If you are anything like me, advent calendars are one of the best things about the holiday season and the lead up to Christmas Day. As a kid my parents always made sure my brother and I had an advent calendar each, although they were just the basic and typical chocolate advent calendars. As a kid I didn't care and it guaranteed me a chocolate every day all the way up to Christmas, something fun to look forward to each day, searching for the right window to open and seeing what kind/shape of chocolate was behind that window. As an adult I still have that excitement and joy leading up to Christmas day, even though it's much more stressful as an adult and parent than it ever was as a child LOL. Times are changing though and just a typical "cheap" chocolate advent calendar doesn't quite cut it anymore. Plus, as a parent, I'm always up for a less sugary version of things as the kids get enough junk and sweets this time of year. From Halloween to the New Year tit's nothing but treats and junk LOL. When our kids got to an age where they could appreciate and enjoy something beyond a little tiny chocolate, hubby and I started searching out alternative advent calendars and we've come across some pretty awesome ones along the way...and they're not all only for kids either!!! ;)
So if you're ready for it, here's my top recommendations for fun and alternative advent calendars this holiday season.
First and foremost we have the LEGO Star Wars calendar. We have purchased this for the boys every year ever since they started playing with LEGO. We're big Star Wars fans here so we choose this version over their regular LEGO City calendar and we thoroughly enjoy the fun little holiday twist they put on the Star Wars mini figures. We've collected the special mini figures over the years and we display them as part of our Christmas decorating. It makes for a fun collection since the Christmas characters cannot be purchased outside of the calendar so it's a nice little limited edition type of thing. This calendar is enjoyable for our whole family! Again, they do have a LEGO City version if you're not into Star Wars and they also have a LEGO Friends version for those of you who have girls in your family (I was only blessed with boys so no LEGO Friends in this house LOL). The LEGO City & Friends calendars retail for $39.99 CAD each whereas the Star Wars version retails for $49.99 CAD.
And something super exciting which I believe is brand new from LEGO this year...HARRY POTTER!!! Which retails for $49.99 CAD.
We found a new advent calendar for the kids this year in addition to the usual LEGO Star Wars calendar. Hubby came across a Funko Pop Marvel edition on Amazon and we didn't hesitate to order it. It has arrived and it is in our hot little hands, however, as it is not December 1st yet we have not opened it so I cannot comment on the items inside.
The Marvel calendar retails on Amazon.ca for $76.98 CAD. I see that Funko Pop also has Harry Potter and Fortnite versions of this calendar, retailing for $72.94 CAD & $57.39 CAD, respectively.
Brand new to us last year, and soon to be ours again this year, is the SQUISH Candies 24 Days of Candy advent calendar. If you've followed me for any length of time over the last year to year-and-a-half you know my (and my mini) love of SQUISH!! We found out last holiday season that they did an advent calendar and I did not hesitate to pick one up! I haven't picked up my calendar for this year just yet but you best believe I will be very very soon! SQUISH offers their main selection version which includes regular and vegan candies as well as a vegan-only selection.
The regular selection includes: vegan matcha alligator, pina colada, prosecco bears, rainbow bears, vegan rainbow belts, red roses, sour peach hearts, sparkling roses, strawberry rhubarb, sweet yogurt cups, unicorn love, wine o'clock, magic mushrooms, banana orange, brain freeze, brains, chilli ginger hearts, classic black liquorice, cola bottles, and frogs. The vegan selection includes: vegan sour wine o'clock, vegan avocado dreaming, vegan strawberry apple belts, vegan dino sours, vegan aloha, vegan blue raspberry belts, vegan sour strawberry belts, vegan cola belts, vegan sour rainbow bears, vegan kiss kiss, vegan flamingle, vegan magic, vegan frosted rhubarb-berry, vegan prosecco bears, vegan magic dragons, and vegan pink lemonade fizz. Both the regular and vegan calendars retail for $39 CAD each.
If you haven't tried or heard anything about SQUISH before, check out the taste test video I did with my munchkin a couple months back: SQUISH Candy Mommy & Son Taste Test.
Another fun and festive calendar option is always the David's Tea 24 Days of Tea advent calendar.
This calendar retails for $40 CAD but currently you can get TWO for $59 CAD or bundle the calendar and their Sparkle & Pop Nordic Mug for $49 CAD. Each box within the calendar holds two portions of tea.
Another calendar I have personally enjoyed a few times over the last few years is the NYX Cosmetics Greatest Hits Lip advent calendar. The theme for this year's is Love Lust Disco and the packaging looks absolutely phenomenal!
This calendar retails for $65 CAD and includes everything from Butter Gloss to Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in a stunning selection of berries, nudes, pinks, and reds.
Another simply fun and festive calendar is the Denver Hayes 12 Days of Socks advent calendar. They have a women's and men's version each with 12 fun pairs of holiday crew socks. These are available from Mark's and retail for $39 CAD each. This is the first year for hubby and I with these calendars so I can't speak to the quality or designs of the actual socks yet but we love fun socks all year round so we're pretty pumped about this!
I could continue going on and on listing various other advent calendars but I wanted to keep these recommendations to ones that I or my family have actually experienced and purchased. That being said, please PLEASE let me know about any advent calendars you have purchased or received so I can continue to grow this list and expand my Christmas countdown fun! If you're looking to purchase any of these or find out more information, I have linked each photograph to where you can purchase them from.
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