As the festive season draws near, advent calendars add a sprinkle of joy and excitement, especially for the little ones eagerly ticking off the days until Christmas. Not just reserved for kids, advent calendars today have had a modern makeover, also treating adults to daily surprises like beauty products, gourmet treats, or even fine spirits.
While these surprise filled boxes are part and parcel of many households at Christmas time, it’s worth peeling back the not-so-jolly layers of our holiday celebrations so that we can choose a way of celebrating that brings both joy to us and the planet.
The truth is, waste generated at Christmas goes up 30 per cent compared to the rest of the year and in the UK alone, an estimated 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging is discarded during the festive period, that’s the equivalent in weight to 15,000 adult elephants. All that excess packaging and single-use items add up.
Thankfully, for those of you who want to keep the holiday spirit alive while being mindful of our planet, eco-friendly advent calendars are available, ensuring the countdown to Christmas is not only fun but waste-free.
The Fun One: Lush Christmas Buds Advent Calendar
Welcome to a vegan wonderland! Unveil the magic behind each of the twenty-five doors in this thoughtfully crafted advent calendar featuring bubble bars, melts and bath bombs. Each day reveals beauty surprises from the Candy Cane reusable bubble bar to the comforting Butterbear bath bomb and the enchanting Toby’s Magic Cow bath bomb. Exclusive treats like the Snowman Bubbleroon bubble bar and the Neon Sunset Fun make this calendar extra special.
The eco-friendly details including a ribbon made from 100 per cent recycled polyester and a box crafted from 100 per cent recycled board, make this a guilt-free celebration for a sustainable holiday season. You can keep the holiday spirit alive by using the box for future Christmases too.
,AED 695 – lush.com
The Reusable One: Dream of Christmas Kids Advent Calendar
Get ready for festive fun with this kid’s fabric advent calendar that harks back to traditional Christmases of old. Featuring an embroidered design on a cotton-linen background, this reusable calendar from Crate & Barrel has a charming cast of characters including animals, trees, snowmen, angels and bow-topped gifts. Fill the 25 numbered pockets with daily surprises, from vegan treats and wooden toys to handwritten notes with wintertime activities. With a cotton-linen blend and cotton cord for hanging, this eco-friendly calendar is perfect for ages 3 and up. Personalise it with a name for an additional fee and let the holiday excitement begin.
AED 335 crateandbarrel.me
Mum’s One: Dr Barbara Sturm Advent Calendar
December will be merry and bright when you peek behind each door of Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Advent Calendar. Featuring 24 transformative skincare treasures, including the fatigue-busting eye cream, rebalancing calming serum, hydrating hyaluronic serum and antioxidant-rich anti-pollution drops, mum will be thrilled unwrapping all these daily skincare delights.
Dr. Barbara Sturm prioritises both skin wellness and environmental responsibility, recently swapping plastic packaging for more sustainable materials like paper and glass, only using RSPO-certified palm oil, sourcing locally, never testing on animals and using CO2-neutral manufacturing processes like green electricity and eco-gas. Even Santa would approve of their eco credentials! Tis the season for skincare and sustainability.
AED 1,575 – cultbeauty.com
Tea Lover’s One: Newby 2023 Tea Advent Calendar, AED 735
Sip your way through December with the Newby 2023 Tea Advent Calendar – The Tea Palace. In vibrant hues of purple and gold inspired by the majestic Rajasthani palaces in India, each drawer will give tea lovers a daily treat, from classic Assam to the spicy kick of Masala Chai.
But the real magic is Newby’s association with the Ethical Tea Partnership, who ensure tea production is better, fairer, and eco-friendly. Their tea bags are fully biodegradable made from wood pulp and abaca and their silken pyramid bags are made from corn starch. So you can sip sustainably at your next festive tea party.
The Vegan One: Happi Christmas Vegan Advent Calendar
Vegans and vegetarians, rejoice, this 2023 advent calendar is specially crafted with gluten-free oat milk powder for that deliciously creamy goodness. Unwrap the joy of 24 individually wrapped Neapolitan-style chocolates. Perfect as early doors Christmas gifts, these advent calendars boast the best tasting free-from delights, made with high quality, single-origin, and fairtrade cacao. They are also 35 per cent lower in sugar than traditional dairy chocolate.
Plus, Happi’s packaging is100 per cent sustainable with biodegradable card packaging and recycled material trays.
The One That Gives Back: The Body Shop
Step into the festive spirit with The Body Shop’s trio of advent calendars. Choose the Box of Wishes with 24 treats, featuring best-selling face masks, body care, and beauty tools. For a more indulgent experience, the Big Advent Calendar offers 25 surprises designed to pamper you from head to toe. Finally, the Ultimate Advent Calendar is perfect for beauty lovers, featuring both new and iconic full-sized bestsellers.
Embrace the joy of the season while supporting smaller producers through The Body Shop’s beloved Community Fair Trade partners. Plus, they are reusable and recyclable too, so you can continue the change reaction long after the celebrations are over.
Dhs399 Box of Wishes, Dhs599 The Big Advent Calendar, Dhs849 Ultimate Advent Calendar, thebodyshop.ae
The Collectable One: Wedgewood 24-Piece Advent Calendar
Unveil a world of wonder with the Wedgwood Advent calendar that sees each drawer reveal 24 collectible blue and white porcelain ornaments. Hand-painted with extraordinary detail, these heritage pieces include timeless classics and new 2023 treasures—a fawn and snowman. Adorn your tree every year going forward with the Wedgwood Advent calendar fine bone china keepsakes. The 2023 edition comes in a beautifully crafted 17” high calendar, elegantly packaged in paper for generations to enjoy for years to come. A true Christmas family heirloom.
AED 3,378 selfridges.com