It’s a cold, dark, December morning and you’ve just stumbled out of bed… then you remember you’ve got a little gift waiting for you in your advent calendar!
We can’t think of a better way to start the run-up to the big day.
Whether you’re a beauty guru, a gym worshipper, or hot drinks enthusiast – discover our favourite advent calendars, plus 6 of the best advent calendar ideas to treat yourself or a loved one to this Christmas.
The history of advent calendars
Advent calendars first came about in the 19th century - but they weren’t filled with chocolates back then!
People originally marked the days with a chalk line on a wall or door.¹
Then, at the beginning of the 20th century, German-born Gerhard Lang produced a calendar closer to one we’d recognise. His original design had the festive scenes and paper doors we still use today. But – after rationing during WWII – he was forced to close his business.²
After the war, we began to see advent calendars en masse. It wasn’t until 1958 that chocolate first appeared in our calendars – and it didn’t take off as quickly as you’d think!
Cadbury produced chocolate calendars on and off during the 1970s and 1980s, but it wasn’t until 1993 that they became the yearly tradition they are today.
Gone are the days when vegans had to go without an advent calendar.
This chocolate advent calendar from Nomo contains 12 caramel and sea salt treats and 12 creamy chocolates for a luxurious addition to your day.
The best accompaniment to a Christmas cuppa or a festive flavoured coffee, you can start your day off with a slice of luxury with this advent calendar.
- Suitable for vegans
- Suitable for people with milk, egg, gluten, peanut, and tree nut allergies
- 24 delicious chocolate treats
What our customers think:
Swift – 5/5 stars – Would recommend
Good quality chocolate and ideal for my grandson who has food allergies.
VegAnn – 5/5 stars – Perfect for Vegans
Lovely chocolate, highly recommend
How much does the Nomo Choc Advent Calendar cost?
This deluxe vegan chocolate advent calendar costs £5
The original vegan pioneers say it best: “crops not cows, childhood not slavery”.
Plamil’s advent calendar is designed with both the food we eat and the way it’s made in mind.
You’ll find 24 chocolates to get you in the Christmas mood, each made using gluten-free oats and no dairy and produced in a dedicated vegan factory in the UK.
- Gluten-free, dairy-free, and palm oil free
- Produced in a dedicated UK vegan factory
What our customers think:
No reviews just yet – this is a brand-new product!
How much does the Plamil So Free Advent Calendar cost?
You’ll get 24 days of vegan-friendly chocolates for £7
Best advent calendar ideas 2022
We all love to start a cold December day with chocolate, but many people are turning to advent calendars as a more personal affair – or even a substitute for one big present on Christmas Day.
The great news is that you can make an advent calendar as personal as you like, as well as sticking to your own budget.
There’s so much fun you can have with a homemade advent calendar! Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
Homemade makeup advent calendar
For a beauty lover, there’d be nothing more exciting than revealing a new makeup item to try out each morning
This could make a wonderfully creative main present for someone who’s too eager to wait for the big day!
Makeup is so personal, so make sure you know exactly what they’d like. You could mix:
- Nail polishes
- Mini perfumes
- Lipsticks or lip balms
- Travel-sized skincare products
- Individual eyeshadows
to make a personalised advent calendar that suits them.
Homemade food and drink advent calendar
Chocolate advent calendars have stuck around for a reason! But there’s no reason you can’t use your favourite chocs instead.
Try choosing a few packs of individually-wrapped sweets and save one for each day in December. And who knows – you might even allow yourself a bigger treat on Christmas Eve.
Or, maybe you’d prefer to switch things up? Satisfy the savoury fan in your life with crisps and nuts, or pop an assorted flavoured teabag behind each door.
Homemade advent calendar for men
Want to surprise a man in your life with an advent calendar?
Maybe they’ve got some favourite:
- Grooming products
- Mini colognes
- Collectors’ items (like cards or minifigures)
- Gym snacks or energy boosters
that are small enough to go behind each door.
Homemade advent calendar for kids
It’s a pretty safe bet that your child will enjoy a chocolate advent calendar.
But if you’re looking to do something a little different this year, there are all kinds of fun themes to follow.
Could you base your kids’ advent calendar on their favourite film, book, or animal?
- Small toys (like cars, figurines, sensory toys, or toy animals)
- Accessories (like hairbands, earrings, or socks)
If you’d prefer not to accumulate “stuff” (or you’d rather spend your money on a main Christmas present), you could fill their advent calendar with notes containing jokes, challenges, or “IOUs” of fun family activities.
The final say
It goes without saying that advent calendars are such a fun part of the run- up to Christmas.
So make sure that you and your loved ones don’t miss out this year - pick them up the perfect festive treat or make your own today!
Looking for more gift ideas? Have a read of these articles for some more inspo:
Last updated: 2 December 2022