I like to think of Chocolate Advent Calendars as less a countdown to Christmas, and more a warm up for blood sugar as the most indulgent holiday of the year approaches.

I mean, compared a month cramming your face with everything from B52’s to Grandma’s shortbread to Rum and Eggnog to Turkey to Gingerbread Houses to English Trifle to mashed potatoes to sugar cookies to Ferraro Roche to Winter Ale to Bailey’s and Coffee to Mexican Wedding Cake to Lasagna to 2nd helpings of English trifle — a 25 day commitment to a square of chocolate hardly seems guilt ridden.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, chocolate calendars are a great treat. They taste better in one sitting, and gluttony is soOOO much sweeter when you don’t believe it’s a sin.

So whoever you are, get out and purchase the novelty countdown that best suites your household**! Here is a list to get you started:

Honey Bear Delicatessen on Bay and Sheppard stocks a great variety of classic German Chocolate Calendars. They are reasonably priced, ranging from $5-7, and we all know cheap German chocolate is better than cheap Canadian chocolate. If you’re looking a bit closer to downtown, the German Vendors at the St. Lawrence Market supply a similar selection. http://www.mezesmacko.com/

For those ballin’ after GST cheques, you may be interested in Germany’s Kinder Chocolate that can be ordered online for $14.99. A Kinder Surprise (YES, A TOY!) and 2 hollow Santa’s show up the 21 smaller treats. http://www.canadaonly.ca/products/Kinder-Surprise-Advent-Calendar.html

Lindt offers a Calendar that can be found at Sears and Costco for $18.99. I’m getting two.

Starbucks has a large, 3D boxed calendar with dark and light milk Swiss chocolate truffles with praline. Wrapped in red and gold foil behind colourful cardboard doors, this unique calendar box costs $24.95.

Laura Secord is a great choice if you want to keep it Canadian. The traditional calendar comes with 24 premium milk chocolates wrapped in decadent foil paper. Featuring a choice of Santa or a Christmas Village design, any Laura Secord location will supply you with a $10 dream calendar (or two for $18)

For something with a modern pop culture twist, Walmart’s calendars entertain images from TV shows such as The Simpsons and High School Musical for $5-$10.

If I can offer you a word of advice, hide the calendar on the weekends, when debauchery clouds judgement and patience is overcome by the taste of chocolate.

Now, Merry counting to all, and to all a good bite!

**Unless EVERYONE you are living with purchases a calendar, Christmas politics will ensue and friendships will be ruined over premature-door-opening.

By Vanessa Brazeau