An alternative advent

Count down the days of December a little differently this year…

Don’t get me wrong: chocolate is never going to get boring. When it comes to chocolate advent calendars though, we all know the element of surprise has well and truly gone. Here’s our pick of the best alternative advent calendars, guaranteed make this year’s Christmas countdown a little more interesting.

Whisky advent calendar

The Whisky Advent Calendar – Master of Malt – £149.95
With your daily treat coming in the form of a little dram of whisky, this is a chocolate-free calendar that we can really get on board with. It may make the usual sneaky mass gorge (you know, the one that often occurs around the 10th December when the novelty of waiting has worn off) slightly less advisable, though.

Craft beer advent calendar

Craft Beer Advent Calendar – Beer Hawk – £65
Also guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit is this calendar from Beer Hawk, packed with ales, pilsners, IPAs and stouts from some of the world’s best brewers, including Camden Town Brewery, Flying Dog and Birra del Borgo. Just make sure you don’t combine it with the whisky calendar.

Niederegger Christmas tree advent calendar

Niederegger Christmas Tree Advent Calendar – Amazon – £21.99
Who says marzipan is only for Christmas cake? The marzipan masters at Niederegger make the stuff so well that we don’t think we’d even make it to the 10th before scoffing the lot with this one.

Perkulatte coffee advent calendar

Perkulatte Coffee Advent Calendar – Not on the High Street – £35
Know someone who is never without a cuppa? This classy advent calendar is sure to keep them going until Christmas. There’s a different coffee for each day of December, including Mexican Finca Muxbal, Costa Rican Hermosa and Colombian Inza. Each is kept fresh in an elegant individual sachet and all are presented in a luxury gift box.

Christmas Circus advent biscuit tin

Christmas Circus Advent Biscuit Tin – Biscuiteers – £48 (£99 with cloth calendar)
All the fun of the fair is rolled into this hand-illustrated gift tin. The vanilla-flavour biscuits are intricately iced and include a Christmas tree, a big top and a really adorable tiger. To display them one per day, splash out on the cloth calendar pockets designed by Susie Watson.

Eat Your Greens chocolate sprouts advent calendar

Eat Your Greens Chocolate Sprouts Advent Calendar – Not on the High Street – £26
Much as I love a Christmas dinner, sprouts don’t come top of my festive favourites – unless they’re chocolate ones in this fab calendar by Quirky Gift Library. If you can’t pace yourself with a daily dose, then why not aim for five a day?

Dairy-free vegan chocolate advent calendar

Dairy-Free Vegan Chocolate Advent Calendar – Holland & Barrett – £3.99
To those that have been robbed of chocolaty treats in past advents due to lactose intolerance or a vegan diet: this deprivation continues no more. This great-value calendar from Holland & Barrett is also organic and Fairtrade. I don’t think anyone can argue with that.

Lucy Palmer

Lucy Palmer

Lucy is an ex-Fed Up & Drunker who has now been released into the wild.

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