Alternative Advent Calendars: ‘‘The Pre-Christmas Present”

In the last few years, the alternative advent calendar trend has taken hold of the Christmas retail market. With influencer’s like Zoella opening multiple calendars everyday on her infamous ‘vlogmas’, and being seemingly surprised by her host of daily goodies, the pre-christmas present has been much desired by those seeking to elongate Christmas and deflect the winter blues. Zoella herself appears to annually have advent calendars ranging from Playmobil, (Really?! At 26?!), to Yankee candle to Charlotte Tilbury, (coming in at a whopping £150) – but is all this really necessary? It would appear to anybody caught in the throes of the Black Friday sales in the Trinity Centre that the commercial value of Christmas has somewhat exceeded the excitement of family time, food and traditional festivities. With beauty advent calendars usually beginning from around £25 (Sanctuary at Boots), they aren’t cheap.

The commodification of Christmas is something which has been much contested over the recent years. With the adoption of American tradition ‘Black Friday’, the countdown to Christmas has become more of a money spinner each year.

Untraditional advent calendars could be considered a gift in themselves,.Just the other week my mum asked if I’d rather forgo a Christmas morning stocking and have an advent calendar full of testers, most which I wouldn’t use, instead. In M&S we were offered an advent calendar for the ‘Bargain’ price of ‘just’ £35, (as opposed to £60) if we spent £200 or more in store that day. A bargain? I’d rather spend £3 on a regular calendar.

It’s time these crazy commercial ploys stopped. After all, as students, graduates and parents alike, can anybody really afford on the build up to Christmas to be quite so lavish? Ban the beauty, watch Home Alone and enjoy some time with your loved ones. After all, what does a miniature tea tree moisturiser have to do with Christmas anyway?

Meg Painter

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