This time last year, we put together an Advent Calendar round up, featuring some spectacular finds, full of treasures and treats. We had so much fun putting it together that we’ve decided to put together another Advent Calendar round up for 2023 – bigger and better than before.
There are hundreds of calendars out there to be discovered, and long gone are the days where you had a simple choice of traditional paper windows to open, or a Cadbury Dairy Milk shape every day. Now, you can find something to suit your tastes and interests no matter what you’re into. It’s even become entirely reasonable to buy your pets their own animal-friendly advent calendars!
This year, we have spent months on the lookout for Advent Calendars that are a bit different, or offer something truly special. On the whole we’ve catered to our own tastes, and things that we think most people would enjoy. Without further ado, here are our top picks for 2023!
Wickedly Welsh Advent Calendar
Wickedly Welsh is a reasonably new company to us here at Roonee HQ, but boy have they made an impression!! This Advent Calendar is delightfully compact, but is absolutely bursting with flavour. Inside are 24 of the nicest chocolates we’ve ever tried – which is saying something. There are 13 different flavours to try, and while we loved every single one, our favourites were definitely the honey in dark chocolate, and salted caramel in milk chocolate! It turns out, it’s not just us who think Wickedly Welsh chocolates are something special – the company boasts nine wins at the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards and we have friends and family members who have long been singing the praises of this company.
If you enjoy finding a chocolate behind every door in December, but would like to try something much more luxurious than the standard chocolate options on the supermarket shelves, we recommend this one for you. Head to the Wickedly Welsh website (or click here) to find out more, and order your calendar in time for December. While you’re there, we recommend you take a look at the other sumptuous festive goodies on offer.
NOMO vegan Advent Calendar
We tried a NOMO Advent Calendar last year, and thought it was a marvellous vegan option for anyone after a chocolate fix. This year, the NOMO Advent Calendar is back, and again, we would recommend it for any vegans or anyone dairy-free who would love an alternative to the standard milk chocolate options available. We really enjoy NOMO chocolate here at Roonee HQ, and we think it’s a delicious option for anyone, vegan or not.
You can find the NOMO Advent Calendar along with other yummy vegan chocolate goodies for the festive season on the NOMO website. You’ll also be able to find NOMO products at many supermarkets, and Holland and Barret. Click here to find the NOMO Advent Calendar on the official website.
Swizzles Advent Calendar
For anyone with a sweet tooth who is looking for an alternative to chocolate this year, we suggest you take a look at the Swizzles sweet factory Advent Calendar. Behind every window is a Swizzles classic, including Love Hearts, Drumsticks, Squashies, Parma Violets, and refreshers. We actually think this is a great treat for the older generations who grew up spending their pocket money on these sweets in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The sweets inside definitely bring back nostalgic memories for many!
You can find the Swizzles Advent Calendar here on the official website, as well as in high street shops and supermarkets. We really like the fact that this calendar clocks in at £5 (although we have seen it for sale for £4.50 in some places), making it a wonderfully affordable option for those of us who are struggling amidst the cost of living crisis.
Gourmet Popcorn Advent Calendars from the Popcorn Shed
If you’ve been here for a while then you have probably seen us write about the Popcorn Shed before. Its a company we really love, and we think their popcorn makes particularly good gifts. This year, we were absolutely thrilled to see that there were two Advent Calendars on offer! Obviously we had to get our hands on one, and we opted for the non plant-based version, which is full of 24 little bags of delicious popcorn.
We think this is another really excellent option for anyone who likes a sweet treat but is after an alternative to the traditional chocolate. Popcorn Shed popcorn really is delicious, and it comes in an impressive range of flavours too. You can find the Advent Calendars here.
Kusmi Tea Organic Advent Calendar
This one is for the tea lovers. Kusmi tea is Russian in origin, but has now planted its roots firmly in Normandy, France where the company focus heavily on environmental impact and humanity. Kusmi teas are an absolute delight to taste, and the blends of fruits and spices are quite unlike anything we have come across in the UK.
While the Kusmi Tea Advent Calendar is definitely a luxury (coming in at €38,90), it’s a real recommendation from us if you have the budget and want to try some delightful teas. We have been long time lovers of this luxury brand, and our favourite blends are without a doubt the Prince Vladimir and the St-Petersburg blends. While there are some UK stores that stock Kusmi Tea (most notably Selfridges and John Lewis), the Advent Calendar is a little trickier to get hold of in the UK. It’s much easier to order directly from the official French store, where you won’t incur any customs charges and will experience a speedy delivery! Find the calendar here.
Christmas Pop Up Advent Calendar (Welcome To The Museum)
This delightful Advent Calendar has been created along side the Welcome To The Museum series of children’s books, published by Penguin Random House. When you first open up the package, you’ll discover a beautifully illustrated pop-up tree. Stand up your tree somewhere where it has pride of place, and every day behind your Advent Calendar doors, you’ll find something lovely to add to your tree. In addition to the decorations for your tree, you’ll also discover a 28 page booklet all about autumnal and winter flora and fauna.
We have been utterly charmed by this Advent Calendar and think it would be a beautiful gift for almost anyone. While it’s aimed at children, this is definitely something that adults can enjoy too – we can’t wait to start adding our decorations to the Roonee pop-up tree! You can find this calendar in plenty of different places, both online and in store. We bought ours from the NSPCC website, which you can find here.
Winter Woodland Advent Calendars from Wentworth Wooden Puzzles
This is another Advent Calendar that really charmed us, and we can’t wait to put it together with the children. Wentworth Wooden Puzzles are well known for their exceedingly high quality jigsaw puzzles – largely due to whimsies. Whimsies are jigsaw pieces shaped like animals, people, or other objects, that fit into puzzles along side more standard shaped puzzle pieces – they add a touch of fun to any puzzle.
This year, Wentworth have brought out a number of Advent options, which we think is absolutely delightful. While they are all much more expensive than a supermarket chocolate Advent Calendar, we would go as far as to say that these are beautiful treasures that can be used year after year, and passed down through generations. We have the Winter Woodland option, which has larger than usual puzzle pieces, and is beautifully designed for children. There are 25 pieces that stand up in the puzzle, and a stunning jigsaw piece Christmas tree that stands proud in the middle of the puzzle. Of course, there are plenty of whimsy pieces too!
Head to the Wentworth website to see the fantastic selection of Advent jigsaws, or click here to see the one we have.
The 12 Puzzles Before Christmas
While we are thinking about puzzles, we also need to mention the 12 Puzzles Before Christmas! While not strictly speaking an Advent Calendar, as there are only 12 doors, this is a really fun gift to give in the run up to Christmas for any puzzle enthusiast. Inside are 12 metal brainteaser puzzles that will get you thinking and trying all sorts of things to untangle the metal pieces.
We’ve already had a peek inside our puzzle box (shh, don’t tell Santa!) and had a go at a couple of the puzzles. We can confirm, they are both infuriating, brilliant fun, and incredibly clever, all at the same time. You can find out more and buy your own here.
Makebox & Co – The Advent Apron
We simply couldn’t resist getting our hands on an Advent apron makebox when we spotted them on the Makebox website. This fantastic kit comes with everything you need to embroider little Christmas motifs onto an apron (including the apron) – one for every day of Advent. We love our arts and crafts here at Roonee HQ, and this is a truly wonderful seasonal activity to enjoy in the run up to Christmas.
These Advent Calendars / Advent kits come in either regular or plus size, and the finished result will give you something to smile and remember this Christmas by for many years to come. You can find the apron here, and we thoroughly recommend taking a look at the other offerings on the website while you’re there.
Holland & Barett – The Beauty Advent Calendar
There are plenty of beauty Advent Calendars out there whether you’re into your luxury makeup, Korean facemasks, or makeup suitable for teens, but this one really resonates with us. We had the H&B beauty Advent Calendar last year and it exceeded all of our expectations, leaving us with a delightful pile of goodies for hair, skin, and body that were generally sustainable, vegan friendly, and plastic free.
Our first thoughts on this year’s version is that the packaging has been significantly improved! It’s colourful, and we reckon the little boxes inside the outer packaging will be sturdy enough to be reused to create our own home made calendar. The goodies inside are once again, thoughtfully curated to include products from companies that are ethical, environmentally conscious, and sustainable – all things that we absolutely love.
This Advent Calendar comes in at £45, which definitely isn’t cheap, however we think the contents make it really worthwhile if you’ve got the pennies to spare this year. You can find the calendar here.
Grapat Advent Calendar
The final Advent Calendar we want to showcase this year is the Grapat Advent Calendar, which is designed for children. This is definitely one that isn’t for everyone, and it’s also very pricey in the grand scheme of things, but we are in love with it.
Grapat is a Catalonian company that make open ended toys for children – often referred to as loose pieces, or loose wooden pieces. The concept of using loose pieces for play is well known in Montessori and Waldorf education, but it can benefit any children when it comes to using imagination.
At first glance, toys from Grapat might not look like much. They are created with superb craftmanship, but in essence, they are designed to be exceedingly simple. The simplicity of the toys is exactly what sparks imagination in little ones – suddenly a simple wooden shape can become almost anything.
The Grapat Advent Calendar contains 24 beautifully illustrated boxes, each containing different wooden pieces to spark imagination. The pieces are wonderfully tactile, and there is an accompanying information booklet that contains all kinds of information and ideas about ways to play and festive traditions.
The Grapat Advent Calendar is stocked in a number of ethical toy shops in the UK, but we got ours from Babipur. You can find it here.