Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sayonara 2022! The Best, Most OTT Advent Calendars to See the Year Out

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Looking for the best advent calendar NZ has to offer? We have THE BEST of the best, the most lavish of the lavish and the most ridiculous of them all! Enjoy!

When things hit the fan a few years ago and, despite the fact we were having to watch our pennies (the joy of being made redundant during a pandemic!), there was one thing we decided was worth splashing out on: an insane advent calendar.

The sheet fact that another year was over, and we were still here, meant we were no longer going to buy another one of those supermarket advent calendars filled with little chocolates that taste like the cheap cardboard that encases them.

Nope, it was time to invest in a crazy advent calendar.

Each year the offerings get bigger and crazier and better, so we’ve compiled the best of the best, the most ridiculous of the ridiculous, the most OTT of them all.

And here they are in no particular order, the most glorious advent calendars money can buy in 2022:

Let there be light!

The Capsule team is truly a team of dedicated candle fans, so this one is IDEAL. She’s expensive, but so delightful. Presented in a dazzling foiled tartan gift box, inside you’ll find mini versions of 24 of Glasshouse’s most indulgent products – and there’s a little bit of something from each fragrance family. Amongst the goodies you’ll find treats in your fave Glasshouse Fragrances (and special limited edition seasonal ones) including 30g Soy Candles, 5ml Eau de Parfums, 50ml Hand Creams, 50ml Body Lotions, a 60g Soy Candle, as well as money can’t buy gifts: a 1.8ml Lip Balm, 10ml Room Fragrance and 3 ornaments in animal prints. It’s a no-brainer gift for those who live for fine fragrance, or a clever way to discover new fragrance as a gift to self.

Glasshouse Fragrances 24 Days Of Christmas Advent Calendar, $279, Glasshouse Fragrances

It’s a chocolate advent calendar… but not as you know it!

If you’re still after a little chocolate treat advent calendar, but want something that’s a serious step up from the regular cardboard tasting ones, this one is for you! From Honest Chocolat, this 24 day calendar is oh so cute, and includes treats that are allergy friendly (but still insanely delicious, you wouldn’t even notice!) Each numbered house has an Honest Chocolat treat that is gluten free, vegan, soy free, palm oil free, organic and ethically sourced. Sign us up!

Decadent Christmas Advent Calendar $63, Available from Honest Chocolat

Feel Good Surprises…

When I was 19, I spent a summer working in Los Angeles, and one of my three jobs was at The Body Shop. Christmas was on the way, so all you could smell was Cranberry and Spiced Vanilla (the best) and the mall was HUMMING and it was the best of times – plus, my line manager had started dating Rod Stewart’s son. She talked about it so much during my job interview that I wondered if it was actually a job requisite to be dating a quasi-celebrity. When I mentioned that Rachel Hunter was from New Zealand she looked at me as though I had grown horns. She had never heard that name before.

Anyhoo! Now, often when i think about Christmas I can smell those iconic Body Shop scents (or the chemical smell of fake snow from my other job at Abercrombie & Fitch). I’m a little sad that there are no festive flavours in this advent calendar (hopefully they’ll have the range available in store come December though! But I’m not at all disappointed to read that instead this calendar has a strong focus on giving back and supporting Community Fair Trade.

Amongst all the goodies you’ll find a couple of Body Butters, enriched with handcrafted Community Fair Trade shea butter from Ghana, for nourishing dry skin with 96hr moisture. You’ll also discover their mini, skin-tingling Himalayan Charcoal and energising Nicaraguan Coffee face masks. 

With every Box of Wonders, you’ll also find little facts about The Body Shop’s Community Fair Trade partners or an act of kindness, so you can share some wonder and joy with your friends, family and community. You can even reuse the pop-ups as gift tags, and the drawers are great for storing crafts and other little bits and bobs, long after Christmas. 

There are actually two to choose from, a smaller one – A Box of Wishes Advent Calendar ($180 – $256.35 value) and a Box of Wonders Big Advent Calendar ($260 – $376.65 value!). Plus, each calendar supports The Body Shop’s global partners in India and Ghana with fair and regular income opportunities!

Box of Wishes, Box of Wonders, from $180 available at The Body Shop

Cheers to that!

If you know someone who loves a craft beer at the end of a busy day, they will likely lose their Christmas mind over this one. It’s made up of 25 (yes, you get a special Christmas Day beer too!) craft beers, fresh from independent craft breweries – particularly the local, unique and small ones. The beers span the spectrum of styles but there’s a large selection based on popular hoppy styles like IPA and pale ale. Cheers!

The Craft Beer Advent Calendar, $239.99 by The Beer Library


Get Happy Feet…

Treat your feet to 24 days of festive joy, with this cute advent calendar from Happy Socks. Each day there’s a new Christmas themed pair of cotton socks to don for the day. It comes in two size options – 36-40 or 41-46 – and will be sure to brighten your December.

24 Days Of Holiday Socks Gift Set 24-Pack, $384, Available from Happy Socks.

Bathe in Christmas…

Emma and I once talked to a woman who worked for Lush who explained that her job had been to go to another country and immerse herself in their Christmas markets/celebrations/traditions/spirit and come back to report to the group – who also each went to a different location, and that from there they would work out which new creations to make for their Christmas collection. To this day, I simply have not heard of a better job. In short, Lush knows how to do Christmas well. And this calendar is total OTT Christmas indulgence and I need one. There are 25 treats – most of them full sized and Christmas themed, from one of my faves – the Gingerbread House Bubble Bar to the Christmas Party bath bomb, and a 50g Sleepy Body Lotion (to make sure you get your zzzzz’s). This is just the kind of OTT thing we all need in 2022.

Lush Advent Calendar, $422, Lush


Suits me to a T…

Tea lovers rejoice, here is the calendar for you! Sip your way to Xmas as you sample 24 teas, from old favourites to new friends to scrumptious festive blends. All presented in a beautiful calendar, there are two options available: teabags or loose leaf.

T2 Advent Calendar, $50, from T2

A Christmas toast!

As soon as I saw this advent calendar I wanted to add it to cart. It’s a beautiful designed box, with 24 little doors, each containing fun-sized piccolo bottles. Mini sized products are one of my favourite things, and the idea of 24 little bottles of wines fills me with joy. There are 23 187ml bottles of wine (including bestselling Aussie Shiraz and top NZ Sauvignon Blanc) plus one 375ml bottle of Italian Prosecco to share on Christmas Eve.

NZ Wine Advent Calendar 2022 $160 from Laithwaites


Start each day right…

If your morning routine isn’t complete without a cup of coffee, add a bit of something extra special to your morning routine with this truly beautiful calendar from the good folks at Nespresso. Behind each door is a different coffee, including three co-created with renowned architect of taste Pierre Hermes, as well as a little extra for the 24th day. Make your morning coffee an extra treat by taking some time out for yourself to sit and enjoy a special brew in the lead up to Christmas!

Nespresso Advent Calendar, $89, available from November 15 at Nespresso.


Screw it, it’s been a hell of a year – take all of my money!!

If your year has been utter hell and you’d like to throw money at something totally indulgent and OTT, look no further. I don’t know if it’s just me, but something about mini-size beauty products make me lose my mind a little. Besides the, aw-that’s-cute factor, they’re so handy to pop in your bag, purse or when you’re travelling. This advent calendar has an OTT white and gold box adorned with gold leaves – you can feel extra good about it though because it is a plastic-free gift box, made of 100% cardboard sourced from sustainably managed forests. Inside you’ll find 24 surprises – 17 minis, 6 full sizes and 1 gift. And, maybe it’s a steal after all, because it’s actually valued at $945??

YSL Yves Saint Laurent Advent Calendar, $449, available from


Or, pull out the big guns for a truly shitty year…

If 2022 was the year you got divorced, your dog died, your bestie moved to Switzerland and now your boss says you can’t have time off to escape to Fiji – first of all, can we say we are truly sorry you’ve had such a rough time! (If it helps, have you looked at our diary section? Sometimes it can help to hear from other people who have gone through a horrific time too) Second of all, the good news is your annus horribilis is SO nearly over!

And, if you’re looking for somewhere extreme to channel that Fiji money, look no further, because THIS is the advent calendar that we have all been drooling over.

Straight up, you need to know the price – it is more than SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS. But it is a thing of beauty.

In a deep black, it combines all the shades of the night and is adorned with a dazzling Milky Way. Each day corresponds to a new constellation, vibrant with stars and dancing letters, each one revealing a new diptyque treasure, in full or discovery size, to accompany the joyous anticipation of December. This year, for the first time, the Advent Calendar includes the three limited-edition Christmas scents: a small Sapin candle and miniature Neige and Étincelles candles.


Holiday Advent Calendar, $748, by diptyque.

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