Calendar Note: The Advent of Christmas
Phew, Halloween and Bonfire Night are both over, and it’s downhill to Christmas from now on. I love the idea of an Advent calendar, but I fear some of them are really taking the whole Advent scene a tad too far and over commercialising it. That said, there are so many different themes and genres of Advent calendars on the market this year that one would be hard pushed not to be tempted to indulge in one – or buy one for a loved one! Prices vary enormously too – from some amazingly good value ones – for example, Holland & Barrett has a surprisingly good range with some starting from just £2.49 (albeit for a small 93g Vegan chocolate one)
As expected, and always very reliable on quality, Marks & Spencer has a good range again, including, for the adults of course, a rather yummy sounding ‘gin’ one, with gin truffles and a mini bottle of gin to shore you up for the onslaught of Christmas Day. At just £10 I think that sounds like really good value. And they’ve got a Whisky Wonderland one too for the same price.
There’s a cheese calendar too this year, widely available from many supermarkets, including Lidl, Asda, Waitrose, Sainsbury, and Ocado – around £8-10 for 24 individually wrapped cheeses. The calendar has a book-style of packaging, allowing one half to be removed after the initial 12 days, maximising fridge space.
If you’re feeling more adventurous and flush with the cash, you could go for the La Durée Advent calendar (£32) which is an exquisite indulgence containing delicious chocolates, caramels and other treats to sweeten the countdown to Christmas in a Parisian fashion. Available now from La Durée stores and also online.
An as the Germans seem to ‘do’ Christmas in such a splendid way, I would also suggest the Niederegger ones. I was lucky enough to be sent one last year and we thoroughly enjoyed it. At £25 or £35 for a 300 or 500g one respectively, you will have the most divine marzipan and pralines to discover throughout Advent.
And talking of Divine, the Divine Advent Calendar, available from Oxfam, or Waitrose, is still - in my opinion - THE one to buy for youngsters or oneself if Advent has religious significance for you. Available in milk or dark, it actually features a nativity scene! The chocolate is FairTrade and very good indeed. And at £5 it is stonkingly good value!
Twickenham & Richmond Tribune