With the festive season almost upon us, choosing an advent calendar has become just as exciting as unwrapping Christmas presents! Chocolate, toys, beauty and more - here's our guide to the best of 2022.
1. With over £140 worth of product packed into a stunning, heavyweight advent calendar for just £70, ARRAN Sense of Scotland’s offering should be near the top of your wish list. It’s crammed with soaps, shower gels, body lotions, candles, and other treats, with an extra special one hiding behind door 25. Find out more at https://arran.com/products/advent-calendar-2022
2. The packaging of the Joules Christmas Village Calendar (£40, https://www.boots.com) is a big part of its charm, with the soaps, creams, body mists and more contained inside individual pop-up houses that can be refilled and reused every year.
3. Clean beauty fans will love Holland and Barrett’s advent calendar, which features 25 products – including 14 full-sized ones from brands including Dr Organic, Westlab, Vitaskin and Evolve that provide a daily treat from head to toe. It’s worth over £180 but costs just £55 from https://www.hollandandbarrett.com
4. Baylis and Harding also have a vegan-friendly offering, with their pretty calendar looking much more luxe than its £30 price tag would suggest. There’s 24 products including body washes, lotions, bath bubbles and shower cremes in some of the brand’s most popular scents, including Jojoba, Vanilla and Almond oil and Wild Fig and Pomegranate.
5. While Lush’s annual offering tends to sell out almost as quickly as it goes on sale (no surprise – it’s incredible) – they also offer a 12 Days of Christmas gift, a bright reusable box filled with 12 festive products for £75. It’s available at Lush.co.uk or in stores nationwide.
6. L’Occitane (https://uk.loccitane.com/) are offering three calendars this year, to suit all budgets and prices. First up is the Classic advent calendar, which is filled with a selection of favourites from the brand for £55. For those wanting to splurge, the Premium calendar costs £99 and comes in a reusable box that makes a fun and colourful storage case to use afterwards. Finally, the stunning Reusable advent calendar may cost £165 but the timeless eco-cotton design can be used year after year. What’s more, if you’ve already got one of their reusable designs, you can purchase a refill pack for £120.
7. Back for the fourth year running, Boots’ advent calendar in support of Macmillan is back. Across the 24 doors are a wide range of products from some of the retailer’s most popular brands, including Liz Early, Soap and Glory, No.7, and Champneys. It’s £88 and £2 is donated to charity with every sale.
8. Pierre Marcolini’s Enchanted Forest Calendar (£54, https://www.marcolini.co.uk) offers a taste of indulgence with caramels, pralines and other chocolate treats, with the individual packaging for each day adding to the luxury feel.
9. Get your nails Christmas-party ready with the Mylee advent calendar. It’s only a 12-day one, but there’s everything you need from crème and glitter gel polishes to nail care items including builder, a cuticle oil pen. £65, https://mylee.co.uk/.
10. Hotel Chocolat have something for everyone, starting from £13 for the milk, dark, caramel, white chocolate or vegan nutmilk calendars, rising to £27.50 for the advent calendar for two – containing, unsurprisingly, two treats every day – or the everything calendar. But real chocoholics will love the Grand Advent Calendar. Costing a cool £75, treats behind the doors include chocolate wreaths and snowflakes, liquor, and even lipbalm. Shop at https://www.hotelchocolat.com/
11. Danilo have added ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Harry Potter’ to their range of musical calendars this year (£24.99, https://danilo.com) As well as pieces to build a moving scene, fans will also find stickers, jokes and questions behind each door.
12. LEGO fans can choose from their own City or Friends brands (both £21.99), or ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Star Wars’, and ‘Harry Potter’ (all £29.99) this year. Featuring minifigures or little builds on each day, the hours of play are sure to last well beyond the festive season. For more, visit https://www.lego.com/en-gb/search?q=advent+calendar
13. The design of the Niederegger advent calendar just screams Christmas. The super-sized Santa on the front will make you smile almost as much as the marzipan and praline treats inside – and as an added bonus, on some days you get two! It’s £30 from https://www.JohnLewis.com
14. Of course Toblerone have a triangular advent calendar! Inside, there’s a mix of classic white, milk and dark chocolate, with salted caramelised almonds and almond and honey. It’s around £7 from most major supermarkets.
15. Divine Chocolate have a creamy milk and a rich dark chocolate calendar, both currently at just £4 (https://www.divinechocolate.com/shop/christmas) each. The delicious treats are Fairtrade and ethically-sourced, while the stunning festive packaging is recyclable too.
16. Looking for something to keep you busy in December? Look no further than Make Arcade’s Craftvent calendar. Each of the 24 boxes contains what you need to stitch a cute felt decoration in a variety of designs, from festive favourites to kitsch food, drinks, and even animals. It’s £70 from https://www.themakearcade.co.uk/products/craftvent-calendar-full-payment-option.
17. The enduring popularity of ‘Friends’ continues, and younger fans of the classic comedy will love Small Stuff Accessories’ (https://smallstuffaccessories.com/collections/advent-calendars-official) official offering. It’s currently on offer for £10 and is crammed with scrunchies, badges, earrings and bracelets that all pay tribute to the beloved show.
18. The company also offers a ‘Harry Potter’ accessories calendar (£7.99, sale price) that’s great for boys and girls, with unisex items including wrist bands, keyrings, stickers and badges inside.
19. As the slogan says, “Kids and grown-ups love it so…” Haribo’s bright-coloured calendar (£5, supermarkets and other major retailers) features mini bags of sweets mixing favourite selections with seasonal mini bags and themed jellies such as a reindeer, Christmas tree and Santa’s boot.
20. Roblox fans will love their festive offering (£29.99, major retailers including Smyths, Selfridges, Amazon, and Very.com, with Gingerbread Man, Reindeer, Santa, Snowman, Elf and Christmas Tree figures and accessories to deck them out. There are also two exclusive virtual item codes.
21. Think you know Matcha? Bird and Blend will have you thinking again.. Behind each door of the Matcha Tea calendar (£52, https://www.birdandblendtea.com) is a different tiny tin of tea, with enough for two cups, in flavours including peach cobbler, ice cream, Nordic berry, and toffee apple.
22. Gotta catch ‘em all? The Pokemon Deluxe Holiday Calendar (RRP £59.99, retailers including Smyths, Selfridges, Toymaster and Amazon), has got you covered. Featuring 15 two-inch figures – with an exclusive red finish - and nine diorama accessories, all with a festive theme, fans can play with something new every day, then put them all together to create a seasonal scene on the final day.
23. For a kids’ keepsake that will last longer than advent, Stych accessories have a cute charm bracelet advent calendar. It’s currently on offer for just £25 (https://stychaccessories.com/products/fruit-salad-advent-calendar) and as well as the bracelet itself, behind each door is either a fruit-themed charm or an enamel pin badge.
24. The Very Merry Advent Calendar will fuel the Christmas excitement for youngsters with either a craft, recipe card, story book or challenge concealed in the 24 boxes, which are put together to make a chimney chute. There’s a grown-up’s guide inside the box to let parents and carers know what’s in store for the month, as well as a loveable merry mischief elf. It's currently on offer for £35 at https://shop.toucanbox.com/
25. Look after your hair and stay stylish with Invisibobble’s 2022 advent calendar. From hair ties to clips and even two exclusive sprunchie designs, there’s £59 worth of stuff in there for just £30 from invisibobble.co.uk.
26. Maybe not one to open first thing in the morning – but Virgin Wines (https://www.virginwines.co.uk/) will definitely be able to help you wind down in the evenings with their advent calendars. Costing £89.99 and available in red, white or mixed, there’s a specially-selected mini bottle for every day leading up to Christmas, and a full sized bottle for the big day.
27. Martha Brook’s 24 Days of Stationery Advent Calendar (https://www.marthabrook.com/) is back with a new whimsical design featuring 24 embossed boxes designed to look like a row of colourful books on a shelf. Inside, there’s everything from luxury pens, Christmas cards, gift tags, ruler, highlighters and even personalised items including a notebook. Its £95 price tag reflects the luxe look and feel of this beautiful set.
28. It wouldn’t be Christmas without cheese, and fortunately So Wrong It’s Nom have got you covered. Behind the 24 doors are individual miniature wheels of cheese in nine different varieties from Norseland, whose brands include Jarlsberg, Applewood, Mexicana and Ilchester. It’s just £8 from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Lidl and Ocado.
29. T2’s Sip the Future Hello calendar is available in both loose leaf and tea bag options, though both share the same flavours behind the door. Ranging from classics such as Earl Grey, Chai and Irish Breakfast to more unusual offerings including Packs a Peach and Sticky Date Delight, it’s a great way to kickstart those December mornings. £22, https://www.t2tea.com/.
30. Eco-conscious families will PlayIn Choc’s advent calendar. Behind each door is an organic, vegan chocolate, a fact card and a cute plastic free decoration – plus the box folds out to a plays scene when it’s empty. £49.95, https://playinchoc.com/