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Image: Tina Tiller
Image: Tina Tiller

SocietyNovember 26, 2021

New Zealand’s 20 best advent calendars, ranked

Image: Tina Tiller
Image: Tina Tiller

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: advent calendar time. 

After one hell of a year, it’s nearly December, which means it’s nearly time to buy a new Christmas advent calendar. A good advent calendar is a daily drip feed of joy, each tiny present acting as a warm up to the big event on December 25th, and a true highlight of the festive season.

This year, however, the advent calendar is a well-deserved reward for enduring another 24 hours in this hellscape that history will lovingly refer to as “2021”. You’ve earned the right to start opening presents immediately, so we opened every flap on the internet to find 20 of the best and worst advent calendars available, just for you. Good things come in small packages, so let’s rip into them.

20) Warheads Advent Calendar with Sour Gummies ($6.00)

We wish you a merry sourmas (Photo: The Warehouse)

These look grim, but paying six bucks for 24 days of entertainment is great value for money. A fittingly sour end to a sour year.

19) Roblox Advent Calendar 2021 ($74.00)

Instead of your kids talking about Roblox 24/7, now they can talk about this expensive Roblox advent calendar 24/7. Blessings and good tidings to you all.

18) Funko The Office Pocket Pop Advent Calendar ($109.99)

This product comes with no description, which means opening this every morning in December will be a surprise for everyone, including the The Office characters themselves.

17) Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar ($12.00)

A block of your finest, my good fellow (Photo: The Warehouse)

The perfect gift for the drum-playing gorilla you got stuck with for Secret Santa.

16) Mestige Advent Calendar with Festive Charm Bracelet featuring Swarovski Crystals ($79.99) 

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me an Ezibuy catalogue.

15) Christmas House Chocolate Advent Calendar ($24.00)

Flaps have never been more festive, and this house has 24 of them. Someone alert Jacinda, we just found the answer to the housing crisis.

16) Lego Friends Advent Calendar ($54.00)

Help, these tiny children are trapped in a box (Photo: The Warehouse)

Filled with cute plastic pieces that represent those much-loved and traditional symbols of Christmas, like a robot and a blender.

13) Dr Hauschka Advent Calendar ($175.90)

Apparently Dr Hauschka was an Austrian chemist, but are you even a doctor if you’ve never been on Shortland Street? Anyway, this box of 24 “self-care experiences” will have you singing the praises of medical science while exfoliating your way to the new year, which is exactly what the doctor ordered.

12) Any of the budget A3 advent calendars with little squares of chocolate ($2.00 and up) 

Nice (Photo: The Warehouse)

Cheap as chips, an absolute classic, won’t hear a word against them.

11) Smiggle Beauty Advent Calendar 2021 ($49.99)

Embrace your true unicorn self this Christmas with this Smiggle calendar stuffed full of nail polishes, hair chalks and lip glosses. It’s probably for kids, but why should those little shits have all the fun? Bath confetti knows no age, bitches.

10) Happy Socks 12 Day Advent Calendar ($169.95)

Imagine the hilarity when you turn up to work every second day in December wearing a brand new pair of socks. “Show us your ankles!” your colleagues will scream, feverish in anticipation and envy dripping from every pore. Who knew it was this easy to win hearts and minds? Happy socks, indeed.

9) 24 Reasons to Smile Teabag Edition Advent Calendar 2021 ($50.00)

Smile (Photo: T2)

Twenty-four tea bags in 24 days. What are you, an athlete? With names like “Go Go Goa”, “Packs a Peach” and “Sticky Date Delight”, these teabags will bring wacky vibes to your December cuppas. For those who prefer loose leaf tea, there’s a calendar for you too, you absolute animals.

8) Lindt Advent Calendar ($21.90)

Chocolate. Smooth. Delicious.

7) Yves Saint Laurent Advent Calendar ($449.00)

All that glitters is gold (Photo: Farmers)

This comes “adorned with gold leaves”, presumably plucked from a gold forest that also contains the money tree you’ll need to afford this festive almanac. Can you put a price on 24 little lipsticks and perfumes that make you feel like you too have been adorned with gold leaves? Yes you can, and that price is $449.

6) Kuwi the Kiwi Christmas 3D Advent Puzzle ($19.99)

Step away from the sugar and release your inner child with this 3D puzzle from the award-winning Kuwi the Kiwi series of books. Build the cardboard tree and each day pop out a new piece to create a New Zealand Christmas summer scene. Delightful.

5) Le Marche Cheesy Advent Calendar ($89.60)

Cheese (Photo: Le Marche)

Finally, your chance to channel Kath Day-Knight and enjoy your own statue of The Little Baby Cheeses. This is a wondrous 24 day journey into Cheeseland, with tiny cheeses from around the world to fondle and unwrap each day. You can probably eat them too, if that’s what you’re into.

4) Scratchvent Calendar ($29.95)

This calendar wants us to scratch off Christmas baubles to reveal fun and life enriching experiences to do each day until Christmas. It sounds exhausting – someone pass me the box of cheese – but apparently some people enjoy living their lives in this worthy and fulfilling manner. I tip my wedge of Brie to you and bid you good day.

3) Reefton Distilling Company Advent Calendar ($399.99)

Crack into the spirit of Christmas with two dozen bottles of hand crafted small batch gin and liqueurs. Tiny bottles go clink, clink, clink, which everyone knows is music to Santa’s ears.

2) Bonne Maman Advent Calendar ($75.00)

Just 24 wee jars of jam, standing in front of a Lego robot and blender, asking them to love her.

1) The Beer Library Craft Beer Advent Calendar ($199.99)

After 25 cans of beer everything will look this fuzzy (Photo: The Beer Library)

Life should be simple, and nothing is more straightforward than beer in a box. This advent calendar contains 25 cans of beer from a variety of independent New Zealand craft breweries, and three people gave it a five star review. You can’t go wrong.

Keep going!