The Best Alternative Advent Calendars Money Can Buy

By Hilary Simmons
30th Nov 2016


The origins of the advent calendar date back to the 19th century when German Lutherans used to mark the 24 days til Christmas by making a little chalk mark on the wall. In 1908, a guy called Gerhard Lang invented today’s version of the advent calendar and made a lot of money selling designs with 24 little doors. Another company started producing advent calendars with Bible verses behind the closed doors—but the most popular advent calendars have always been the ones containing chocolate.

Until now.

If you didn’t know that you can now get gin advent calendars, whisky advent calendars, and even beauty product advent calendars, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Also, here’s where to get your paws on some, just in time for Christmas.

1.The Gin Filled Advent Calendar

If you’re going to put up with prying relatives and their hyperactive children, a tipple before breakfast is a must. The Ginvent Calendar contains 24 windows behind which lie 3cl samples of boutique gin. Standout brands include Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin, Hernö Old Tom Gin and Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin as well as many other craft treats. Get it here.

2.The Craft Beer Advent Calendar

If gin’s not your thing, get your festive nip on with a craft beer advent calendar. This baby contains 25 beers in total—including one to have on Christmas Day—ranging from ales, stouts, pilsners and imperials. It’s delivered in a well-dressed slab with a perforated inset on top of each beer to keep you guessing throughout the Christmas countdown. Order it from the good folks at Beer Cartel here.

3.The Festive Lingerie Advent Calendar

Look. We’re not sure the term ‘festive, luxury knickers’ is one that will appeal to everyone. But if by chance, the ‘sexy Santa’ fantasy is one that you subscribe to, this advent calendar will provide you will 24 pairs of premium smalls based on your preferences for style, cut and size. They’ll even whack in a personalised note for you. Order your poinsettia red and snowy white knickers here.

4.The Makeup Magic Advent Calendar

Created by Charlotte Tilbury, a British makeup artist, this makeup-filled advent calendar is pretty awesome, even though it only contains 12, not 24, travel-sized beauty products. These include Magic Cream Moisturiser, Wonderglow Skin Primer and an exclusive Pocket Pout Lipstick in Jessica Red that’s perfect for puckering up under the mistletoe. Check it out here.

5.The Bearded Man Advent Calendar

Ah, beards. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Unless, of course… never mind. The Bearded Man Company has created a bespoke advent calendar filled with 24 beard oils in scents like ‘Black Coffee’, ‘Fresh Cut Grass’ and ‘Bay Rum’. We’re feeling manlier already. Buy it for your follicly-blessed friends here.

6.The Pork Crackling Advent Calendar

We don’t want to destroy your pork-flavoured dreams, but just as we were writing this article, the pork crackling advent calendars by Snaffling Pig sold out. So you can’t get your hands on a festive pick ‘n’ mix of flavoured pork crackling this year, but you can make a mental note to do so next year. Plus, each calendar has a shelf life of four months so you can order them in bulk and pig out in advance! The company also sells other swine-themed goodies like crackling jars and ‘piggin’ beer’. 

7.The Sex Toy Advent Calendar

‘Tis the season to be jolly, amirite? The sex toy advent calendar—otherwise known as ‘The Big Box of Sexual Happiness’ – contains 24 sexy surprises for him, for her and for couples. If you’ve been very, very nice this year then this adults-only advent calendar is an excellent way to get naughty. Grab one here.

Image credit: Master Of Malt

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