Advent Calendars That Aren’t Sh*t Chocolate

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I’m going to take a quick break from politics to talk about something I care about just as intensely.

Anyone who has been around me for any length of time knows that I love Christmas. I love the lights, I love the music, I love the charity work, I love the cheesy movies, I love the cookies. Everything about it pleases me immensely.

But one thing I really love? Giving people presents. And advent calendars are a really nice way to do that, with little presents all month long making December a little more fun. If you normally dislike the holidays, or find yourself cynical about it, gift yourself an advent calendar. Consider it a reward for making it through each day.

The one issue is that in the US, where we don’t really do advent calendars so much, we’re often stuck with really shitty paper calendars with even worse, waxy milk chocolate. No longer! Here’s some suggestions on advent calendars you’ll actually be excited about.

24 Days of Beard Treats
Let’s be honest, every advent calendar on this list is sraight out of hipster heaven. But this one, with tiny vials of beard oil, scented with everything from fresh cut grass to leather to steel, really takes the cake. It’s practical, though, especially for bearded folks who travel.

Ciate Mini Mani Month
These tiny nail polishes allow you to sample a bunch of different colours and techniques without committing to the full size deal, which is great! The small size does mean they tend to dry out faster, so consider some nail polish revitalizer if these polishes might be sticking around.

The Whisky Advent Calendar
Fuck cheapo milk chocolate — how about a taste of some real holiday cheer in the form of expensive whisky? Each year has a different collection to help you get through all your wrapping with the company of some good spirits. Not into whisky? They also have gin, tequila, rum… basically every type of booze, including a premium version of the whisky one.

The LEGO Advent Calendar
Available in both a city and Star Wars iteration, this is a great calendar for people who like to fidget with something at work. Who doesn’t like LEGO? Just don’t forget to pick them up after — no one likes stepping on these plastic blocks!

Christmas Beer Advent
While perhaps lacking in the specific holiday/winter beer categories, this advent calendar is great for those who enjoy good German beers. What’s more holiday feeling than that? After all, the Christmas tree comes from a German tradition.

​Artful Tea Advent
Winter is the perfect season for getting cosy. What’s more cosy than a steaming hot cuppa? This calendar offers up 24 numbered tea bags with different flavours of tea from an independent tea shop, in a nice assortment from black to green to herbal.

Lovehoney’s Big Box of Sexual Happiness
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t offer up a sex toy advent calendar. Lovehoney’s offering isn’t filled with expensive leather, but it’s got some cute supplies for the couple who might enjoy a bit of spanking, and it’s not intimidating. There’s also masturbation toys for penises and clits, which is nice.

Moonstruck’s Truffle Advent Calendar
Finally, if you just have to have chocolate as your countdown treat? Moonstruck is an excellent chocolate company based in Portland. With 24 luxurious truffles to soften the blow, it’ll be a little bit easier when you finally lose “Little Drummer Boy” while running errands.

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Professional Bleeding Heart. Sick & Tired. Patronize me: Image by @mayakern

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