Saturday, 8 November 2014

Alternative Advent Calendars (For Everyone!)...

I've seen a fair few posts showing alternative advent calendars recently, especially beauty ones. I've been thinking about doing a post like this for a while, so I thought now would be the perfect time as the 1st December will be here before we know it! I've gone down a different route and not included any beauty advent calendars but calendars that are a little bit different.

1. 12 beers of Christmas contains 12 craft beers created by award winning UK Microbreweries that have all been approved by the Best of British Beer tasting panel. The name suggests that the beers are designed to be drunk during the 12 days of Christmas which starts on the 25th December and ends on the 5th January. However, I do feel that as it's sometimes so hard to find unique advent calendars and even gifts for men, that this was too good an idea not to include. Of course, it could be used whenever really, so it could be started 12 days before Christmas day if you really wanted. The beers are delivered in a robust card Christmas tree, with each beer securely held inside. You can also include a message on a gift card for no additional cost if you wish. This is available from Not On The High Street for £49.50. There is another beer themed advent calendar on that website that is for the full 25 days in the run up to Christmas but this is a little bit more pricey at £115. Another option would be to hand make something like this whether it be bottles of beer in a crate with numbers covering the top or a handmade box. It might work out a little cheaper if you can get a good deal at your local supermarket. Overall, I think this is a great idea for a boyfriend or husband that drinks and likes to try different beers!

2. Advent Christmas Tea Gift Set contains a collection of 25 tea bags packaged in individual paper envelopes. The packaging for the tea bags are super cute containing Christmas themed quotes, sure to get you in the spirit for Christmas. The teas are sourced from well-known British tea companies, which I love! You can choose which flavours you want to be within the advent calendar, so you can match the calendar to the taste of the person you're buying it for. Although there are 25 individual tea bag packages, they aren't mounted like a traditional advent calendar but you can order a gift bag or a gift box with the calendar if you would like one. They are pre-made but I love that the company that makes and sells these are willing to work with you if you would like specific colours, designs or text. I love tea, so something like this would be right up my street. I'm sure there are plenty of tea lovers out there who would agree! You can get this from Not On The High Street for just £19.50 (edit: the exact advent version of this set doesn't seem to be available any more as of a couple of days after this post was published. The link I've included is for basically the same thing).

3. Lebkuchen Schmidt Advent Calendar is a luxurious biscuit advent calendar that is really rather special. It contains 25 biscuity treats that are packaged in individual boxes within a larger box that forms the calendar. There is a rip along section towards the bottom of the calendar that you open and the gorgeous little boxes appear showing their number. As you take boxes out each day, another box drops down with another number so you can just pick the corresponding number for each date in the run up to Christmas. It's such a lovely advent calendar and would appeal to so many people, both male and female. Who doesn't like a nice biscuit with a cuppa tea?! This is available for £35.99 from Selfridges.

4. Jelly Belly Advent Calendar contains 24 pyramid bags of Jelly Belly beans, a great alternative to chocolate advent calendars. I think it's especially good for those that can't have chocolate or prefer sweets over chocolate. I love this and would be so happy having this as my advent calendar. It looks so well put together, even down to the Father Christmas image on the front being made up of jelly beans. This calendar is just £15 from John Lewis, which I don't think is bad to be honest considering alternative advent calendars aren't always cheap anyway.

5. Wera Tools Advent Calendar is a fab alternative advent calendar for men as it contains tools! However, it doesn't mean that it isn't good for those women who like to diy ;). It contains 24 high quality tools including a screwdriver, bottle opener, Rapidaptor bit holder, mini-check etc. Wera is one of the leading manufacturers of screw driving tools operating worldwide so you know these are going to be high quality tools that will be useful and last a long time. I think this would be great for someone who needs new tools or someone that has just moved into their own house and doesn't yet have any tools. It would be great for so many people for so many different reasons. You can get this from Amazon for £49.95.

6. Personalised Scratch Family Activity Advent Calendar had to make an appearance in my post because I thought it was such a sweet, novelty idea for the whole family to get involved with. The calendar is based on a sturdy piece of card with 24 scratch circles. Each circle reveals a challenge, craft or activity to do on the countdown to Christmas. For those of you that have children that can't have chocolate this is a great alternative that will still make little ones happy. One example of an activity is to have a fancy dress dinner! You can choose to personalise your calendar if you wish for a little extra meaning it will include your family name instead of just saying 'Our Family Advent Calendar'. You can buy this calendar from Not On The High Street for just £8.50. I'd say this would be something that you could hand make for your family and put peelable stickers or paper flaps over the activities, but I think it'd be quite cool for the activities to be a surprise for parents too. That way you can all talk about the activities together based on your first impression of each one and for the price at least you know it won't break the bank.

7. Hotel Chocolat Truffle Advent Calendar is a little bit different to the traditional chocolate advent calendar as it's designed to be shared. There are 24 windows and behind each window are two baby truffles, so 48 in total. The flavours sound amazing, they include salted caramel, gingerbread, mulled wine and cinnamon. I think this is such a sweet idea and I can imagine me and my hubby enjoying this together. I can imagine this being lovely for parents, two friends who live together, siblings etc. This one does contain alcohol in some of the truffles, so you might want to bare that in mind. You can buy it from John Lewis for £26.

8. Fortune Cookie Advent Calendar consists of a 24 day countdown to Christmas with handcrafted fortune cookies made in delicious flavours. Flavours include apple pie, chocolate and chilli and strawberry and mint. The fortune cookies are all free of artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. The company that makes these air dry their own zests, grind their own spices and enjoy creating new flavour combinations, so you know you're getting a good quality product. Each fortune contains a double sided traditional, festive or fun message and you can choose the combination of messages (not the exact messages, so nothing will be spoiled) before you order. The fortune cookies come in individual clear bags sealed with the date at the top and these are all packaged in a larger box. You can purchase this from Not On The High Street for £32.99.

9. Nutcracker Advent Charm Calendar I think would make a great alternative to sweets and chocolates for young girls. It comes as a jewellery box style calendar with a cute little pop up Nutcracker theatre scene which is revealed when you open the top of the box. There are two trays inside the box, each with 12 compartments which hold a silver coloured bracelet and 23 charms. How sweet! I can imagine little girls being thrilled with their new bracelet and being able to add a charm every day in the run up to Christmas. You can buy this from Not On The High Street for £16.95.

I've noticed alternative advent calendars being talked about a lot more this year on Twitter and I think it's great that brands are all trying to re-create their own each year. I remember a time when it was just those simple solid chocolate advent calendars and nothing else. They've come such a long way and it's great and adds another element of excitement to the whole run up to Christmas.

What alternative advent calendars have you seen?

Are you having a traditional chocolate advent calendar this year or something a little bit different? 

Comment down below, I'd love to know!

Thanks so much for reading!
Gem XxOo
*Images courtesy of Not On The High Street, Selfridges, John Lewis and Amazon.


  1. Great blog post! It's nice to see an alternative to all the beauty ones. I usually have a chocolate one but treated myself to a No7 one this year. Will have to get a chocolate one too hehe.

    Gemma x

    1. Aww, thanks so much. It means a lot & that you've commented too :). I got me and the hubby a chocolate one a few weeks ago, all ready to go! I love the Jelly Belly one above though too! Xx

  2. I really want to try the new yankee advent calender advertised.. :)

    1. Ahh yeah, I've seen that one on a few blogs. I love Yankee Candles so that'd definitely be a lovely one to have :). Thanks so much for commenting lovely. Xx

  3. A beer a day - perfect! :)

    How about an Acts of Kindness advent calendar, with a different good deed/task to do each day? We'd love to know what you think of our effort:!

    1. Hey! I've just checked out your calendar. It's such a lovely, sweet idea! It's amazing how much a difference just one of those good deeds will make to someone's day :).


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