Mince pies and sausage rolls - Greggs advent calendar with a difference

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With chocolate advent calendars becoming the norm, a couple of dozen sample-size products are now the ideal way to get us in the Christmas spirit.

For anyone driving to work, beer and prosecco may not be a great way to start the day, while cheese is similarly not to everyone’s taste.

But who doesn’t want some baked goods from one of the UK’s favourite bakers?

So the calendar launched by Greggs is sure to be a firm favourite with, well, as they describe it, ‘the ultimate Christmas gift for every Greggs fan.’

Unfortunately, rather than the door revealing a tasty morsel, you will instead find a token, that you then take into one of Greggs’ shops and exchange it for a different treat every day.

The company have a Christmas menu on top of its regular offerings, so as well as the ubiquitous sausage roll, there’s the Festive Bake, flavoured lattes and sweet mince pies.

The calendar doesn’t come all that cheap, to be fair - but offsetting the £24 cost is the £5 gift card behind door 24. And its contents are reckoned to be worth, at retail prices, between £35 and £60.

And just to show Christmas is a time for giving, some lucky customers will find a £25 gift card on Christmas Eve, which will put you ahead on the deal.

A Greggs spokesperson said: “Novelty advent calendars have been around for years, so we thought it was time to take the concept up a notch.”

However, Greggs have come under fire following the calendar’s launch, as one of the campaign pictures features the three wise men in a manger, but with the baby Jesus replaced by a sausage roll.

The ‘Adoration of the pastry’ has sparked a mixture of outrage and amusement online.

Simon Richards of The Freedom Organisation said: “Please boycott @GreggsOfficial to protest against its sick anti-Christian Advent Calendar. What cowards these people are: we all know that they would never dare insult other religions!”

And Beth Rosenberg said: “Out of interest do you think the people at Greggs understand that Jesus was Jewish and serving up a pork sausage roll in the manger is unbelievably inappropriate?”

However, food critic Jay Rayner said: “This is appalling... this is outrageous... as a Jew I strongly... ooh, Greggs sausage roll…”

And comic Bob Mortimer tweeted: “Come on KFC.. show Greggs the way... put a miniature Jesus in all your Christmas buckets”.