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When it comes to Christmas I am sometimes a bit of a big kid in terms of the countdown to Christmas. I do enjoy spending Christmas with my family and friends but I also like the build up to Christmas as well. I always buy myself an advent calendar as a treat every year for December so I can get ready to count down to Christmas. There is always a good selection of advent calendars to choose from but I normally for the Dairy Milk calendars as I prefer the taste of these compared to some of these cheaper brands such as Kinnerton.
The Advent Calendar
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The advent calendar is the typical Cadbury purple colour and has a large tree on the front which is decorated with lights and different objects. It also states on the top left hand corner that this product is a 'Cadbury Magical Advent'. The calendar is called a magical advent because as you get closer to Christmas the chocolates behind the doors get bigger. This sounded great and as soon as I read this on the calendar this was a must buy for me! The front of the calendar is very colourful and Christmassy looking. You can clearly see the square doors on the front of the calendar all of which are numbered. Numbers 1-19 are normal square shaped doors which are the size you expect on every advent calendar. Door's 20-23 are slightly larger and are more of a rectangle shape so I am guessing this is where the chocolates get bigger. You can't miss door 24 which is at the bottom of the tree and has double doors to open. On the back of the calendar are a few games to do such as 'Match the Christmas Gifts', Christmas Find-A-Word and 'Spot the Christmas Carol'. These may appeal to younger children, but they did not appeal to me. You can also find a list of ingredients and nutritional information on the back of the calendar as well. I purchased this from my local Sainsbury's store when it was on offer for £2.00 which I thought was very reasonable for a calendar in which the chocolates got bigger the closer to Christmas it was.
Opening the Doors
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The first thing I noticed when it came to opening the calendar was that the numbered doors are all in order which I was a little surprised at as normally the doors are jumbled around and it's what makes looking for them fun. The first few chocolates in the advent are small and round with a shape on the top of the round chocolate. This can be anything such as a star or present. On the other side of the door is some writing in gold which is actually quite hard to read due to the dark purple colour used on the doors. The doors say various things such as '23 days to go' or 'What are you wishing for?'. I had to admit that I was expecting a small, colourful Christmas picture on the inside of the doors, how-ever maybe these would come later on in the calendar. The doors were easy to open using the perforations as a guide to pull them open. Once you have opened the door you will see some silver foil which needs to be broken in order to get the chocolate out. The chocolate is nestled in a clear plastic tray and when you remove it will reveal a picture of count down on the surface under the clear plastic tray. Some of these pictures were Christmassy and bright but others were a bit dull and contained things such as '23 Days to Go'. The chocolate tasted nice and it was lovely and creamy and tasted just as I expected. It had exactly the same delicious taste as a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar. The chocolates were all the same size up until number 6. From here the chocolates in the calendar were much thicker and they were also shaped into different shapes.
I was impressed that the chocolates had already started to get bigger as I wasn't expecting this until at least door 20 where the doors actually looked bigger than the others. I don't like eating chocolate early in the morning so I would actually open my calendar after I had finished work when I got home. By now the calendar was starting to look a little tatty from where a lot of the doors have been opened or where the surrounding cardboard to the doors had ripped or torn when opening the doors to the calendar. I opened door 19 which was a bigger door and there was a bigger chocolate. This chocolate went back to being quite thin but was a festive shape of a cracker. I opened door 20 and again this was the same size as the previous one only slightly thicker. I can't remember what the chocolate was shaped like but it was another festive shape. There were still colourful pictures underneath the tray that held the chocolate and there was still some gold writing on the doors which I stopped paying attention to when opening the calendar. As I ate my way through the calendar door 24 was soon approaching I opened the doors as there were 2 small doors to make up a big one and saw a lovely sized chocolate in the tray. I popped the chocolate out of the tray without breaking it. It was a large cracker chocolate. This chocolate was thinner than the last one but was slightly bigger than the previous one. Behind the chocolate underneath the tray it said 'Santa is coming tonight'.
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The calendar wasn't very exciting, due to the fact that all the numbered doors were in order so it wasn't very fun trying to find the numbered doors each morning and I didn't really have to look. The overall look of the calendar is very Christmassy and although there are some games on the back, I didn't do these. The tree on the front of the calendar is very colourful and Christmassy looking, how-ever it starts to look tatty after you have opened about 2-3 doors on the calendar. The doors are quite easy to open but I did rip a few of the gaps in between the doors when opening a few of them. The foil which covers the chocolate is easy to break and I managed to pop the chocolates out of the tray with no problems. The pictures which are underneath the tray are colourful, but to me aren't that Christmassy. I don't really like the wording on the back of the doors as it's quite hard to read due to it being in gold front on a very dark purple background. I would have much rather had lovely Christmassy pictures on each door instead. My nephew also had this calendar and he liked the fact that the chocolates got bigger throughout the calendar. I think he would have also found the calendar more fun if the numbered doors were jumbled up again. In terms of value the calendar was a reasonable price but I don't think I would purchase it again as it's not a very fun calendar despite the size of the chocolates.
Please note: No I have not been naughty and have eaten the chocolate early. I started writing this review last year and never got round to finishing it!
(review may also appear on ciao)
This is the Advent Calendar my 2 year old sister had this year, my mum brought it because it looks wicked in the shop. It's not as bright and garish as a lot of the calendars we was looking at and does look a lot more magical than just buying an In The Night Garden calendar.
If you don't know already, the idea of an advent calendar is to open a door each morning from the 1st December right up until Xmas Eve as a sort of count down to Xmas. Advent calendars used to just have a picture behind each door but most of them have got chocolate in now.
With this one a chocolate hides behind every door and the best thing is that the chocolate is proper Dairy Milk, the design of the chocolates is a bit plain and deffo not as exciting as a different calendar my 10 year old sister had but they still tasted delish and creamy. I know because I nicked one, well my sister can't count yet!!! lol
There's a problem with the calendar though and that's that Cadburys can't have been in a very festive mood when they designed these. The tray where you take the chocolates out is see through plastic and on most calendars behind this tray will be a pretty Xmas picture, just something basic like a Xmas tree or an angel. This calendar has just got a plain white piece of paper behind the tray, it looks alright when just a couple of the doors are open but once more than half have been opened then this makes the calendar look proper boring. In the finish I started closing the doors back up just so we wouldn't have to look at a cruddy white background for a week!
I'm not that impressed with this calendar. It cost about £3.00 and my mum brought it because this is the first Xmas my sister really understands and this looked like the most special advent calendar in the shop, unfortunately you can't tell how boring it is until you've already brought it and started opening the doors.
I wonder how many other families were taken in by the nice elf snow scene on the front and became as annoyed as me when they realised what a boring calendar this really is.
Every year I buy a couple of chocolate advent calendars, one for myself and one for my Husband. I try to choose ones which are on offer as they can end up being quite pricey otherwise, but I was disappointed to see a lack of offers on them when I went looking in Tesco in November. In fact only one type were on offer - these Cadbury Dairy Milk Magical Advent calendars. If I remember correctly they were £2.49 each or 2 for £4 and with the only other offerings on display being High School Musical or similar pre-teen characters I decided to purchase 2 of these, even though I would have preferred to pay less than £4.
The calendar was instantly recognisable as being made by Cadburys due to it's distinctive purple colour scheme and Dairy Milk branding, so I was sure that the chocolate inside would not disappoint. The design on the front of the calendar was quite simple with lots of white stars scattered across the purple background with a number of elves pictured at the bottom and a sneak preview of the chocolate shapes behind certain doors. The reason this calendar was so magical was that "the chocolate treats get bigger the closer you get to Christmas!" - sounded good to me!
So come 1st December I eagerly opened door number 1 to find a circular chocolate shape with a tree on it. Yes it tasted nice, but there were a number of disappointments upon opening the door - the first being that there were no pictures on the inside of the door, the second one being that there were also no pictures behind the plastic tray. I don't think I've ever had a calendar with no festive picture behind the door and whilst it doesn't sound like a big issue, it does make the calendar look very boring once the majority of doors are open with nothing except a plastic tray and a white background to look at.
The chocolates in this calendar were lovely and had that distinctive Cadbury taste and they did get larger in the run up to Christmas. Firstly becoming deeper and then longer when you hit 20th December onwards with the chocolate on the 24th being even longer still! No complaints there, but I must say that the chocolates were not at all easy to remove from the tray and extracting those chocolate shapes involved bending the entire cardboard calendar to try and loosen the chocolate nearly wrecking the box in the process!
Another disappointment I had was that you did not have to search for any of the doors as they were arranged in ascending numerical order (door number 1 next to door number 2 and so on). I am sure that when I was a child you had to search for the numbers as they were randomly arranged - it was all part of the fun searching for door number 16 or whatever other day you were unable to find!
There was a puzzle on the back of the calendar, but we did not bother with this. It was a matching pairs type game, which would maybe appeal to an older child.
I don't think that I would bother with this calendar again if it is brought back next year. I'd rather go for a cheaper calendar which has pictures behind the doors and numbers that you actually have to search for! Whilst the chocolates were tasty, I don't think they made up for the (many) downsides of the calendar.
Ingredients: Milk, Sugar, Cocoa mass, Cocoa butter, Vegetable fat, Emulsifier (E442), Flavourings.
Suitable for vegetarians.
Now I wouldn't usually review something like this, but it's often a strong opinion of something one way or another that makes me want to write a review of it. An advent calendar is something that is a staple of Christmas for me - you can't go through December without opening of those little doors every morning and having your little chocolate treat! My mum even bought me one when I was at University so I wouldn't feel left out, and I still have to have one with Harry! This is the first Christmas Harry has understood the concept of an advent calendar, so I wanted to get him a good one.
I usually buy one of the £1.99 Dairy Milk ones as they are lovely, and definitely the best ones available. However, I saw this one on offer in Tesco back in November, it was apparently the next one up from the usual one I buy, but was on offer for only £2.49. It's called a Dairy Milk Magical Advent Calendar, and is probably sold out now but I reckon it'll be back next year once they start selling them again. It's got the infamous Cadbury purple plastered all over the front, with a few pictures of elves, and example chocolates too so you know what you're getting.
What makes this calendar different from the normal Dairy Milk one is that the size of the chocolate treat you get increases every day as you get closer to Christmas. Days 1-5 are a small round chocolate, 6-10 are slightly larger, 11-19 are bigger again and I believe these are shaped chocolates. Days 20-23 are quite exciting as they are about 3 inches in length so almost like a mini chocolate bar, and then Christmas Eve (24) is around 5 inches long and according to the picture is a cracker shaped chocolate. So far, so good.
One thing I used to love when I was smaller was opening the door each day to find out a) what picture was behind the door, b) what picture was behind the chocolate and c) what shape was going to be on the chocolate each day. So imagine my disappointment when I opened the first door on Harry's calendar to find that there was no picture behind the door. Not only that but there was no picture behind the chocolate either! It was plain white and purple cardboard, and I felt thoroughly ripped off and annoyed.
This calendar is marketed as being the best that Cadbury have to offer, yet they can not be bothered to print a Christmassy image in the inside of a child's advent calendar. They do this for the cheaper calendar, so why can they not extend the same thing to the more expensive product. The chocolate themselves were nice enough, typical smooth Dairy Milk chocolate but I did struggle to get it out of the plastic tray. This is because the tray is quite deep, the circle shape of the earlier chocolates is quite small and it just wouldn't budge. I had to resort to getting a knife to lever it out, which is obviously not at all child friendly.
The back of the calendar has a Christmas decoration puzzle but I don't think much of this to be honest. It's far too complex for a young child to play, and therefore they will not even bother trying it. You have to match up the pairs, but the grid is huge and the pictures quite small - its not a game even I would want to bother with to be honest. The calendar mentions the Make-A-Wish foundation on the back, but it doesn't say that the sale of the calendar supports this in any way, so I'm not sure why they bothered including this other than to make themselves feel better.
The usual retail price of this calendar is £2.99 but I certainly wouldn't bother paying that for it. Next year, I will stick with one of the basic £1.99 ones because at least the chocolates are easily removable, they have lovely traditional Christmas images printed on both the door and back of the calendar, but it just feels more like an advent calendar to me. Getting bigger chocolates is nice enough, but the excitement of the build up to Christmas Day should be special enough without having to have a bigger chocolate the closer you get. Sorry Cadburys but you've really disappointed me with this one.
Weight: 187.5 grams
Thank you for reading.