Advent Calendar Death Match: Crystals, ‘The Office,’ and Skin
A limited edition three-way death match featuring Shoppe Geō, Funko, and Comfort Zone
Advent Calendar Death Match is a four-part series pitting Advent calendars against each other in a fight to the death. Previously: dog treats vs. dog toys.
Like a door on an advent calendar, I have a surprise for you. But it isn’t a small version of a large thing, nor is it a candy. It is instead: a new entry of Advent Calendar Review Death Match, and ahh … isn’t that just what you wanted?
But this isn’t like any of the other Advent Calendar Review Death Match entries you have read and enjoyed so much in the past. No — this is something quite different altogether. Rather than two Advent calendars duking it out in a fight for their lives, this death match will feature three. Yes, that means two Advent calendars will die today. And isn’t that magical?
Competing today are Comfort Zone’s “Kaleidoscope Advent Calendar” ($99), Shoppe Geō’s “12 Day Self Care Toolkit” ($40), and Funko’s “The Office Advent Calendar” ($59.95). Let’s see how they fare.
Shoppe Geō: Although marketed as an Advent calendar, this punch-door crystal set has nothing to do with Christmas. That’s fine, I’m still happy to have it; I’ve learned from the crystals within that the best thing to be is ourselves, and that we should be proud of who we are. However this is not a contest about who is the most serene in their existence. This is a contest about who is the most Christmas magical. I hate to do this, because I want the crystals to bring me prosperity, but …
Funko: There’s not much Christmas magic to be found in Funko’s The Office Advent calendar, either. The calendar box opens like a laptop, via a velcro dot at its top, and it does its best to give a sense of “office.” My, I feel like I’m at an office right now just looking at it, even though I haven’t been inside of one since February 2020 and never will again, god willing. However, while “office” is the theme of The Office, it is not the theme of Christmas. The theme of Christmas is “Christmas.” So.
Comfort Zone: This one doesn’t necessarily offer Christmas magic, but it does offer a photo of a fat birdie. I guess that’s kinda Christmas. It’s at least the closest we’re getting in this death match.
Shoppe Geō: This one doesn’t even have numbers, it has shapes that correspond to a haiku and an explanation of the crystal held within on the calendar’s opposite flap. Honestly not sure how to rate this one. I guess I’ll say six.
Funko: The numbers are in order, which as you know is: WRONG.
Comfort Zone: The numbers are in order, which as you know is: WRONG.
Shoppe Geō: Even though I am otherwise stable and normal, I have a sort of soft spot for crystals. Sometimes I’ll buy one if I want to be calmer or have more money. Have they made me calm or rich? … Not yet.
These crystals each come with not only a haiku I mentioned earlier, but also either an activity to do or an affirmation. Examples of the activities are: “Look up at the stars,” “Write in a journal.” Examples of the affirmations are: “You are uniquely you! Remind yourself of your brilliance.” I could have used a bit more effort on the activities and affirmations, but the crystals are nice.
Funko: I approached my Funkos with an open mind. Certainly many people love Funkos, and there must be a shared human connection I could tap into in order to appreciate the Funkos for what they are; to see in them what Funko fans worldwide have seen in them for so long. As I stared at my little Funkos — Michael Scott, Jim, Pam, Mindy Kaling, the rest — I tried to love them. They were small, which tends to lend a lovability to objects. They all looked basically identical, and yet you could still tell which characters they represented, for example Toby’s Funko has a bald spot. Dwight’s Funkos (I believe there are three Dwights) all have little glasses, which was cute. And yet I am left with a question.
What am I supposed to do with 24 The Office-themed mini Funkos? Display them? And if so, to what end? Why do people buy these? To remind themselves which characters they like? It is a Christmas mystery; one I know I will never solve. But I suppose it’s nice to have a little mystery in life. Keeps things interesting…
Comfort Zone: The Comfort Zone calendar offers a selection of the brand’s skincare products, none of which I’d used before, and you know what … they’ve kind of helped my skin recover from the acne I got from trying out so many other Advent calendar skincare products. They’re good! I in particular loved these little serum ampoules that you break open like you’re doing a lab in science class if your school had money. I think I’m a Comfort Zone convert, and would actually love to be a paid sponsor of theirs on Instagram.
THE GIFT UNVEILING PROCESS:
Shoppe Geō: You have to punch through a little cardboard door to get your crystal, which tends to tear the activity or affirmation, making it a bit harder to read. Don’t love that. However the crystals are held in little soft cubbies, which I love. A mixed bag, like life; I am always learning lessons from my crystals.
Funko: I will concede that fans of Funko and The Office are likely not coming to Funko’s The Office advent calendar for the chicness of its gift unveiling process. However, I am tasked with judging it by my own qualifications, and must do so in order to retain my position as Advent calendar reviewer for the remainder of the season (my family is counting on the money I make doing this to buy Christmas dinner). Like the crystal calendar, the doors are the sort of punch-through cardboard ones that always make me feel like I’m going to mess up my nails, and each Funko is held in its own individual red or green plastic bag that you need scissors to open. While I appreciate the alternating red and greenness of the bags, the rest I cannot abide. I don’t wanna mess up my Christmas nails. I don’t wanna use my Christmas scissors.
Comfort Zone: Every gift is in its own little box, and the boxes are situated like puzzle pieces in the bird box. I’d take a box out, remove its gift, and then put it back in the puzzle to keep seeing the bird. I enjoyed the process, and I of course enjoyed seeing that bird.
Shoppe Geō: N/A
Comfort Zone: +1 bonus for being good.
Shoppe Geō: 25
Comfort Zone: 30