Friday 13 November 2020

ADVENT CALENDARS: A Guide for the Whole Family 2020

*Advertorial Content - Gifted Items
Well, what a year it has been. I don't think any of us were expecting a worldwide pandemic and the impact that had on every area of life when we were sitting around eating Christmas dinner last year. It's quite shocking to think back really, but we can't let the ever changing restrictions and regulations ruin the run up to Christmas. This year, more than ever before, we all need something positive and exciting to focus on. It is looking like Christmas won't be a 'normal' one, but something we can do is treat ourselves and/or loved ones to an advent calendar that will bring a smile to their face every day during December. Each year the world of advent calendars becomes even bigger, better and more exciting, as the offerings provide excellent value for money and the designs simply wow. 

Last year was the first year I put together an Advent Calendar Guide and it was so well received, that I thought I would spread the advent calendar cheer again this year. There are advent calendars for yourself, your children and even your pets! I really wanted to be selective this year, as there are so many advent calendars now available that it can all be a bit overwhelming. I hope that the run up to Christmas this year can be just as magical for us all and I think that advent calendars are just the perfect way to start the excitement

For Children 
Smiggle Advent Calendar (£28 - often on offer for less, so worth checking)
The Smiggle Advent Calendar is the dream for any child who loves writing, stationary, drawing or generally being creative. There are 25 days of limited edition Smiggle stationary surprises that are worth £50+. Each advent calendar also includes a Lucky Ticket, which could see you winning a £500 Smiggle Shopping Spree! All you need to do is enter the ticket code into their website to find out if you're the lucky winner. Inside this year's advent calendar you'll find items such as: mini pencil pack, bag tag, character paper clip, pencil case, pick me maze pen, mini note book and snake puzzle. The fun festive house design is also really appealing with its bright colours, popular festive characters and all the little decoration details. 
Playmobil have a seriously impressive range of advent calendars this year with a total of eleven to choose from! There is one to appeal to every person's interests, including 'Battle for the Magic Stone', Horse Farm, Jumbo Family Christmas, Christmas Ball, Construction Site Fire Rescue, Back to the Future, Jumbo Stunt Show and Santa's Workshop to name a few. The Christmas Toy Store Advent Calendar is filled with 24 surprises that all combine to create a bustling Christmas Toy Store just in time for the big day. Inside you'll find Santa Claus, a Christmas tree, skateboard, Christmas letter, pair of gloves, football, top hat and many more festive gifts. There is also a pop-up cardboard backdrop that really helps to set the scene of the Toy Store and allow children to bring their imagination to life. 
This is a fun advent calendar for slightly younger children, as the Playmobil 1.2.3 range is aimed at 18 months+. A traditional Christmas holiday theme runs through this advent calendar with lots of forest animals, a festive scene and of course Father Christmas and his sleigh! This is a really good option for anyone wanting to start building a Playmobil collection too because there are quite a lot of figures that can be enjoyed all year round, such as deer, fences to make pens for the animals, squirrel, tree, rabbit, bush etc. Poppy had this advent calendar last year and absolutely loved seeing which figures were going to be behind each door; the pure excitement was such a joy to see.
For Adults
When it comes to adding a touch of luxurious self-care and pampering on the run up to Christmas then look no further than The Body Shop's range of advent calendars. This year they have launched three different advent calendars to cover an array of budgets; with unique designs, varying content and fantastic value for money there's one to suit everyone. The Make It Real Together Advent Calendar is the most affordable option at £50 and is filled with loads of travel-friendly sized The Body Shop items, such as Mango Hand Cream, Coconut Bubble Bath, Mango Lip Butter and Banana Truly Nourishing Shampoo. On the other end of the scale, their Make It Real Together Ultimate Advent Calendar is £130 and jam-packed with a combination of travel-friendly and full size products, such as Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, Vitamin E Moisture Cream, Berry Bath Blend, Star Headband and Happy Go Lash Mascara. In the middle they have the Make It Real Together Big Advent Calendar, which retails for £70 and is packed with surprises to keep you pampered, looked after and uplifted all the way to Christmas Day. I'm always really impressed with the balance of products within The Body Shop Advent Calendars; there is such a perfect combination of skincare, make-up, haircare and accessories. Inside the Big Advent Calendar you'll discover Mango Shower Gel, Coconut Lip Butter, Vitamin C Glow Sheet Mask, Strawberry Softening Body Butter and Vitamin E Gentle Face Wash. 
 that bit earlier.
This is the advent calendar for the curry or spice lovers in your life; with 12 fragrant blends and simple recipes that enable you to create your favourite Indian dishes at home. You'll find the spices and recipes for some of the most well-known curries, including a creamy pasanda, rich rogan josh, spicy chilli-chicken and perfect pathia. There are enough spice blends behind each window to create a dish that can feed four people, which makes this advent calendar unique in the sense that it can be enjoyed by the whole family each day. You can either open the twelve windows on every other day leading up to Christmas Day or give it as a gift to be opened once a month throughout the year. I love the idea of giving this to a friend or family member to open once a month and then them make an event of it by inviting loved ones over to enjoy the Indian dish altogether. 
Firstly, what and who are waterdrops? To put it simply waterdrops are a collection of different flavoured cubes that you drop into water to make it taste delicious. But there is so much more to them that that; every flavour is made using only the finest ingredients from around the world, the water is gently removed from the fruits and plants at harvest to condense the essence and capture its full aroma, every cube is 100% sugar-free and waterdrop cuts up to 98% of CO2 emissions compared to bottled beverages. These all work together to encourage us to all drink more water, be healthier and reduce our sugar intake. Waterdrop have a range of advent calendars this year, including a Christmas Edition (£17.90), Small (£17.90), Medium (£69.90) and Large (£109.90). The Medium Advent Calendar can be seen here and is not only beautifully designed by Atelier Karasinski, but also contains products worth £100 so you're getting a very generous saving! Behind the doors in the medium advent calendar you'll find fourteen discovery kits containing three microdrinks each, coasters, limited edition glasses, keychain, biscuit cutter, steel straws, Christmas ball and a twelve pack of limited edition VIBE.
Christmas Advent Calendar (£5) from Swizzels 
The nostalgic feel of Swizzels is always a winner at this time of year. Their Christmas Advent Calendar is an affordable option that would appeal to children and adults alike. Each window is filled with one of their classic sweets, such as Love Hearts, Drumsticks, Refreshers, Palma Violets etc. The design this year is a colourful sweet factory, which will look very festive in your home. 
For Pets
We can't let our four legged friends miss out on the advent calendar fun and this Advent Calendar for Dogs from Lily's Kitchen is a delicious way for your dog to countdown to Christmas too. Each window is generously filled with Lily's Kitchen naturally wholesome treats, including Rise & Shine (flower-shaped treats made beef liver, fresh carrots, blackstrap molasses and alfalfa), Cheese & Apple Training Treats (a troupe of mini organic bone-shaped biscuits made with organic apple and farmhouse cheddar to help keep dog's attention on wintry walks outdoors) and Bedtime Biscuits (made with honey, yogurt chamomile and passion flowers to help soothe your dog). The beautifully illustrated design adds a grand and luxurious touch to this advent calendar as well. 
Lily's Kitchen don't just cater for our canine friends, but also the felines in our lives too. The grand pantomime design is carried through both the cats and dogs advent calendar, so they would look so smart sitting next to each other if you have both cats and dogs. Behind each window your cat will find wholesome treats, including Tasty Chicken Treats with Liver (made with freshly prepared chicken and enriched with taurine) and Festive Turkey Treats with Cranberry (freshly prepared turkey , gravy and a sprinkling of cranberries, these naturally delicious treats will give your cat their own special taste of Christmas dinner. 
There you have it - my top selection of advent calendars for the whole family. Hopefully you feel inspired or have seen one that you think would be perfect for a loved one on the run up to Christmas this year. 

Have you got your eye on a certain advent calendar this year?

Feel free to leave a comment below - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x


  1. You have some great advent calendars here ... I miss the children's ones, now my two are teenagers x

  2. These sound like some great Christmas advent calendars, it amazes me that there is so much choice they days. I've got a beauty one for this year and Ash has a biscuit one.

  3. Such great choices, I love how much variety there is nowadays. I quite fancy that Body Shop one for myself.

  4. These are great advent calendars. I have never bought a luxury one, just keep it basic but every year I think this time I will treat myself and the kids!

    The smiggle one has a great offer at the moment so I am VERY tempted.

    Thanks for the inspiration (My bank balance doesn't thank you but I genuinely do!)

  5. I love advent calendars!! I have just put together a very similar post. I love the Playmobil ones, My kids have had a few of them over the years and the Santa's workshop one we get out every year and have it on display in our living room window.

  6. Omg, look at all these advent calendars. I haven't had one in years, I buy for others but never for myself lol - I try to convince myself I don't need more little bits but who am I kidding x

  7. It's amazing the range of calendar available now. I love that they have them for pets too. That's such a lovely idea!

  8. Wow, there really are so many to choose from! I remember the days when you only had chocolate ones and traditional ones, haha! I love that there really is something for everyone.

  9. Mellissa Williams14 November 2020 at 19:18

    That 12 Curries of Christmas advent calendar is so unique, I think my husband would love that! What a great selection of advent calendars.

  10. My children would definitely love the Toy Advent Calendar from Playmobil while I am definitely wanting the 12 Curries of Christmas Advent Calendar as I love my curry and would enjoy opening the windows to find new spices

  11. wow they really is an advent calendar for everyone here, my kids would love the playmobil calendar, I really want the curry advent calendar.

  12. Oh wow there are some very nice advent calendars here for sure, I love the look of the body shop one x

  13. I love Advent more than Christmas Day. I made sure to buy all my calendars as son as they were released!

  14. What a great selection of advent calendars, I have my daughters already I have looked at the playmobil for the grandkids

  15. Some great ideas for advent calendars - we love our Playmobil ones and Lego too. I quite fancy the body shop for me

  16. What an amazing selection of advent calender's. The choices are lovely, such a great variety to suit all tastes. I have not bought advent calender's for long time but looing at these I am tempted.


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