These zero waste Advent calendars offer more eco-friendly alternatives to the normal ones that are often packed with plastic and contain plastic toys or chocolate made with factory-farmed milk and refined sugar. To be fair, the best way is to have minimalist Christmas, but millions of people do buy Advent calendar, so these are much better zero waste plant-based choices. Keep chocolate and small toys away from pets and children.
Advent was traditionally used in the Christian faith, as a period of fasting. Derived from the Latin word for arrival ‘adventus’, advent calendars have been used for years by children to prepare for Christmas. But the original reason was to use the time to repent and pray, rather than just to grab a chocolate!
It begins on the Sunday 4 weeks before Christmas Day, although the date varies within different parts of the faith (for instance, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Advent lasts 6 weeks and starts in November). It’s customary to pray on the third (Gaudete) Sunday.
If you get sick of stores playing Christmas music in October, your beliefs are in line with the Christian faith: Advent hymns like ‘O Come, Emmanuel’ are considered acceptable, but ‘proper hymns’ are only sung on Christmas Eve. Advent is taken so seriously by some churches, that many won’t conduct funerals on Sundays during Advent.
- Ginger Ray offers nice wooden advent calendars and kits to make your own kit. Perfect for any age, it has 24 white discs that you insert into the roof of the house, to fill the window for that day. The house gets more full, in order for Santa to come down the chimney!
- MixPixie is a cardboard advent calendar that has personalised music, just scan the Spotify code to listen to all 25 tracks. Choose from classics like The Pogues (Fairytale of New York), Chris Tea (Driving Home for Christmas) and Sinatra (Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas).
- Advent of Change is a nice calendar. Each time you open a box, you see the 50p donation to one of their 25 charities (which tend to be focused on conservation and animal welfare), to see how you’ve helped others. There are also versions for children and another in Braille.