Hi and welcome back.
Nothing beats the countdown to Christmas. As it is now December, I feel it is safe to discuss Christmas. I love this time of the year. The magic, wonder and the times we come together with friends and family. When I was young, what I remember most about this time of year is the advent calendar. The extra treat every day after breakfast just enhanced the magic of this time of year. As I have grown up, this hasn’t changed. When I discovered I was a coeliac, I looked into alternatives. Here are my top picks for advent calendars this year so you can enjoy the festive fun too. I hope you enjoy. C. -x-
Chocolate; Heavenly Advent Calendar and Livia Kitchen
A chocolate advent calendar is such a classic option for young and old kids alike. Unfortunately, most of the main stream calendars contain gluten though there are more options on the market now than then when I was first diagnosed. While you can’t beat the Free From option from Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s, my absolute favourite this year is from a brand called Heavenly. I had the chance to meet the team when I visited the Allergy and Free From Show in London earliest this year and was blown away by how amazing their chocolate is. It is fair trade, gluten free and comes in such a wonderful array of flavours. I just couldn’t resist sampling them all. When I saw they had an Advent Calendar for 2019, I knew I had to pick it up. Trust me, it will not disappoint you.
If you don’t want the typical chocolate advent calendar then I would highly recommend Livia Kitchen Advent Calendar. I love all their tasty products and this advent calendar comes with 24 full-sized treats including the millionaire squares and nuggets that I am just obsessed with. At only £39.99 for the calendar, it is a big saving on their products.
If you don’t like chocolate or want a different advent calendar this year, there are still lots of options for the coeliac. If you love tea or coffee, I would highly recommend the Beanies coffee advent calendar or the English Tea Shop calendars that give a good variety of flavours. Personally, I was really excited to find the Jo and Seph’s Gormet Popcorn calendar this year and is something I know I would enjoy.
This is a relatively new advent calendar option but has grown in popularity massively over the last few years. With more people opting for beauty calendars too, the coeliac can feel less left out for picking this option. There are a range available to suit different interests, brands and prices. Last year I loved the Bomb Cosmetics advent calendar. A great alternative if you can’t use Lush products, this calendar comes in 2 options. Personally, I love the Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar with 24 doors with a range of soaps, bath bombs and bath creamers – just the indulgent treat you need. The Body Shop Advent Calendar is my top pick this year as it is against animal testing and are working with Plan International to campaign for the rights of young women and girls. They are also trying to reduce their plastic consumption too. If you love the Body Shop products, their calendars are a great way to get a good mix of samples for you to try.
Make your Own
I love this option. My nanny bought me a fabric calendar shortly before she died so it holds a lot of memories for me. I enjoy finding different products or treats to fill it with. This year, I asked my other half to buy a range of gluten free treats (I enjoy mini haribo packs or the Tesco’s gluten and dairy free chocolate coins) and also gave him a couple of nail polish and hand cream names I have wanted. He then fills the calendar so an extra treat for me. You could also fill it with small toys for young children or even Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree. If you are trying to reduce waste consumption, these are a great alternative to buying a new calendar each year. Or why not re-use this years calendar for a special treat next year?
Home and lifestyle
This advent calendar has grown in popularity over the last few years and comes in so many different options so there is one to suit everyone. From the advent calendar filled with 24 days of coffee (the Beanies advent calendar is gluten free), to candles (ranging from Ambipure to Diptique), to alcohol (the gin calendar has been on my wishlist for a while) you can enjoy the advent time without worrying about the chocolate containing gluten.
Calendars that give back
I had only heard of this advent calendar last year thanks to Niomi Smart. She purchased a calendar that donates its profits to 24 different charities and is such a thoughtful idea. The brand is Advent of Change and I just love knowing I am helping so many amazing charities. There are a range of options for calendars; depending on who you want to support. Personally, the calendar for children (which donates to Guide Dogs, National Deaf Childrens Society and Crisis UK) just spoke to me so strongly, I knew it was the one I wanted. Please have a look at their website to find your calendar.
If you are trying to reduce your waste consumption, Advent Calendars can seem like a wasteful option. For me, I have been trying to reduce my waste consumption so have been drawn to this idea. I have decided to take a hamper and every single day, I will add a new food item to the box. On Christmas Eve I will donate the box to a local homeless shelter. The Christmas season can be an intense struggle for some families so I would like to ease their burden a bit.
This year, I have opted for the Heavenly Chocolate Calendar and the Advent of Change Calendar. I hope this helps to show that advent calendars are still available for the coeliac. Enjoy the countdown to Christmas. Let me know which advent calendar you get by tagging me on Instagram using #livingcoeliac or by sharing your pictures directly to my Facebook page. My newsletter is live! Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any future content. Stay tuned for a new blog post every other day to celebrate the Christmas Season!