Reinventing the Advent Calendar

WgermanIt will be December tomorrow. Ah yes, the last month of the calendar year, the month of holiday decorating, shopping and cheer. What better way to count down to the holidays (and time off work) than the Advent calendar. You can get yourself a classic one, but who wants to be limited to chocolate when there are increasingly more creative options each year.

Now, I confess, I did pop into SOMA Chocolatemaker to see if they did an Advent Calendar this year. I had the same disappointed and baffled look on my face as last year. Why doesn’t Soma get on this?! It would be hugely popular and delicious. Toronto’s very own SOMA won the gold prize at the International Chocolate Awards this year for its Porcelana bar. My colleagues and I have been wishing for a SOMA Advent Calendar for years. I left the King West shop with a lack of holiday cheer.

Last year those colleagues and I bought a large communal Advent for our bay. There is only so much cheap chocolate one can consume, so we opened the tiny paper doors in rotation and got in on the cheer. This year we found German-made chocolate Advent Calendars at HomeSense for $4.99 each. The entire calendar is the size of a standard chocolate bar and each square has been painted with a number and holiday motif with edible paint. The back card pops out to prop up as a desk calendar and we’ll be sweetly counting down together with our individual bars.

The great thing about reinventing the Advent calendar is that they are not all made of chocolate or even edible. Here is a KWN round up of the best unique Advents out there:


  1. David’s Tea – 24 drawers with mini tins of best sellers and holiday themed tea ($40).
  2. The English Tea Shop – a pyramid bag of organic teas or infusions hidden in 24 miniature boxes ($20). At select Marshalls or Homesense stores – or



  1. Squish Candies – 24 colourful artisanal gummies with flavours such as mulled wine and coffee bean ($29).
  2. Starbucks – 25 tin ornaments with sweet treats inside ($44.95).


For the Kids – Human or Furry

  1. Lego – 24 days of lego building fun in a variety of themes ($39.95). or
  2. Play-Doh – 24 doors unveiling can packs and tools ($21.99).
  3. Nutrience – this calendar for dogs is filled with grain-free treats such as freeze dried liver ($12.99).

LegoPlayDohScreen Shot 2015-11-30 at 8.44.29 PM


  1. Lush – Countdown with the 12 Days of Christmas box filled with limited edition and best selling handmade lotions and potions ($99.95).
  2. The Body Shop – 24 Happy Days of miniature skincare, makeup and fragrance products to sample as you read an inspirational message that comes with each day’s surprise ($99).
  3. L’Occitane En Provence – 24 miniatures of their best selling skincare to pamper you before the holiday rush ($49).
  4. Ciaté London – the Mini Mani Month is a treat for your nails with polishes and glitter in a rainbow of colours ($71).

lusshBody Shoploccitaneciatee


  1. Charlotte Tilbury – The Book of Makeup Magic is exactly that…magic. Products like her legendary Magic Cream raved by celebrities and make-up artists alike can be yours to discover this holiday season ($250). or Holt Renfrew Bloor Street
  2. Villeroy & Bosh – count down the days in elegance with treats of your choice in fine porcelain boxes ($357).


Create Your Own

  1. Canadian tire – white and silver paper box drawers to fill with whatever you wish for a DIY approach ($20).
  2. Pottery Barn Kids – the tree-shaped Telluride calendar has 24 embroidered felt pockets to customize with messages or gifts ($69).

Can Tirepottery

And last, but not least…Traditional Chocolate

  1. Laura Secord – chocolate bites from the beloved Canadian company ($9.99).
  2. Purdys – the Winter Village set is beautifully packaged and holds foil-wrapped milk and salted caramel minis ($25).


Happy Holidays from the KWN!

Wear Your Pride


The King West toque from Tuck Shop Trading Co.’s City of Neighbourhoods collection. Photo Credit: The King West Neighbour

Canadian company Tuck Shop Trading Co. gets that we love the neighbourhoods we live in. Their City of Neighbourhoods toques have been selling like hot cakes this winter.

King West is represented in white block letters on a slouchy retro toque in elegant black with thin chevron-stripes in heather grey, white and cherry red. True to the company’s inspiration – a lifestyle spent between the city and the cottage like so many other Canadians – this toque will keep you stylish and warm on the urban street as it will on the snowy slopes. King West is neither the only neighbourhood nor Toronto the only city on offer. Yet, the KWN is partial to the sophisticated choice of black for our neighbourhood. Represent!

Where to purchase the King West toque:
Tuck Shop Trading Co.
Spacing Magazine Store

Note: a representative at Tuck Shop Trading Co. told me that they were currently restocking on certain neighbourhoods, but others are still available on their online store or the Spacing store at 401 Richmond Street West.