Advent Calendars - A Christmas Tradition

Any regulars who have been following GirlGoneDreamer since day dot will know that Christmas is my absolute most favourite time of year. Nothing else compares! When all my friends are loving the hot summer sunshine, I'm longing for cosy autumnal October days so I can start planning for Christmas all over again. Hence now that we are full swing into both autumn and October, I'm officially allowed to talk about anything and everything Christmas related. Yay! 

Today's post focuses on one of my favourite childhood Christmas traditions - Advent Calendars! I am one of four children, I have two sisters and one brother, (all younger) and every year my mum would buy an advent calendar for us to share. As was tradition every November, my dad would draw names out of a hat to see which of us would get to open the first door and so on, this way it saved any arguments or that was the general idea. Every December morning we'd run downstairs, still PJ clad, just to see what was hidden behind each door. It really was such a magical time and I guess I have my mum to thank for that and indeed for instilling in me such a love of Christmas. 

Now I'm all grown up I continue this tradition and I'm a particular fan of both the chocolate and premium beauty advent calendars. You can get them from many places but Debenhams is as good as any! This year I've actually got my hands on the Clarins 12 Days of Christmas Calendar and it's so gorgeous. The calendar itself comes beautifully presented in the form of a triangular shaped gift box, I presume made to look reminiscent of a Christmas tree. Unlike some calendars which fall apart, this one is so hardy that I'll be able to re-use it to store all my makeup and beauty bits once Christmas is done. 

As you'd expect from a twelve day calendar, this one comes with twelve individual Clarins products, each housed in a numbered gold gift box. Here's what you get for your money; (look away now if you don't want to spoil the surprise!)

SOS Primer full size in 00 Universal Light
Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in 07 Honey Glam full size
Hand and Nail Treatment Cream 30ml
Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Primer 4ml
Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01 Rose Shimmer 5ml
Supra Volume Mascara in 01 Black 3.5ml
SOS Hydra Mask 15ml
Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream 15ml
Beauty Flash Balm 30ml
Crayon Khol in 01 Carbon Black 0.25g
Instant Eye Make-Up Remover 30ml
Gentle Foaming Cleanser for normal or combination skin 30ml 

What I love about the Clarins 12 Days of Christmas (other than how beautifully it is presented,) is the value for money. Bearing in mind the cost of some of these items if I was to buy them individually, the price of £60 seems like a bargain. One of my favourite Clarins products, the Beauty Flash Balm, is usually around £30 for 50 ml, and if I was to purchase the full size SOS Primer and Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil I'd be looking at paying around the £25 and £19 mark for each. 

I haven't decided yet whether I'll keep all the gorgeous products for myself or whether to divvy some up as Christmas gifts for family or friends, but this calendar gets an all round five stars from me! 

Do you have a particular Christmas tradition that you've carried on since childhood? Perhaps like me you also love advent calendars. I'd love to hear about your personal favourites. Look out for more posts on my Christmas traditions over the next couple of months!

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