the Pirate’s Cove were our favorites.  Lego also makes an advent calendar that tells a story: Santa is stuck in the forest, and each day a new toy is revealed to help him find his way out in time for Christmas.

If you’ve got the time and the creativity, you may want to consider buying a reusable advent calendar and fill them with different treats and toys each year. The one pictured below is from Pottery Barn Kids, but there are lots to be found on Etsy as well!

DIY

For the creative types, there are tonnes of different DIY advent ideas floating around out there, from the 24 days of beer hacked out of an old 2-4 case to some beautiful, reusable designs featuring treats, ornaments and other surprises.  Make your countdown part of the decor with these design friendly ideas (beer case excluded – that one gets kept out of sight somewhere).

Clockwise from the top left: (1) Not sure instructions are really needed… hack up an old 2-4 case and fill it with 24 days of imports (2) Design by Julie Ree (3) Paper cone trees tutorial by Pink Suede Shoe (4) Previously sold at Pottery Barn, but would be an easy DIY with a cloth covered canvas, some paper tags, and a number stencil; (5) This rusty bucket garland is actually available for sale from a number of retailers, but like #6, some ribbon and dollar store tins would do the trick quite nicely (6) Buckets and branches, also an old Pottery Barn number that would make for an easy hack.

Happy Counting!

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