December is the most wonderful time of the year—for freebie fashionistas in the virtual world of Second Life! This month heralds another edition of the popular Holiday Shop and Hop shopping event* (running from December 1st, 2023, to January 1st, 2024), with a gift at every participating vendor booth. We can also expect another iteration of the annual LeLutka Holiday event (dates as yet unknown), where you can pick up free male and female LeLutka heads, as well as many other freebies from a variety of creators supporting LeLutka, such as LeLutka EvoX skins, hair, and cosmetics. There will be sales and freebies galore all month long!
But the biggest reason why December is such a great month for freebies is that so many stores have an Advent calendar*, or a Twelve Days of Christmas calendar, where you can pick up a gift each day until (and sometimes, including) Christmas Day!
Various Second Life stores, groups, and organizations are still putting the final touches on their calendars and lists of calendars, but one that is already up and running is TeleportHub.com’s Advent Calendar Store List.
UPDATE Dec. 1st, 2023: Another popular list of calendars is Seraphim’s 2023 Holiday Sales and Advent Calendars List, which also includes details on December sales being held at various stores.
UPDATE Dec. 1st, 2023: Fabulously Free in SL (or FabFree for short) maintains the December Advent Listing of 24/25-day calendars and 12-day calendars. They also helpfully subdivide each section into free (or free-to-join group) calendars, and calendars where you have to pay a group fee to pick up each day’s gift.
Remember that these lists are updated often, so bookmark them and check back regularly. As I hear about other lists of Advent calendars, I will add them to this blog post! And please feel free to leave me a comment if you know about a store Advent calendar (or calendar list), thanks!
PRO TIPS: Dreamer Pixelmaid runs a Discord server, called Dreamer’s SL, with a dedicated Advent Calendar channel. Here’s your invitation to join us.
Popular Second Life YouTuber Naria Panthar also runs a Discord server with an Advent calendar channel; here’s the invite to join her Discord.
Volunteers (like me!) will try to post pictures of the gifts from various calendars to these Discord channels, but it will be somewhat hit-or-miss. Please see the next paragraph of this blogpost for another way to stay on top of the avalanche of Advent calendar gifts in Second Life!
UPDATE Dec. 1st, 2023: For the past couple of years, the very hardworking folks over at the Russian-language VKontakte group Second Life – FREE have posted a daily roundup of that day’s Advent calendar gifts, with pictures! And those Russian-speaking freebie fashionistas are doing it again for 2023. They even went so far as to create a handy directory of stores with links to pictures of each day’s Advent gift!
Bookmark this list and check back daily; this is probably THE easiest way to actually see each day’s calendar gifts without teleporting all over the grid, collecting and unpacking items! (Please note that you do not need to set up an account on VKontakte; if you click on an image, and it asks you to sign in, just click on the X icon in the upper-right hand corner of the pop-up window—see image, right. The image will then load in full size.)
To get around the language barrier, I usually have the VKontakte list open in one browser tab, and Google Translate in a second browser tab, and just cut and paste the Russian text into the translator. As I said, this is a very useful hidden resource for us seasoned Advent calendar plunderers! 😉
UPDATE Dec. 2nd, 2023: The HuntSL website has a number of posts about Advent calendars; you can find them all here.
UPDATE Dec. 5th, 2023: I just discovered another Advent calendar list which I had never heard of before, by AmigoUFO, called Christmas Advent Calendars List 2023, which seems to focus on just the free ones (or those that require a free group join). Amigo also maintains lists for Advent calendars for dinkies, tinies, and child avatars, and Christmas trees with gifts.
Bookmark this blog post and come back often for the latest updates! I will do my best to keep this blogpost as up-to-date as possible throughout December, and into the new year (yes, a few stores do have New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day gifts!).
Happy freebie shopping!
* I regret to say that, as I did last year, I will NOT be doing a daily round-up of Advent calendar gifts every day, either here on the blog or in the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals, and Freebies Second Life group (although I will still try and post some fabulous freebies and bargains to the latter, as I come across them). I’m sorry, but it’s simply too much work for me this year, and therefore I will leave that task to others. I have already posted my picks for the best 2023 Holiday Shop and Hop gifts to the group notices of my group. Happy holidays to all!