We have spent the last 4 weeks testing this year’s Best Advent Calendars for the whole family – it has been a tough job, really it has! Gone are the days of a cardboard door with a pretty picture behind it. Nowadays children and adults alike (and even pets) have an expectation of a gift behind each door. Is this a good or a bad thing? We don’t think so if we are being completely honest with ourselves.
Alcoholic Advent Calendars
We are not going to lie, but we have really enjoyed testing these and have picked the best of the best to share with you.
Gin Advent Calendar – Craft Gin Club – RRP – £89.99
When it comes to gin, we know that there are a lot of gin-based calendars on the market but our personal favourite this year has to be the one from the subscription-based company, The Craft Gin Club. Renowned for introducing gin lovers to some of the more obscure but equally delicious gins from around the world, this year’s calendar certainly does not disappoint. We love the fact that you actually get 25 miniature bottles of gin (we all know that tonic is important but it’s the gin we are really after) and each bottle is a double measure. This is the perfect advent calendar for the gin-aholic who wants to taste a variety of different gins without buying a full sized bottle each time.
Cocktail Advent Calendar – Tapp’d – RRP £39.99 (on offer at £29.99 at time of publication)
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a few cocktails so this was an area that we had to investigate. No more mixing your own cocktails (with the variable results you are bound to get), why not leave it to the experts? We discovered (and tasted, we have to admit) the Christmas Countdown Cocktail Box from Tapp’d. OK so it’s not strictly an Advent Calendar but we had to squeeze it in. Available from the popular online shopping site, Yumbles, at less than £40 (we found it on offer for £29.99) not only does it make an excellent choice for something a little different but we thought it was excellent value for money. Here at Mumii, we certainly don’t recommend things without testing them and so of course we tested the cocktails – all of them in fact. The team decided that the Pornstar Martini knocked the socks off the one we had in a posh London bar recently which was an accolade in its own right.
Coffee Advent Calendars
The Mumii Office is full of coffee fans so we have relished testing these over the last few weeks – two made the grade and in all honesty we struggled to select a favourite so had to include both of them in our guide to the best advent calendars available this year.
Coffee Advent Calendar – Pact Coffee – RRP £29.99
If, like us, your day has to start with a coffee, then why not do it in style with a different coffee every day throughout Advent? If you are a coffee fan then we can highly recommend the Pact Coffee Advent Calendar. Over the last few weeks we have tried each and every single one of the coffees and have not been disappointed – seriously, not by a single day! The office has been filled with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee (perhaps needed after the cocktail tasting we have been doing). One of the things that really struck us about this coffee-based option was that each sachet came with some information about the coffee – it was literally a trip around 7 different countries but without hanging around in airports or getting jet lag. If you are a coffee fan and want to try something different to the usual supermarket offerings then this is the one for you!
Coffee Advent Calendar – Chimney Fire Coffee – RRP £45
The first thing that you notice when you unpack this advent calendar is the smell (in a good way) – close your eyes and you can imagine that you have walked into the most wonderful coffee shop – it really is divine. As opposed to a coffee sample each day, this is based around the 12 days of Christmas – 12 days of discovering coffee. Sounds good to us! The coffee has been tried and tested by the team and a personal favourite of mine was the one from Zambia – the tasting notes suggest that there are hints of Marmalade within it and I can report that there really are – absolutely delicious!
Food Advent Calendar
There are so many food advent calendars around at the moment that we decided to pick something a little different – certainly no chocolate this year!
Spices Advent Calendar – Just Spices – RRP £45.49 (on offer at £34.99 at time of publication)
If you like tasty food and enjoy cooking then this advent calendar was made with you in mind. Behind each door is a sachet containing one of their very own natural spice blends although when we get to the big day, there is a pot rather than an individual sachet. Included are also the recipes to make life super simple. Now our office really is made up of foodies and we have had great fun cooking for each other over the last few weeks. The spices really have been used to enhance the food on offer at lunchtime (thank goodness for the microwave, we can’t confess to cooking a full meal in the middle of the day). The firm favourite has been the seasoning for chips (so simple to enhance boring chips) with the Avocado topping coming a very close second.
Toy Advent Calendar
The market is littered with toy advent calendars this year which made picking our favourites very tricky indeed but we managed it. Based on parental preferences, which our panel of bite-sized testers and a teacher preferred, we came up with a shortlist so hopefully something to suit even the most picky of children.
Dinosaur Advent Calendar – Schleich – RRP £29.99
When it comes to kids you really can’t go wrong with dinosaurs and we are certainly big fans in our house. When it comes to plastic toys you really can’t get any better quality than the Schleich range – they last for years, generations even. The Schleich Dinosaur Advent Calendar is quite frankly one of the best of toy-based calendars we have seen for a long time largely due to the quality of the contents, enough to engage any dinosaur fan each morning in the run up to Christmas.
Playmobil Advent Calendar – Wiltopia – RRP – £39.99
Playmobil have been producing advent calendars for years and are a firm favourite in many households. However in a world where parents are becoming more and more aware about the sheer amount of plastic their children own, this one is a little bit different. Yes the contents are plastic BUT the big difference is that they are made from 80% sustainable materials! We know that children on the whole really don’t care about this, but as parents we do. However, the contents are fabulous and Wiltopia takes your child on a journey around the world to discover the animals from different countries – firm favourites as tested by our 7 year old were the pink flamingo, the kangaroo and joey plus the red panda.
Craft Advent Calendar
We had such fun testing these but there was a clear winner as voted for by children and parents alike.
Art Advent Calendar – Little Brian – RRP £14.99
We have been fans of Little Brian Paint Sticks for many years here at Mumii and so were thrilled to see that they have an Advent Calendar this year. Paint sticks are a wonderful creation and I have used them for years with my children so I am recommending them from experience. In fact if you haven’t discovered painsticks then you are seriously missing out! The advent calendar is an ideal way for your little one to build up their collection (and to produce you a ‘beautiful’ piece of art on a daily basis – just make sure you have enough room to stick these to your fridge of course as not only do you get a Paintstick gift each day but there are also Christmas themed A3 posters to colour in and decorate. At £14.99, we think that this is a great option for arty kids!
Eco friendly Advent Calendar
At a time when we are surrounded by the commerciality of Christmas, we want to look at those Advent calendars that we could use year on year – perhaps they could be passed from one generation to another.
Refillable Advent Calendar – Lime Tree London – RRP £42.50
We can only describe this calendar as absolutely stunning and perfect for those parents who care about interior decor as this was certainly designed and executed with this in mind. We love the idea of being able to add your own daily gifts – the ability to ‘mix it up’ and add chocolate one day, maybe a voucher for a day out another or an invitation to go and see Santa himself. All you need is a splash of imagination and the Lime Tree London Advent Calendar Envelope Bunting can come out year after year and be passed from generation to generation.
Advent Calendar for your Pooch
Who says that Advent Calendars are just for humans? In our office, every single member has a dog and so we were adamant that they should not miss out this Christmas.
Dog Advent Calendar – JR Premium Turkey and Venison Advent Calendar for Dogs – RRP £14.99
Now the only way to really test an advent calendar for dogs is to let them taste the contents – three dogs trialled these for us and this was a firm favourite – wagging tails all around! As responsible dog owners we loved the fact that the treats were pure venison and turkey and not full of grain as seems popular in some advent calendars for dogs we have seen.
So this is our round up of the best advent calendars for the whole family (including your pet pooch!) 2022 We can hand on heart say that everything has been tried and tested.
Happy Advent Calendar Shopping!