I’ve just spotted my first Christmas tree of the season. And it’s only September. Granted it was a small one – a couple of feet high at most – but a Christmas tree nonetheless. Surrounded by printed material (always a plus) it was in the foyer of a local hotel promoting their programme of festive events. Time then for our annual round-up of this year’s best and notable advent and year calendars.
Beauty advent calendars
Over the last couple of years these have proved increasingly popular. Many of the big beauty and fragrance names all have an offering, but other High Street and online retailers are getting in on the act too.
Molton Brown’s Opulent Infusions features luxury shower gels, hand washes, scented candles, bath oils, and fragrances. With a not insignificant £175 price tag, this one is probably only for the die-hard MB fan.
More affordable and guaranteed to fly off the shelves is Marks & Spencer’s Beauty Advent Calendar. It’s crammed with goodies from brands such as Ren, Pixi, This Works and Philip Kingsley. All for only £35.
Mid-way between the two, at £99 but with contents worth £231, High Street favourite Body Shop’s “1-25 Days of The Enchanted” is bound to be a crowd-pleaser.
Booze and Christmas go hand-in-hand and, if you’re looking for a daily treat in the lead-up, these are worth investigating. If you’re in to gin (and, frankly, who isn’t?) this Gin Foundry’s Ginvent Calendar is the original gin-filled Advent adventure. It boasts 24 beautifully designed doors concealing 24 wonderfully made spirits for £124.95
Aldi’s wine selection calendar is a steal at only £49.99 and includes a selection of red, white and rosé wines, plus a couple of bottles of bubbles too. It doesn’t go on sale until November but is probably worth waiting for!
With whiskies from around the globe you’re not just limited to a daily drop of Scotch in this calendar from “Drinks by the Dram”. You can choose from two different packaging designs in the standard version (£149.95) or for the malt connoisseur you can push the boat out for a premium selection at £249.95.
Diets start in January, but chocolate-bingeing starts promptly for most of us from 1st December. Here’s how; -
Cute and traditional this one is just for the kids. Coming from Fortnum and Mason no less it’s not a bank-breaker at just £20.
We came across a dairy-free “chocolate” offering too. At £4.99, from Moo, no one is left out
A grand and decadent product from Hotel Chocolat, it’s guaranteed to please with a mouth-watering collection that includes Salted Caramel Vodka and coconut snowballs. Yum, yes please!
Looking for something a little different? Here are some with treats to thrill (and without the calories);-
Not exactly precious metals but at only £22.50 the Johnny Loves Rosie Jewellery Calendar provides a regular touch of inexpensive bling leading up to the festivities
A mere £20 and designed for kids aged 6-12 the Lego Friends Advent Calendar is great!
Worried that Santa may not be delivering quite enough socks on Christmas Eve? Stock up with 24-days’ worth beforehand. Link
Hoping for a raunchy yuletide? Then this over-18s only Amorelie Erotic Calendar promises “24 Sensual and High-Quality Gifts”. Not for the faint-hearted!
Many of the online greetings card companies have photo-upload and personalisation offerings for single items or low-volume.
But when it comes to business calendars and promo items, where ordering quantities are higher and the quality requirements higher still, a specialist provider is what you need.
Talk to us if you’re interested, or you need samples and advice. But do it sharpish. That Christmas tree may have been the first, but it’ll be the first of many.