homepage
  click here for gadget for god  
about the ship sign up for our newsletter support the ship
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
features home columnists archive
 
features and projects
The story so far...
You're currently on our features and projects pages, with material ranging from the satirical to the theological. For more features, click here.
 
 
The winning Badvent Calendars
Badvent Calendar of the year!    
We started out with 30 Advents calendars, all of them having minimal to no connection with the original Christmas story, and all of them suggested by our readers. Then we whittled it down to eight finalists –  including calendars devoted to whisky, heavy metal and dogs – and asked you to vote on the one most likely to make the Baby Jesus cry.

Now we can announce the winner.

Scooping over 50 per cent of the vote is the Ann Summers Advent Calendar, featuring a young chap relaxing against a Christmas tree having gift wrapped the only thing he could think of. The only thing he could ever think of, in fact. And behind each window? The gold, frankincense and myrrh of Christmas is replaced with chocolate willies, boobs and bums. Trust Anne Summers to remind us that reproductive organs were part of the Bethlehem story.

In second place is the Nail Varnish Advent Calendar, made by Ciate, featuring a 24 piece mini nail polish collection, perfect for glamming up on the back of a donkey heading for Bethlehem. And in third place, the dependably vacuous Barbie Advent Calendar, with a new fashion accessory for your Barbie every day of the festive season.

Advent calendars have been around for 100 years at least, and have always been a winning mixture of sweets, surprises and stories about the first Christmas. We think itís a shame to see all that disappearing as big companies make as much money as they can selling cheap chocolate. Almost all the calendars on the market make no contribution to charity and do not have fairtrade chocolate.

Francis Goodwin of Christmas Starts with Christ, a church campaign that aims to tackle the disappearance of Jesus from Christmas, said about our winning Badvent Calendar: "This is a perfect example of the famous HL Mencken quote: 'No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.' We wish Ms Summers and her followers a fun-filled Christmas, but hope they might spare a moment to remember whose coming we really await."

Ship of Fools' readers discovered just one calendar which tells the Christmas story, is filled with Fairtrade chocolate, and through which money is donated from every sale to charity. The Meaningful Chocolate Company's Real Advent Calendar faces tough competition in a crowded UK market, though, in which 10 million calendars are sold each year.

'People now have a choice when shopping at Tesco,' said David Marshall, producer of the calendar. 'Do they want to share the values of Ken and Barbie or Mary and Joseph? Do they want to buy the cheapest chocolate calendar or buy Fairtrade and know growers get a fair price? Is the build-up to Christmas all about profit or a time to be charitable?'

  Ann Summers Advent Calendar

Nail Varnish Advent Calendar

Barbie Advent Calendar