I don't know about you, but with my two sons I cannot avoid the subject of Advent Calendars. Not that I would want to. As a child growing up in the Soviet Union, I haven't even heard of the Advent Calendars. You can say I am catching up now for the lost opportunities in my childhood (meant ironically, as you don't really miss what you don't know about).
I have already got four Advent Calendars ready for 1 December, and am also wondering whether to treat myself too.
My boys will be getting their chocolate treats from Thorntons.
We had a couple of The Snowman and the Snowdog Advent Calendars last year, and my sons loved the chocolate treats.
This year The Snowman and the Snowdog Advent Calendar is slightly redesigned, but hopefully will have the same delicious chocolates.
And I couldn't resist buying The Gruffalo Advent Calendar from Thorntons. The Gruffalo is our family favourite. I got both from Waitrose, but the Gruffalo doesn't appear in their online shop.
Moving from chocolate to longer-lasting advent gifts. Lego. Do I need to say more?
Eddie is Lego-obsessed, and I love it too (remind me that when I step on a Lego brick in the middle of the night en route to the loo). If I could, I'd have bought all the Lego advent calendars for him, but he'll have to be content with a Lego City Advent Calendar. Eddie has seen the box, and keeps asking me every day if it's already time to open the first door. It was on offer at Tesco, and with their voucher boost promotion, it cost me about £7.50. This super duper advent calendar includes 7 mini-figures with assorted accessories. I'm looking forward to seeing my little man opening the doors every day.
Older Lego and Star Wars fans would enjoy a Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar.
Another toy brand much loved by kids and parents is Playmobil. They have several different Advent Calendars. If you are still looking for a good bargain, Argos is selling Santa's Workshop Advent Calendar from Playmobil at 25% off. It is suitable for ages 4-10, and comes with 4 mini-figures of elves, an angel and of course, Santa himself (on the 24th). The play scene is complete after 24 days.
Wow Toys, well known for its fun and educational toys, are inviting little people to celebrate the season with an exciting Wow Wonderland Advent Calendar. Each day a cute figure is revealed, and there is even a limited edition push-along Santa car included. 24 lovely toys. WOW indeed! Or like my son Eddie calls his WOW toys "Wowcher!".
|Image credit: Wow Toys|
If you think advent calendars are for children only, think again. Ladies of all ages have a great variety of beauty advent calendars, from Boots no.7 (all sold out online, but you might be lucky to find it locally, alas, our local shop has none left. I waited to be paid to treat myself, but they were all gone) to Benefit, from Liberty to You Beauty Advent Calendar.
Santa, if you are listening, I have been a very good girl. Could I have a prezzie?
|Image credit: You Beauty Discovery|
Another advent calendar that I would enjoy immensely is Tea Lovers Tea Bag Advent Calendar by Victoria Mae Designs. What a fantastic gift for any tea lover! Santa, are you taking notes?! Who wouldn't love 25 cute teabags, individually packaged in paper envelopes. Designs differ from lovely quotes to seasonal images. There are different flavours of tea included: English breakfast, Earl Grey, Summer Berries, Peppermint and more.
|Image credit: Victoria Mae Designs|
If you enjoy a dram or two (or even more) Maverick Drinks offers a splendid selection of advent calendars including whisky, premium whisky, gin, cognac, tequila and vodka. Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar, for example, comes with a selection of single malts and blended malts from around the world.
|Image credit: Maverick Drinks|
And back to la dolce vita, Carluccio's advent calendar is a chocolate treat for grown-ups. While I haven't tried this particular brand of chocolate, I have already squirrelled away a big Carluccio's Pandoro for Christmas. I like the stylish design of the packaging and cute chocolate characters. Natale will be certainly Buon with this gift.
And Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a bag of Jelly Bellies, or even better a Jelly Belly Advent Calendar. Open a window to find a small bag of flavoured jelly beans. A special surprise flavour is hidden behind the last window. I wonder what could it be?! My favourite jelly belly flavours are cafe latte, coconut, chocolate pudding, green tea and dark chocolate. Well, actually I love most of them except the liquorice. What flavours do you love? If you buy this box, do tell me what the surprise flavour was. I would love to know.
And that's my top 10 Advent Calendars for 2014. Are you treating your family or yourself to any of them?