When I was a child, advent calendars meant poorly printed pieces of cardboard with small, tricky doors. Towards the end of my childhood, chocolate advent calendars became a thing, but my Mum wasn’t impressed by this commercialisation of Christmas. Goodness only knows what she thinks this year as we seem to have hit peak Advent Calendar.
Unfortunately, the Allergy Brothers aren’t able to take advantage of the more extreme advent calendars this year: Greggs bakery advent calendar (too gluteny), the various gin/wine/beer advent calendars (too underage), the Asda cheese advent calendar (too dairy), nor the Snaffling Pig pork scratching advent calendar (actually Allergy Little would probably love this as pork scratchings are basically a hybrid of his two favourite foods – crisps and Pepperami – so he needs to be kept away from this as long as possible for the good of his health).
We can’t even take advantage of the widely available Moo Free advent calendar, which is dairy free, gluten free, soya free, and vegan, but contains rice (an Allergy Brother allergen, no really!). In the past we have tried the Hotel Chocolate dark chocolate advent calendar. It is vegan and gluten free, but contains soya lecithin. It is also good quality chocolate, which the Allergy Brothers found too much. Two years ago, I even tried making my own chocolate coins as an advent calendar, which was a very bad idea.
This year, I think we have advent sorted. I need to get over my childish obsession with chocolate advent calendars. We have lovely traditional picture advent calendars provided by family friend, J, and I have finally accepted that a toy advent calendar might be the way to go. Obviously, I can’t reveal exactly the type (click here to see what we chose), but I think it will have lots of play value beyond the Christmas season. There are a lot to choose from with all the main toy manufacturers producing them: Lego, Megabloks, Schleich, Playmobil, Disney, Paw Patrol, etc. I did balk at the price, but I reasoned that the Allergy Brothers miss out on lots of food treats throughout the year, and I could deduct it from Santa’s budget. So it turns out that the answer to advent calendars with allergies might not be food at all, although the Diptyque calendar might be a step too far.