For the past few years, I’ve been trying to reconcile the prospect of a waking each morning to the indulgence of a Lindt chocolate Christmas treat with the expense of such an advent calendar. £6 seemed an awful lot considering it’s a piece of card with a moderately feeble gram value of chocolate content, especially as it’s really aimed at children and a grown man shouldn’t be partaking in such tomfoolery. But hey, this year I thought I’d go for it. And received a sharp, burning lesson in everything that is wrong with Christmas.
The Lindt Advent Calendar is just an Advert
From the very first glance you should be able to see what’s wrong with this advent calendar. We might’ve been too distracted by the promise of smooth chocolate to notice at first, but now it’s glaring us maliciously in the face every day. This is not a calendar that celebrates a festive season, of happy traditions, loving connections and magical stories. It’s a calendar that celebrates, first and foremost, Lindt chocolate. Santa is a piece of Lindt chocolate. So are his reindeers. They’re all shamelessly inanimate foil-sealed chocolate farces, devoid of character or life.
They’ve even thrown a few smaller images of the chocolates in the corner, just to remind you, in case your eyes failed to register the sprawling uninspiring scene above, that this calendar contains Lindt chocolates. The sort of little image that might add a simple touch to brand an advert calendar if it wasn’t already so brazenly branded already.
But hey, at least you get a Lindt chocolate every day to make up for it. Reindeers and Santas, so much fun, you’d think.
Presumably the effort it took to photo those reindeers for the front of the calendar left them without enough to actually stock the calendar, because there is exactly one single reindeer in the whole thing. The ratio of Reindeer Chocolates Depicted to Reindeer Chocolates Provided as Treats is precisely 4:1 here (including the extra one shown in the corner). You’d have to buy three of these damned calendars to recreate the scene they show.
For the Lindt Advent Calendar, What’s on the Inside Doesn’t Matter
Even that knowledge aside, the calendar harbours an interior that speaks volumes about its Christmas spirit. Once you open a door and remove your chocolate (which, to be fair, have easily ignored Christmas images on the wrappers you feverishly tear off and discard), it leaves an empty space of unadorned cardboard. A bare vacuum of lost hope, with no advent images to look out of the window for the rest of the month.
Big and bold on the outside, full of promise, inside you find it greatly lacks content. No reflection on the traditions of the holiday. No lasting thought for the month. Not even a coloured backdrop to hide the abject pointlessness of this now bare hollow space.
You’ve had your measly chocolate, now feel free to experience an ongoing image of packaging waste.
This Lindt Advent Calendar is an advert balled up in a tower of unfulfilled hopes and promises. It is a totem that sings its own praises, whilst at the same time shamelessly holding back on the very things it promises, like a Bono charity drive. It is a half-hearted cash-in on icons that it usurps with its own images, and a vacuous beast that callously disregards all concern for the long-term effects of opening each window.
It is self-aggrandising commercialism at its worst.
It fills every morning of advent with a vague feeling of disappointment, and a sense that this rope-a-dope of product placement happily epitomises the onward march towards a festival that has nothing to do with happiness, sharing, caring or anything other than finding an excuse to thrust products in your face with no regard for the consequences. Next year I expect to see Lindt calendars without any reference to Christmas or winter, just a picture of some giant Lindt balls, which when opened reveal only a blank piece of card and a single grain of chocolate. Maybe with a note to remind you Keep on display for 24 days.