As I’m sure you know by now, since I moan about it at almost every opportunity presented to me, my allergy to dairy has returned.
For those of you that hear that and roll your eyes imagining me to be a GOOP-lovin’ Paltrow type, I’ll give a little context. Just because I hate the “dietary requirements as fashion accessories” culture we appear to have found ourselves in, and would like to avoid being in that category of people at all costs.
As a baby, I was deathly allergic to wheat and dairy. I could hardly be held, I had such atrocious eczema, it was awful. Throughout my early childhood, if I so much as nibbled a piece of all-butter shortbread I’d have a rash in the crook of my elbows so aggressive it’d keep me up at night. We hoarded Sudocrem like it was going out of production. You get the idea.
Thankfully, like many kids, I just kind of grew out of it as an older child/teenager. The world of double cream and salted butter was open to me, and I went to town on it. But about a year ago, my eczema suddenly returned with a vengeance and I could not for the life of me work out why – which is pretty damn stupid of me, considering what I just wrote about my early childhood.
Anyway, I cut out dairy and the eczema went away. Vanished. So that’s that I guess, no more delicious extra mature cheddar for me. No more milk chocolate, either, so with no generic Cadbury’s advent calendar on the cards for me this year, I’ve gone in search of alternatives..
The Ginvent Calendar
This is the most badass thing ever. A shot of gin every morning? Sign me up. Yes, I acknowledge that the idea is probably to enjoy it every evening after work, but it’s Christmas, and I’ll drink in the morning if I want to. Get it at the best price (although still not cheap at £114.95, be warned) from impossibletobuyfor.com.
The Hotel Chocolat Dark Chocolate Advent Calendar
If you haven’t tried anything from Hotel Chocolat, you haven’t lived. Their chocolate is beautifully presented and so delicious that it should be illegal. I’m incredibly grateful to the universe that despite being tee total on the dairy front, I can still enjoy their dark range. This advent calendar will set you back £12.50 (reflective of its quality, I’m sure) and features gorgeous little festive moulded chocolates.
Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Advent Calendar
Montezuma’s is another chocolate shop favourite. They’re actually on the exact same street as Hotel Chocolat in Brighton (or were last time I checked) but they got here first, so I have a special place for them in my heart. This calendar is a bit more fun and colourful than the above, so probably better for the kiddies, and it’ll cost you a couple of quid less at £9.99.
Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar
I haven’t even seen Star Wars, except maybe one of the movies when they came out when I was a kid and my Dad wanted to go see it when he came to visit, but I remember nothing about it. However, I can still appreciate how awesome this is as an alternative to an edible advent calendar, and I thought you should know about it. It’s pretty steep at £24.99 but if you’ve got the money, I feel like this one is a winner. Get it here.
Moo Free Advent Calendar
Moo Free are the vegan chocolate gang I see the most of, they pretty much dominate the “free-from” aisle at Sainsbury’s. Get this calendar for £4.75 from the folks at Goodness Direct.
Did I miss any? What advent calendar have you gone for this year? Do you even get them or are you a real actual grownup? Let me know in the comments!