Happy December 1st! I’ve been waiting for December for ages and I’m so happy it’s here. I love Christmas and we’ve got loads of exciting things to look forward to over the next coming weeks to keep the festive cheer in the family. One thing we have absolutely bought into this year is alternative advent calendars and like many children today Evie is really excited about opening up door number one on hers. This year she has two advent calendars, a regular chocolate one and the grand opening of her Smiggle advent calendar – I have to admit I’m really excited about this one too!
I’ve been doing a lot of research into alternative advent calendars to see what’s out there this year because I think it’s a nice gift to have throughout December but the market now seems absolutely crowded with advent calendars and I think the meaning is lost a little bit. I’ll admit I went overboard this year with Adam getting me the very glam and beautiful Charlotte Tilbury Naughty and Nice Magic box. It’s a beautiful box with beautiful products but I’ve opened it already because I got it for our anniversary. I haven’t really seen it as an advent calendar. It was pricey, but it was an incredibly lovely gift, and the makeup is brilliant quality.
I’ve also made sure each of us have two to open. Adam and I both have a Hotel Chocolat advent calendars (the kids ones – they looked more fun with the cute chocolate penguins) but they were both £8 each. I mean, I’m happy to pay that for good quality chocolate treats and because I’m an adult that earns money. Evie has a standard £2 calendar featuring My Little Pony – she’s very happy with that. The Smiggle advent calendar was gifted to us (and I’ll be talking about it in another post) which was incredible and is worth £35 on the Smiggle website. We haven’t opened it yet as we wanted Evie to enjoy a lovely little gift from her favourite shop and to be honest it’s a price I would justify paying for an extra gift knowing she would love it. I then took advantage of a sale on Superdrug with the Men Stuff £10 12 days of Christmas and paid half price for the Makeup Revolution Advent Calendar at just £25 – again, amounts I think are pretty okay for alternative advent calendars where I know we are all going to enjoy the products.
I really love all the beauty ones and I’d have them all if I could because they all look amazing and great value. You can grab 12 Benefit Minis for £35, a selection of Soap and Glory for £40 and the Makeup Revolution ones went down to half price which is a brilliant sale. The look fantastic calendar was worth £300 for £79 and I am super impressed with the luxury £150 Charlotte Tilbury Calendars. All of these brands are offering really great value for money, the calendars are presented really nicely and I feel people are generally happy with the products contained in the calendars.
What I don’t agree with and what I don’t understand is when people just jump on the bandwagon to make a load of money with absolutely no or really minimal value to the consumer. There are a couple of calendars out there that are just a little bit out there for the price and then there are ones that just kind blow your mind with how absolutely rubbish the content inside is. I recently watched a video unboxing the Zoella lifestyle advent calendar and it really annoyed me. Firstly, I’m so glad so many people opened it up right away so they could complain about the contents. What frustrates me the most is Superdrug in particular stock some really lovely Zoella products, she’s made some nice things, but for some reason didn’t want to include many of those in the advent calendar that she designed. I’m glad Boots reduced the price from £50 which just screams money grabbing but even at £25 it’s not worth it. I just think how can a beauty and lifestyle vlogger think her calendar is worth more than brands like Benefit…the products might be different but surely market research would have been done and a proper analysis of the products would have been made? What strikes me is that instead of giving a nice advent calendar to her followers of which she knew it would have had so many sales, they rip people off.
Are alternative advent calendars a way of ripping people off? It’s hard to say because there are so many lovely ones at decent prices. Some of them are a great way for you to try a selection of new products at a great value for money. There’s a lot of choice and they make nice gifts. They’re also great alternatives out there for those that don’t or can’t eat chocolate. However, it doesn’t mean it’s a chance to exploit people with products that just aren’t worth the money. I think a lot of brands have jumped onto this as a great way to make more money during black friday sales and the lead up to Christmas, however, the product still needs to be great value for money and I think anyone attempting to sell an advent calendar during this time should include their own branded products rather than a mix of random items and a few product mini’s. I found this video unboxing the Zoella advent calendar highly entertaining and really does show how shocking the contents were – it’s a bit sweary, but then, the calendar in question is a bit shit.