Advent calendars are an absolute essential when it comes to the countdown to Christmas.

However, the days of just having a chocolate calendar are long gone.

In recent years they are becoming more and more extravagant with some massive designer names getting involved.

We've been inundated with beauty, toy and many more varied advent calendars for Christmas 2021 already, with Elemis, Jo Malone, White Company, ASOS and Amazon options, all proving popular this year so far.

Some of the most popular calendars cost hundreds of pounds.

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However, if you are looking for something a bit special but don't want to break the bank, one company might have the one for you.

Candy Kittens sell gourmet vegan sweets in the shape of cats.

This year they have released their very own advent calendar which is available now.

Here's what I thought:

As soon as my calendar arrived I was intrigued.

The green, postbox-sized box didn't scream Christmas but did say 'all good things come in trees'.

When I opened it up I was a little confused.

I was expecting an advent calendar that I could pop on my kitchen worktop ready for December, however it looked more like I had ordered an arts and crafts kit.

The calendar arrived in parts that the customer has to put together.

The first step is to build the calendar itself. It is in the shape of a tree, with two pieces of card that need putting together.

It looked really simple, but was actually quite fiddly. After a few tries I had it made.

Next I had to build each of the boxes. And I thought the first bit was fiddly...

One by one I folded each of the 24 boxes into shape.

It was no quick task.

Once they were all built it was time to fill them.

The kit comes with four different bags of sweets. Some large and some small.

The instructions state that each box can fit three of the small ones or two of the big ones.

Gradually I started to fill each box, tying to make sure I got a variety, and trying not to eat them as I went.

Finally I had filled all of the boxes and shut the lids.

Now all that was left to do was put the boxes into the calendar, again this was quite a fiddly job.

Over all opinion

Once it was all together I think the Candy Kittens advent calendar looked really good.

I know it's packed full of yummy treats as I built it myself.

Personally I like a good arts and crafts task so I did enjoy building it, however it was a bit of a surprise.

Nowhere on the brands website does in mention the fact that the calendar is not assembled.

It was a great way to pass some time- it took me just under an hour - however I would feel a little bit guilty if I had bought it as a gift for someone who isn't into making things.

Overall I love the calendar and thing at £12 it is quite good value for money.

However I can't give it a five star rating because the website just isn't clear about the fact you need to build it.