27 November 2017

An Alternative Advent

So we all know about the Beauty Calenders. 24 days of bath bombing, spice-burning, nail painting, lotion-smothering, confetti throwing... now, for what it's worth, I'm not here to criticise anyone who feels Festivised by a cookie cutter. As ever with my blog, the best piece of life wisdom I can give is to BE YOURSELF! Yet that's exactly why I'm going to risk blogger-oblivion and say this....

I don't 'get' the beauty calendar! For starters, from what I've seen you end up with a lot of products that you'd otherwise never use! A lot of lotions and creams, which takes me back to pre-teen/tween birthday parties, where you panic about what to buy and end up defaulting to body lotion. A GIRL CAN ONLY USE SO MUCH BODY LOTION. If you receive 24 nail polishes, that works out to less than 1/2 a nail per colour. Or half a day with each colour - the choice is yours!
What's more, in an age of ever-growing consumerism I can't help but thinking how much waste it will produce. How many bins will be overflowing with neon nail polishes, candles and, yes, MORE BODY LOTION. I much prefer the idea of going into a shop and spending my money on products I actually want - they're expensive enough as it is! Simply put, you/your parents/your devoted partner   can end up spending  a lot on, well, not a lot? These calendars can go up to £150 and it just feels so commercialised, unpersonalised and, well, not very wholesome holy-some.

That being said, there is a way to find a littlfe more meaning; Lotions and Lindor aren't your only options! So with a little lot of help from Not On The Highstreet, Etsy and, as ALWAYS, some HP Magic, I've rounded up some of mt favourite Advent Alternatives...


I think my main issue with the beauty advents are that they lack a bit of imagination! Because makeup and skincare are so subjective, beauty calendars try to be a one-size-fits-all. Aka 50 scents of toffee nut latte... is this the point where I reveal another #bloggertabboo? the fact that I hate festive drinks? Moving swiftly onto... SOCKS. Not only do these magical items keep us warm and toesty, they are beloved by Hogwarts' most famous Headmaster. and the theme of a whole advent calender!  Target have launched the DREAM COUNTDOWN FOR POTTERHEADS, although  Dobby would be very confused that the socks are matching. Maybe next year?

I've also included our CHOSEN calenders for 2017, starting with Bluebird Tea Co! I love the idea of a teabag a day, as it's something you'll actually use. Moreover, it's just a little token and doesn't feel like a giant present haul before the big day (any allusions to beauty calendars are entirely coincidental). Finally, we couldn't forget the youngest member of the Harrison family...  Millie moo! Last year Millie had a 'dog-friendly' chocolate advent, but it sent her on a bit of a sugar high and we didn't want a repeat. Thankfully, Lily's Kitchen have come to the rescue with a calendar featuring 3 coco-free treats, including a sleepy biscuit for Christmas Eve! Have you bought an advent for your four-legged friend? 



Otherwise known as ActivitimasCraftmas or 24 days to Festivise your life (Dear Google, please stop being a scrooge and red-lining these words!) While some people may feel festivised by  lotions and potions - I'm not here to judge kind of - I prefer something a bit more true to the season!

The activity-calenders are designed to bring our your inner sELF, including seasonal suggestions such as "wear Christmas fancy dress at dinner tonight" (that's one for Katie) or "read your favourite festive story". The tokens jar would be especially good for kids, but to be honest I think they're all suited for all ages; Christmas is the time to embrace your inner child!

After all, adult-colouring is standing the test of time and is therefore included below, along with my own calender for 2017; a pop-and-slot treehouse, which you construct throughout December! My dad surprised me and it's going to bring more joy than a lifetime supply of confetti... 


Who doesn't love to 'make it your own'? *cue Louis Walsh introducing 'the next Michael Jackson' and  Nicole jumping up and down like a space-hopper* I've already bookmarked this puzzle calender from MyPhotoPuzzle.com for mum next year, as we love jigsaws and one often features in her/my stocking (usually a photo of Millie, a photobomb of Millie, or one of us holding Millie. Spot a theme?)

If you want to get really creative, you could build your own advent tree like A Beautiful Mess or DIY bags/mini stockings to fill yourself. In 2015 I made a Quotemas Calender and am planning something similar for 2017 (but more on this in an upcoming post!) There's also the option to buy a wooden calendar, which you can fill with ANYTHING your heart desires!

Right now, you may be picturing the dream houses from Selfridges/Fortnum & Mason houses and thinking "yes, they're lovely, but I could spend that money on an actual house!"  Well, dear reader, If you go off the Highstreet to Not on the Highstreet you can find some lovely options for a fraction of the price; what's more, when you consider how many years they last, you'll probably save a lot of money in the long run...


We always talk about this as the Season of Joy, but Christmas can be a difficult time for many people. Along with the pressure of choosing the 'perfect' gifts and preparing for the big day, there can be an expectation to attend social gatherings, join in with all the festive activities and simply appear Merry and Bright 100% of the time.

If you know someone who may struggle with this time of year, Not On the Highstreet has the calendar-equivalents of a giant cuddle. Ranging from 24 personalised 'reasons I love you' notes, to  motivational quotes, they're a way to show someone you care. What's more, I discovered a 'random acts of kindness' calendar that you can download for free; it is the complete antithesis of a beauty advent, focusing entirely on giving, rather than receiving! 

I will definitely try some of the recommendations from the download, along with my own '24 days of kindness' project! I will be revealing all on 1st December, but in short it's my way of giving back to the incredible MH community, and supporting those who are currently in IP treatment; after spending last December in hospital, I know how isolating it can be and I hope this little gesture can bring some light.

Personalised Messages Advent,     

What would be your dream Advent Calendar? 

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