Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Your Guide to the 2023 Advent Calendars and 12 Days of Christmas Calendars in Second Life

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’s Advent Calendar Store List.

TeleportHub maintains a good list of Advent and 12 Days of Christmas calendars

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.

Seraphim compiles a list of dozens of stores with holiday sales and Advent calendars

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.

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!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

* 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 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!

Resonite: A Brief Introduction to a New Virtual World/Social VR Platform

There’s a brand-new virtual world/social VR platform I want to tell you about! It’s called Resonite, and it is the product of a hard-working and super-talented team of software developers at Yellow Dog Man Studios.

Resonite runs in both standard and virtual reality modes. While it does not require a VR headset to enjoy, it certainly is a lot more fun if you have one! Any virtual reality headset supported by the Steam ecosystem will work (I use a Valve Index at home, and an HTC Vive Pro 2 at work).

Last weekend, I downloaded and installed the software at home to use with my Valve Index, and I was quite impressed with the new user orientation! It reminds me a lot of the former Sansar Social Hub with its airy, futuristic vibes.

The Resonite New User Tutorial

Also, all new users receive a beautiful new cloud home, as their personal home base in Resonite, to decorate (or add on to!) as they wish. Oh, and I forgot to mention, you can also easily transfer over your avatar and any other personal files (and homes/worlds) from Neos, if you wish.

Here’s a recently-released mini-trailer to give you a small taste of this product:

Resonite is now available to download under the Early Access program on Steam. The development team is hard at work on tutorials, and a wiki, and they’ve started a GitHub Issue Tracker, as well as a section on their official website for product support, including the ability to report bugs and track previously reported issues.

To learn more about Resonite, please visit their website, join their Discord server (which already has over 3,000 members!), or follow the project on your favourite social media platform: Bluesky, Mastodon, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter/X, and YouTube. And, if you want to financially support the development of Resonite (and get extra perks), they have a Patreon page, with over 2,400 supporters already! (I am now one of those proud supporters of Resonite.)

And because I expect that I will be writing a lot about Resonite from today forward, I have set up a new blogpost category called Resonite, which I will be attaching to this blog post, and to any future ones! Stay tuned for future news and events!

An Update on the Social VR Platform NeosVR and the Neos Discord Server

I wanted to share with you some news I recently received about the social VR platform NeosVR, which I have written about often in the past on this blog (here’s a link to all the previous blog posts, plus this one).

On September 21st, 2023 Veer, a member of the developer team, posted the following message to the NeosVR Discord server:

Hello everyone.

For many months, the Neos Development Team has been engaged in negotiations with Mr. Karel Hulec, attempting to resolve the conflict that has been at the center of the current development freeze. Unfortunately, today we are here to announce that the negotiations have failed to produce an agreement satisfactory to both parties.

Mr. Karel Hulec has recently listed on the Neos Wiki several members of the Development Team as contributors to a new project titled the “Neos Foundation”. None of the listed team members were contacted at any point concerning the listing of their names on the Neos Wikis, nor have any of them agreed to work with Mr. Karel Hulec in the Neos Foundation or any other project.

Following the negotiations, on April 24th, 2023, and due to increasing difficulties in establishing the trust necessary to continue his partnership with Mr. Karel Hulec, Frooxius resigned from his position at Solirax LTD. We no longer see a path to successful reconciliation, so the remaining Development Team, including the leads of the moderation and quality control teams, the content team, and the support team, are now officially resigning from our roles as part of this community.

We understand this has been a period of intense frustration for some members of the community, as the lack of updates and communication from the Development Team led to uncertainty about the future of your projects and Neos as a platform. We apologize for our silence, it was due to legal advice we had received, and our attempt to keep the ongoing conflict resolution as professional as possible. Unfortunately, an understanding could not be found that would allow us to continue to work with the Neos community. The disagreements we had with Mr. Karel Hulec were too far-reaching and too significant to allow for a compromise. His conduct and lack of professionalism soured opportunities to resolve our differences. We hope you will continue to make wonderful projects in the future, wherever those future efforts lie.

We understand you may have many questions for the Development Team, but as we are removing ourselves from our positions within the Neos community, we will be limiting our presence on this Discord server going forward. Any questions for individuals formerly on the team will need to be sent through direct messages or other personal channels.

On October 7th, 2023, Veer posted:

Hey everyone, as there is no longer moderation administration present in this unofficial discord, we’ll be locking down the channels from further communication. This is to prevent the server from becoming unsafe to users, any projects or brands, and other entities due to unmoderated discourse.

I take this to mean that the NeosVR Discord is now officially closed, and indeed, no more messages can be posted in any of the channels. (I hope that this Discord remains, if for no other reason than historical purposes.)

This marks the end of a decade-long era, and the conclusion of a long period of uncertainty as to the future of the project. Many people might not realize that the roots of NeosVR date as far back to 2014, with a project named World of Comenius (you can learn more here, in part one of what was originally intended to be a multi-part series of blogposts about the history of NeosVR, which unfortunately I never got around to completing due to my full-time paying job as an academic librarian).

I wish all involved with NeosVR success in their future endeavours!

I leave you with a 20-minute YouTube video by VR pundit ThrillSeeker, done last year, which goes into some of the details of what went wrong with NeosVR: