Beard oil, chilli powder and sex toys: The best alternative advent calendars 2021

·4-min read
Surprise a loved one with a unique advent calendar this Christmas. (The Naked Marshmallow Co)
Surprise a loved one with a unique advent calendar this Christmas. (The Naked Marshmallow Co)

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The release of advent calendars is now in full swing and there's no denying it, Christmas really is on its way.

But if you've yet to see an advent calendar that takes your fancy, or you're looking for something a little different this year (either for yourself or as a gift to a loved one), we've got a few suggestions.

We've scoured the internet to find the best alternative advent calendars to buy this year, from perfumes to festive tea flavours. 

Your only problem now? Restraining yourself from buying every single one. 

Best alternative advent calendars 

Gourmet Marshmallow Advent Calendar | £18.95 from Not On The High Street

(The Naked Marshmallow Co)
(The Naked Marshmallow Co)

The world’s first Gourmet Marshmallow Advent Calendar is back! 

Toasting marshmallows on an open fire feels like one of the most festive images you can conjure, which is why we're all here for 25 deliciously gooey pieces of handmade, gourmet marshmallow in a selection of sumptuous flavours.

Think: Vanilla Bean, Salted Caramel, Strawberry Cream, Candy Floss, S'mores, Cookies & Cream and more.

Lovehoney Couples 24 Day Advent Calendar | £100 from Boots

Christmas is the season for giving - and, in the case of the Lovehoney Advent Calendar, receiving - so why not spice things up with this saucy advent calendar? Behind each mystery door is a carefully selected toy, gift, game or bondage item, for him, her or both of you, that will last you well beyond the festive season. 

The Snaffling Pig Pork Advent Calendar | £16.99 from IWOOT

Forget stuffing, it's all about the scratchings this year, with the best-selling Snaffling Pig Pork Crackling advent calendar. With flavours including Pigs in Blankets, Marvellous Maple and Perfectly Salted, a treat-sized bag of scratchings can be found behind each of the 24 windows.

Christmas Tea Lovers Advent Calendar | £25 from Fortnum & Mason

(Fortnum & Mason)
(Fortnum & Mason)

We think £25 is pretty good going for an advent calendar from London's most iconic (and expensive) department store. Filled with a collection of their best and brightest brews in silky bags, this calendar is ideal for any tea-lovers. 

Joe & Steph’s Gourmet Popcorn Vegan Advent Calendar | £20 from Boots

We don't just love this because it's accessible to vegans, we love this popcorn advent calendar because it will revolutionise the way you think about the popping corn snack. 

Behind each of the 24 drawers are snack sized packets of artisan popcorn, including flavours such as Salted Caramel, Toffee Apple & Cinnamon, Coconut & Cacao Popcorn and Olive Oil, Black Pepper and Sea Salt. 

The Bearded Man Beard Oil Calendar | £30 from MenKind

This calendar is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s an advent calendar full of beard oils. 24 to be precise, and each is 100% natural and ideal for anyone whose beard rivals Santa’s.

Advent Calendar With Gourmet Chilli Powders | £39.99 from Not On The Highstreet

(Not On The High Street/ MARVLING BROS LTD)
(Not On The High Street/ MARVLING BROS LTD)

Ideal for anyone who likes it hot, this chilli powder advent calendar is a collection of 24 matchboxes, each containing a different chilli to be tried every day. 

From the legendary Carolina Reaper to the fruity flavours of Mexico and the colourful chillies of India, each day you will get to discover a different chilli, in the form of powder, flake or whole pod.

Coffee Advent Calendar | £39.99 from Not On The Highstreet

We couldn't add something for the tea lovers without giving the coffee lovers a look-in too. Discover 24 craft coffees with a handpicked selection of different origins, processes and roasts. 

United Oddsocks Advent Calendar | £35 from MenKind

Giving socks as a gift at Christmas has become something of a joke, but this collection of crazy socks give the present idea a new lease of life.

invisibobble British Royal Advent Calendar | £29.99 from Look Fantastic

Equally as useful as socks, this advent calendar of 24 hair accessories is the ideal addition to help kids (and grown-ups) create a whole host of party-ready looks. 

Or, just great for that friend who always loses her hair tie. 

Christmas Playlist Advent Calendar | £12.50 from Not On The Highstreet

(Not On The High Street/ MIXPIXIE)
(Not On The High Street/ MIXPIXIE)

The advent calendar of the future, this calendar invites the lucky recipient to open a door each day and hold their phone or tablet up to the calendar to hear the Christmas hit for that day. At the end of it, they'll have a complete festive playlist to listen to over-and-over again. 

Electronic Games Advent Calendar | £25 from MenKind

It's hard to find something for the gamer that has everything, but this advent calendar allows the recipient to discover a new electronic component every day, allowing them to build 24 different games.

The Fragrance Shop Advent Calendar | £99 from The Fragrance Shop

Worth a whopping £309, this perfume advent calendar saves you £210 and means you - or the lucky recipient - will be smelling good until at least next Christmas.

Read more: Our editors' picks on all the best advent calendars for 2021

Watch: What are the best deals on beauty advent calendars?

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