Value for Money

Christmas calendars



This cute calendar was in the Christmas section in Avoca. Some might think it is over the top, but, while it is the most expensive of the four calendars, it represents the best value for money as it will be used again and again. It is covered in glitter – as will you be after playing with it for a few seconds. It does not come with any treats, but that gives you the scope to include things that recipients might like, as opposed to ones foisted upon you.

Verdict: Just lovely.
Star rating: *****


This is a somewhat subtler than the calendar bought in Avoca (well, as subtle as any wooden reindeer with little boxes dotted all over its body can be), and while its relatively drab nature is initially underwhelming, it’s a grower. The boxes come in three sizes – small, very small and tiny – and you would struggle to get a chocolate of any substance into any of the days – except, randomly, December 16th, which is twice the size of Christmas Eve. It is very sturdy and will last for years. Available in Brown Thomas, Dublin.

Verdict: Strangely sweet.
Star rating: ****


Finally. A calendar with chocolate. And more than one kind. There are chocolate reindeers, snowdrops and delicious truffles. Spoiler alert: the chocolate behind December 24th is Santa Claus. At €6 it is the cheapest of these four options and the chocolate is nice. This option lacks imagination, however. And if you have more than one child you will need more than one calendar – unless they are willing to share their reindeers. And we’ve yet to meet a child who will do that.

Verdict: Sweet.
Star rating: ***


Sorry, why is the baby Jesus swaddled in glitter? And, more importantly, why are there no treats? And, while we’re asking – why are the numbers all higgledy-piggledy and almost impossible to find? While this deserves credit for at least trying to stick with a Christian theme – glitter aside – it is wildly overpriced, and, while it is unlikely to make small children cry, nor will they be rushing to open any of the days with any alacrity.

Verdict: The spirit of Christmas.
Star rating: **

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