Satirical Christian website Ship of Fools doesn’t seem to be repeating its 2014 Badvent Calendar survey – its bid to find “the calendar furthest away from the original Christmas story,” “the calendar most likely to make the Baby Jesus cry”.
If it suddenly jumps into action, here are our nominations for the Top Eleven baddest, maddest calendars out there in 2015.
1. [Enclosed] advent holiday knickers
An admirer keeps sending you underwear in the post. Do you a) apply for a restraining order or b) realise that, no, this is not an expression of stalker-like creepiness, but a daily delivery of “Panties, the Perfect Christmas Season Advent Gift”. A whopping $1,000, yes $1,000, will but you 24 pairs of pants, one for every day before Christmas. You can pick them yourself or get the staff to choose them, based on your loved one’s skin type and a host of other factors. You can also add a personalised message – or if you are the strong, silent (i.e. inarticulate) type, “the elves at [Enclosed] can help you write that too.”
If, for some weird reason, the gift ends up sending the wrong message and tensions rise to the surface over the Christmas table, you can always opt for [Enclosed]’s divorce package.
[Enclosed] – $1,000 plus who knows what for p&p
2. The Ann Summers Sexy Advent Calendar
Santa’s back – and this time his modesty is protected by a rather prickly sprig of holly berries.
3. Christmas Beard Oil Advent Calender
In the build-up to baby Jesus’ birthday, make your beard smell of tobacco, then leather, then fresh cut grass. Useful if your nativity play features three hipster kings.
4. Beer Advent Calendar
“Remember the childhood excitement of opening a new advent window every morning and the anticipation of enjoying what was hidden behind it?” reads the advertising material … OK, this actually looks quite good. Order soon. Apparently last year, this sold out by November.
Or you could save money and got for this option.
ohhh this might just be the advent calendar for me pic.twitter.com/hpQ2cvopC2
— soph (@everlonggggg) October 28, 2015
5. The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar
Step up a gear in the alcoholic advent stakes with the most expensive calendar that we have found. The 24 drams include “a 60-year-old single malt whisky (one of the oldest in the world), and whisky worth over £2,000 per bottle”. Yours for £999.95. More for the kings than the shepherds among you.
Master of Malt offers lots of other less expensive packages, featuring gin, bourbon, other whiskies, rum, cognac, tequila, vodka, armagnac and absinthe – yes, absinthe.
6. Beauty newbies
The luxury goods industry has piled into the advent market this year. Many of the companies involved betray their newby status by going up to December 25. School
boygirl error. Offerings include, in price order:
The Technic: Cosmetic Calendar Party Shoes – £14.20
Complete with oh-so convincing five-star customer review on Amazon – “This was well packaged. My Niece will love opening this in December.”
The Lush “Sleeps ‘Til Christmas” spinning calendar – £29.95
Innovative packaging. Six objects. Rather creepy Peeping Santa bubble bar.
The Yankee Candle advent carousel – £31.99
A carousel not a calendar as it only comes with eight medium-sized scented candles. “Fragrances included are: Bundle Up, Candy Cane Lane, Icicles, Spiced Orange, Snowflake Cookie and Winter Glow Tealights.”
No7 25 Days of Beauty Wonders Advent Calendar – £38
24 Days of Beauty Wonders would have been so much more appropriate.
Charbonnel et Walker Chocolate Advent Calendar – £55
Twenty-five little chocolate boxes.
The Clarins Advent Calendar – £60
“Open the door to an enchanted forest, infinitely precious, and discover 24 treasures hidden behind golden leaves. Day by day, open a window and be spoiled with a special Clarins treat.” Infinitely precious? Seriously? You fall for this kind of stuff?
The Body Shop beauty advent calendar – £60
Satisfyingly neat little boxes.
The Suzanne Kauffman bath oils and salts advent calendar – €85 (jut over £60)
“The pre-Christmas period can also sometimes be pretty stressful. There is a remedy to cure it…”
Kérastase hair care calendar – £80
Should you really wash your hair 24 times in the run up to Christmas?
The 2015 Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar – £149
Classy packaging. Contents, they say, worth more than £400.
The Diptyque candle calendar – £250
That much for candles? Four candles? Fork handles? Not out yet.
7. Playmobil Christmas Advent Calendar Unicorn Fairyland
“With great extra surprise!”, the packaging promises. And that surprise is … the baby Jesus is a unicorn. Other toy-based advent calendars stray miles away from the original Christmas story – and that is OK. They are toys. The Lego Star Wars one – with CP30 as Santa and R2D2 as Rudolph – looks quite fun. But this one makes the list because of the unsettling way it tries to echo the crib scene, with a fairy queen, prince and princess and a menagerie of magical animals taking on the main parts. Are the rabbits the shepherds, or are the represented by the tapir? I’m guessing the peacock is one of the wise men. Playmobil is partly exonerated by its decent nativity and epiphany sets.
8. Heavy Metal Santa chocolate advent calendar
EMP – the “Heavy Metal Mail Order Company” – is back with an updated Heavy Metal Santa chocolate offering. There is an angry snowman on keyboards, a skull under the wheels of the candy-coloured cannons, and hard-core St Nick keeps on riffing despite what must be quite a painful knee injury.
9. Pawsley Dog Advent Calendar
An advent calendar for dogs, featuring “Completely Dog safe Ingredients”. Yes, there is also one for cats.
10. Wera tools advent calendar 2015
This has been coming back for so many years, they are calling it a “cult” product. “Screwdriving tools in first class professional quality are concealed behind the nostalgic Christmas scene displaying the 24 doors.” One more quote from the advertising bumf: “The Wera Advent Calendar is suitable for workshops and factories so as to get staff in the right festive mood.”
Is it me, or does Santa look a bit menacing? What exactly is he up to in his shed?
11. Barbie Advent Calendar
“Each of the 24 days brings a new fashion accessory.” A classic. So bad it’s good – almost.