Alternative Advent Calendars

•Features gifted items•

With December fast approaching, it’s that time of year when our family pick out an advent calendar to enjoy during the lead-up to Christmas. I used to love opening a chocolate advent calendar as a child, getting excited each morning when I got to open up another window, and it’s lovely to see my children experiencing the same thing all these years later. Advent Calendars don’t have to just be for children, however. This year I have put together a roundup post of some amazing alternative advent calendars suitable for the whole family. Enjoy!


Thorntons – Continental

Looking for a chocolate calendar but want something a little special? The Thorntons Continental calendar is filled with mouth-watering treats for grown ups to enjoy each day in the lead-up to Christmas. Viennese Truffle, Sicilian Mousse, Alpini Praline, Espresso, Chocolate Milano… to name but a few.

Secret Message Advent Calendar

A truly unique gift. With this Secret Message Advent Calendar you add the magic and can say what you want to the recipient whether you are planning a Christmas proposal or just hinting at their Christmas gift, the chocolate letters will reveal your message day by day.

Popcorn Shed – Jingle Bell Pop

Looking for something a little different from Chocolate but still fancy a tasty treat? Popcorn Shed have released a brilliant calendar this year – Jingle Bell Pop, with a bag of their delicious flavoured popcorn behind each door.

Eden Mill – 12 Gins of Christmas

Alcohol alternatives to advent calendars are a fun way for adults to count down to Christmas and get in the spirit (pun intended). The 12 Gins of Christmas from Eden Mill is perfect and beautifully packaged, with two layers of gins and gin liqueurs, to make a lovely gift for a loved one.

Christmas with Beanies Flavour Coffee

Coffee lover? The Christmas with Beanies Flavour Coffee advent calendar has a different stick sachet combination (2 per day) behind the doors along with a ceramic Beanies mug and a mystery flavour jar for Christmas Eve. They currently have an offer on their Christmas with Beanies bundle, where you can get the advent calendar along with several other products for just £29.99, which is a great gift idea for those who love their daily coffee!

Buttermilk – The Countdown to Christmas

Not keen on chocolate but still have a sweet tooth? Buttermilk’s The Countdown to Christmas advent calendar available from Sous Chef, is filled with flavoured fudge from the family run Cornish Buttermilk business. Flavours include crumbly mince pie, crumbly gingerbread and crumbly sea salt – yum!


No7 – 25 Days of Beauty

I try not to include items that have sold out, but the No7 25 Days of Beauty notoriously sells out within a day or two every year, and I wanted to feature it because it is so beautiful, and one of the more affordable beauty calendars out there. Boots do have some other beauty advent calendars still in stock including the equally pretty Macmillan Beauty Calendar and the newly launched collaborative calendar with Glamour magazine, which includes luxury brands such as Lancôme and Estée Lauder.

MAD Beauty – Beauty Advent Calendar

MAD Beauty’s Oh Deer 24 Day Advent Calendar is full of products from the MAD Beauty range including lip gloss and lipsticks, nail polish and eyeshadow palettes. Sure to be a hit this Christmas and priced at just £20!

Bomb Cosmetics – Tinsel my Fancy

Looking for something a little bit different than the usual beauty calendars? Why not try out the new Tinsel My Fancy advent calendar from Bomb Cosmetics, which features 24 of the brand’s fantastic products behind each door. Truly pamper yourself in the run-up to Christmas with a selection of soaps, shower gels, bath blasters, hand creams and body scrubs.


PAW Patrol Advent Calendar

Got a little PAW Patrol fan in the family? They will be over the moon with this themed advent calendar, which includes a small PAW Patrol figure or accessory behind each door. Available from toy stores and Argos and suitable for age 3 and over.

Lego – Harry Potter Advent Calendar

The kids love Lego and it has become a bit of a tradition to treat them to the advent calendars at Christmas. The Lego Harry Potter Advent Calendar is perfect for fans of the books and films, with 24 toys including mini figures of the main characters and models to build such as a micro Hogwarts Express train and the Great Hall table.


Chelsea Physic Garden Advent Calendar

Wanting something more traditional? The Chelsea Physic Garden advent calendar is just that, with proceeds from the sale of the calendars going to the Chelsea Physic Garden charity to maintain the grounds. The calendar has been illustrated by the talented Helen Beard, and was inspired by the magical surroundings of the Garden during winter; behind each door awaits a stunning Christmas inspired design.


Vanilla Reindeer – Countdown to Christmas

Looking to gift an advent calendar as a present? Vanilla Reindeer have a whole range of personalised advent calendars, which you can add a name, message and even a photo of your recipient to make a truly personalised calendar. I have created this one for my nan, who only had her first advent calendar last year and is now a big fan!

Advent Candle

This Advent Candle from Norma & Dorothy can be personalised with names of your choice and will burn until Christmas Day if lit for 1 hour a day. Scented with festive orange and cinnamon, this candle would make a lovely gift.

Hopefully this post will have given you some ideas for alternative advent calendars this Christmas. Let me know if you try any of them out and what you think in the comments!

Some of the items featured in this post have been gifted to me. All words and images are my own. 

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