If things are starting to feel suspiciously like Groundhog Day, you’re not alone. While we strive to keep ourselves and those around us safe by going through an endless cycle of basic activities at home (wake, eat, sleep, wake, eat…), it doesn’t mean we can’t look forward to the days to come.
This Christmas might not look anything like Christmases past, but we can still count down to December 25 in style. These luxurious advent calendars will bring a touch of comfort, sparkle, and surprise into your life, something we could all use right about now. (Especially since on the first day of Christmas, your true love will likely tell you to take those five-day-old sweatpants off.)
L’Occitane Signature Advent Calendar
Beauty brand L’Occitane en Provence sits on almost every high street around the world, but the behemoth actually got its simple start in 1976 when a young Olivier Baussann used steam distillation to extract essential oil from wild rosemary and lavender, which he then sold at tiny local markets.
This holiday, the brand returns to its roots by slowing down and finding respite in the natural world. Inspired by nature and the producers that care for it, L’Occitane partners with One Tree Planted, an organization dedicated to protecting biodiversity and supporting reforestation efforts around the world.
From now until December 25, every purchase of a holiday collection—including the Signature Advent Calendar designed by award-winning French illustrator, Édith Carron—means L’Occitane will donate a dollar to One Tree Planted to preserve biodiversity around the world, including right here in B.C.
The 24 Gallic treasures inside this calendar include the best-selling shea butter hand cream, almond shower oil, and the best-selling Immortelle Overnight Oil so that, come Christmas eve, visions of sugar plums dance in your head.
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country—and other parts of the world—because gifts that bring about unity, togetherness, and compassion are at the top of everyone’s wish list this year.
Originally founded in Germany in 2011 (with the launch of the Canadian edition this past October), the 24 Good Deeds Charity Advent Calendar offers a daily door surprise to someone else in need.
For as little as a $24 donation, you’ll be supporting 24 different charities handpicked from around the globe that are all dedicated to doing good by focusing on social issues such as health care, nutrition, the environment, education, and more. Behind each door, discover what your contribution can do: you might plant a tree in Uganda on December 1 and then vaccinate a child on December 11.
The Canadian edition features 11 charities here in our neck of the woods including the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Sick Kids Foundation, and Spirit North. And since its original launch, the advent calendar has undertaken 216 projects all over the world, including helping 106,700 people get medical treatment; distributing 420,500 meals, protecting 836,000 square metres of rainforest, and providing 137,700 minutes of language training for refugees.
Made out of grass and recycled paper, and printed using natural ink, all of the calendars are tree- and chemical-free.
Chocolate and Christmas go together like Santa and his red suit—and often with the same sized waistline too. But the good news is that Vancouver’s Temper Chocolates offers an advent calendar that’s so artful, you might be tempted to just look, but not touch. (Though we doubt it!)
Featuring a colourful countdown display, Temper’s limited-edition Signature advent calendar reveals 24 miniature chef-selected chocolates and confections behind each window.
Or you can customize your own Christmas by adding or requesting only your fave flavours (just saying, peanut butter and chocolate rules year-round).
Voluspa Mini Candle Advent Calendar Set
With 12 individual hand-poured candles in Voluspa’s Mini Candle advent calendar this year, you’ll have 12 days of quiet contemplation. Each candle offers 15 hours of burn time, all free of pesticides, phthalates, paraben, and sulphates, with a clean-burning coconut-wax wick.
Exotic scents include Santal Vanilla, Japanese Plum Bloom, and Santiago Huckleberry. But note this calendar is already sold out at Sephora online and in-store everywhere except Metrotown. Get thee to Burnaby to pick up one of the last boxes! (Or you can calmly reserve your calendar here for pick-up in store.)
Atelier Cologne Advent Calendar
The holidays are normally about olfactory overload, but if we’re going to be on lockdown for the entire month, we’ll want to expand beyond the usual suspects of gingerbread and clove. Atelier Cologne—a house featuring master perfumers who blend unexpected and rare extracts with signature fresh citruses—introduces its luxe advent calendar with 24 fragrance-heavy gifts. From pure perfume to hand cream, each of these gender-neutral scents is made from up to 95 per cent renewable, natural-origin ingredients of the highest quality.
If you’re lost in an endless loop of Netflix, wine, and Netflix, OPI’s Shine Bright 2020 Advent Calendar could bring some much-needed bursts of colour back into your 25 days of December—so the days can start to look a little different again. Some are Dressed to the Wines, while others are Merry in Cranberry, but each of the 25 doors unlocks a miniature seven-day, chip-free nail lacquer to keep you on your toes (and fingernails, of course).
Read more inspiring Wishlists.