We love a good chocolate advent calendar, don’t get us wrong, but since there is so much floating about in the countdown to Christmas, sometimes we find ourselves looking for something a little different from our advent calendar. From whisky, to hair accessories, to, erm, dog biscuits, we’ve done a deep dive and curated our top alternative advent calendars of 2021 to make the build up to Christmas Day that little bit more special. Now all you have to do is to decide which one works for you…
Alternative Advent Calendars - Grazia
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 biscuit advent wreath. 24 biscuit treats, one for each day of December. Just make sure it's hung up nice and high!
We may have mentioned (once or twice!) before that iced biscuits hold the key to our heart...Thankfully, Biscuiteers has partnered with designer Sophie Conran, to produce this limited edition hand-embroidered calendar ready for filling with biscuits, that's so gorgeous, you'll want to pass it down for generations to come. The calendar, that is – those biscuits will be long gone (especially if we are around).
Is 'paint, shape and decorate' your mantra? Well look no further than this calendar full of multi-coloured nail polishes. There's no excuse not to get experimental this party season, with 22 minis to choose from, as well as a hydrating primer.
If you know a whisky fan that deserves a treat this Christmas, then it doesn't get much better than this. With an expertly curated collection of 24, 30cl (that's just over a single) mini bottles from around the world, even the most dedicated whisky drinker will have a few surprises in store.
We are huge fans of Mr Bingo, and this year's hand-printed advent calendar doesn't disappoint. A genuine work of art, this collectable calendar is hand-signed by the man himself and is just begging to be framed. Have a (very satisfying) scratch of each number, and instead of chocolates, well, just take a peek...Mr Bingo shoots 24 sets of plucky – very nude – volunteers for his calendar each year and it has become somewhat of a festive institution among his fans. And if you have five minutes, why not see how long it takes you to spot Mr Bingo, himself, in amongst all the flesh.
Trying to lay off the sweet treats this December? Then this ridiculously cute advent calendar may be just the thing for you. Packaged in a candy-striped suitcase, each 'window' contains a beautifully crafted wooden ornament so that, day-by-day, you can create a festive village scene.
This year, Diptyque's beauty advent calendar has been fashioned as a rather beguiling 'cabinet of curiosities'. Intrigued? You should be. Inside you'll find scented candles, perfumes, rich body butter and smoothing body polish (i.e. everything you need for a sumptuous run-up to the big day).
Fancy giving a bit back this December? Then treat yourself or someone else to one of these calendars from the charity, Advent of Change. Open a numbered door each day to reveal which of the 24 charities you have donated towardsu2026and whether it be protecting endangered animals or the oceans, you will have kicked off the day knowing you have helped to actually make a difference.
Meghan Markle's favourite jewellery designer, Missoma, has put together what must be most people's dream advent calendar. We can't think of any other way we'd rather spend 12 mornings than opening these doors to reveal £812 worth of delicate gold huggie hoops, padlock necklaces, hair clips and chain anklets (to name just four).
Treat yourself to a delicious surprise every day from royal favourite, Fortnum & Mason. Comprising everything you need for the most luxurious start to the festive season, this calendar contains treats such as pistachio and clotted cream biscuits, fig preserve, cognac butter and honey gin. This really is a foodie paradise.
For the hirsute man in your life, we present the perfect pre-Christmas gift: 24, 100% naturally scented beard oils for the 24 days in the run up to Christmas. Not only will he smell gorgeous, but his facial fuzz will be silky smooth, all in good time for that kiss under the mistletoe.
For any green-fingered family members, we can't think of a more charming way to mark the festive season than a plant advent calendar filled with mini succulents and 'ancillary botanical gifts' such as planters, baubles and fairy lights. Available to pre-order now.
READ MORE:**** The Best Beauty Advent Calendars 2021