The Best Alternative Advent Calendars To Grab If You’re Sick Of Chocolate

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best alternative advent calendars

by Anna Dewhurst |
Updated on

We love a good chocolate advent calendar, don’t get us wrong, but since there are so many floating about in the countdown to Christmas, sometimes we find ourselves looking for something a little different - alternative advent calendars, you might call them. With an influx of new and exciting options on the market, you can have your choice of the best for the festive season. Leaving chocolate behind, you'll be seriously impressed with these choices.

We've all heard of beauty advent calendars. But did you know you can also get, erm, dog biscuit advent calendars? And jewellery advent calendars? The most popular brands have really pulled through to allow everyone to get what they really want during the holidays. 'Tis the indulgent season, after all.

Grazia's Best Alternative Advent Calendars At A Glance:

In a rush? Shop our favourites below, or keep scrolling for our full list.

Editor's choice: Emma Bridgewater Embroidered Long Advent Calendar, £65 on Emma Bridgewater

Best non-chocolate alternative advent calendar: Gourmet Marshmallow Advent Calendar, £23.95 on Not On The Highstreet

Best beauty alternative advent calendar: SEPHORA FAVORITES Advent Calendar 2023, £189 on Sephora

We’ve done a deep dive and curated our top alternative advent calendars of 2023 to make the build-up to Christmas Day a little bit more special. Whether you're looking for a smaller 12-day choice or want to go all out with a 24-day advent calendar, there's something for everyone. Now all you have to do is to decide which one works for you…

SHOP: The Best Alternative Advent Calendars 2023

Editor's choice

Emma Bridgewater Embroidered Long Advent CalendarEmma Bridgewater

We love the idea of an advent calendar that can be used year after year, and this beautiful option from Emma Bridgewater can be filled with any treats you like.

Best non-chocolate alternative advent calendar

alternative advent calendars Gourmet Marshmallow Advent Calendarnotonthehighstreet

Featuring twelve classic, festive and sweet-inspired flavours, this Gourmet Marshmallow Advent Calendar from The Naked Marshmallow Co. is a real treat for those with a sweet tooth.

Best beauty alternative advent calendar

SEPHORA FAVORITES Advent Calendar 2023sephora

After the continued hype around Sephora hitting the UK market last year, it was inevitable we would see the beauty brand smash it out of the park with its Christmas collection. This may be the best beauty advent calendar to snap up this year so far. This SEPHORA Favourites Advent Calendar is worth over £1000, selling for just £189.

Best stationery alternative advent calendar

PAPIER 24 Doors of Desk Delightspapier

For the stationery lover, this limited edition advent calendar from Papier includes a selection of delightful mini bestsellers and exclusive designs, worth £160.

Best savoury alternative advent calendar

Say hello to Ilchester's swanky new Cheese Advent Calendar. That's right, the premium advent calendar is offering this huge box of twenty-four delicious cheeses for each day of the Christmas season.

Best luxury alternative advent calendar

The White Company Beauty Advent CalendarThe White Company

Worth over £273, The White Company's highly covetable Advent Calendar will make Christmas feel extra luxurious. A daily indulgence, discover 25 pull-out drawers filled with everything from bath and body miniatures to votives in bestselling scents in full-size.

Best jewellery alternative advent calendar

Missoma Jewellery Advent Calendar - SilverMissoma

If you're a bit of a magpie and your jewellery collection is your most prized possession, Missoma's jewellery advent calendars are sure to delight. Worth hundreds of pounds more than you'd pay, there are options available in silver (£365), gold (£395), and fine (£2,295).

Best luxury alternative advent calendar

Fortnum's Feasting Advent CalendarFortnum and mason

Treat yourself to a delicious surprise every day from royal favourite, Fortnum & Mason with their Feasting Advent Calendar. Comprising everything you need for the most luxurious start to the festive season, this calendar contains treats such as classic teas, biscuits, chocolate and confectionery to mouth-watering preserves, condiments and festive tipples.

Best gin alternative advent calendar

Fever Tree Gin &Tonic Advent Calendarjohn lewis

We can't resist another tipple advent calendar, and this one's made with those gin drinkers in mind. If you love a G&T, you know that Fever-Tree is one of the best tonics you can grab. Have your pick with plenty of gins and tonic varieties to enjoy in the Fever-Tree Gin and Tonic Advent Calendar.

Best haircare alternative advent calendar

Invisibobble Xmas Collection Time to Shine - Advent Calendarsalon trusted

Always losing your hair ties or know someone who is? This unique Xmas Collection Time to Shine advent calendar from Invisibobble will really make them smile. With a selection of hair-loving accessories (plus, some VERY cute festive options), it'll be useful for years to come.

Best perfume alternative advent calendar

The Fragrance Shop Advent Calendar 2023The Fragrance Shop
Price: £85 (£68 member price)

The Fragrance Shop Advent Calendar is one for those who really love their perfumes out there. This advent calendar is jam-packed with indulgent fragrances as well as beauty staples. Includes top-sellers like Prada, Marc Jacobs and YSL. It keeps selling out so make sure you snap it up quickly.

Best sweets alternative advent calendar

Candy Kittens Advent Calendar 2023ocado

Those with a sweet tooth can sink into this advent calendar from the sweet company owned by MIC's Jamie Laing. That's right, Candy Kittens' Advent Calendar is back for 2023, with 24 days of Advent to enjoy.

Best sweet-treat alternative advent calendar

Bonne Maman Jam Advent Calendarocado

Spread the Christmas cheer (pardon the pun) this December with this adorable Bonne Maman Jam Advent Calendar, filled with delicious jams and spreads to enjoy.

Best tea alternative advent calendar

Pukka Organic Tea Advent Calendarwaitrose

There's nothing better than costing up with a warm brew in the cold winter months. Now, you can have a new cuppa every single day of December ready and waiting for you with the Pukka Organic Tea Advent Calendar.

Best whiskey alternative advent calendar

Whisky Advent Calendar (2023 Edition)master of malt
Price: £129.95 (was £149.95)

If you know a whisky fan who deserves a treat this Christmas, then it doesn't get much better than the Whisky Advent Calendar by Master of Malt. It includes an expertly curated collection of 24 hand-waxed 30ml drams of whisky from a range of incredible producers, including distillers, blenders, and bottlers.

Best Fairtrade chocolate advent calendar

Tony’s Chocolonely Countdown Calendarselfridges

Okay, so this is a chocolate advent calendar, but it's a chocolate advent calendar with a difference. Tony's Chocolonely Countdown Calendar lets you enjoy 10 different flavours of Fairtrade milk, dark and white chocolate, ready for sharing (or not!). With each window, you'll contribute to Tony's Chocolonely’s mission to make 100 per cent slave-free the norm in chocolate.

Best pet alternative advent calendar

Personalised Dog Advent Calendarnotonthehighstreet

Do they know it's Christmas? Dogs, that is. Well, probably not. But, if all the humans are getting treats all month, then it feels a bit cruel to leave them out. So, why not treat them (or your favourite canine-loving human) to this Personalised Dog Advent Calendar wreath? 24 biscuit treats, one for each day of December. Just make sure it's hung up nice and high!

Best nail polish alternative advent calendar

Is 'paint, shape and decorate' your mantra? Well, look no further than the Ciaté Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar, worth £125, full of multi-coloured nail polishes. There's no excuse not to get experimental this party season, with 23 minis to choose from, as well as a full-size bottle.

Best men's alternative advent calendar

Man'Stuff Grooming Advent Calendarmenkind

For the man in your life, we present the perfect pre-Christmas gift: Man'Stuff Grooming Advent Calendar. Not only will he smell gorgeous, but he'll feel like a million bucks.

Best plant alternative advent calendar

The Urban Botanist Plant Advent Calendarthe Urban Botanist

For any green-fingered family members, we can't think of a more charming way to mark the festive season than The Urban Botanist Plant Advent Calendar, filled with mini succulents and 'ancillary botanical gifts' such as planters, misters and pots.

Anna Dewhurst is the Senior Picture Editor for Grazia.

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