‘Tis the season for advent calendar shopping! The most common Christmas calendars are filled with chocolate, although beauty advent calendars are a trending holiday treat and many festive revellers appreciate the literal holiday spirit that comes with advent calendars filled with gin, whisky or beer. But there are those who march to the beat of a different drummer boy – and that’s where these wild, weird and wonderful alternative advent calendars come in.
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There’s a novelty advent calendar for every unique personality: spooky advent calendars, music advent calendars, advent calendars for couples, and even if you’re into a certain unique food – crackling pork, cheese, popcorn or even Pringles – we’ve tracked down the perfect advent calendar for you.
Shop the best weird advent calendars you'll love
Count down to Christmas with a beer advent calendar! This 12-day treat has two each of six different delightfully-named BrewDog craft beers including Hoppy Christmas and Lock Down Lager.
BrewDog 12-beer advent calendar, was £19.95 NOW £17.95, BrewDog
Friends was one of the biggest TV hits in the '90s and its massive popularity continues today, even with the new generation. A true fan of the classic ensemble comedy will love this 12-day Friends advent calendar set filled with bath fizzers.
Friends Bath Fizzer Advent Calendar, £17.99, PrezzieBox
For the Harry Potter fan who has everything – this sock advent calendar will provide a magical touch to your footwear for the 12 days in the run-up to Christmas.
Harry Potter 12-Day Sock Advent Calendar, was £35 NOW £30, Menkind
Who doesn't love cereal? Get your day started with a different breakfast every day with this Kelloggs Christmas countdown featuring cereal bars and Pop Tarts.
Kelloggs Cereal-themed Advent Calendar, £16.50, Amazon
Spice up your life (or at least your Christmas) with this chilli sauce advent calendar that will hot things up in the 12 days until 25 December. Caliente!
12 Days Chilli Lovers Advent Calendar, £12.99, Menkind
Keep your feet nice and cosy in the run-up to Christmas with a brand new pair of socks every day! Sockshop's 25-pair advent calendar is probably one of the most practical ones around. We love that it's available in men's version, too AND on top of everything, 15 percent goes to charity, benefitting Emmaus to find homes for men and women who have experienced homelessness.
25-Day Sock Advent Calendar, £59.99, Sockshop
This unique advent calendar for couples features one date suggestion per day, such as ‘Phones off it’s board game time’ or ‘Dance wherever the music takes you’. Even better, you can personalise it with your names *heart emoji*.
Personalised ‘A date a day’ advent calendar, £30, Etsy
We all have that one person in our lives who would truly appreciate this pork crackling and beer advent calendar with The Snaffling Pig’s most popular flavours like Low & Slow BBQ and Marvellous Maple PLUS 12 cans of the brand's exclusive Snaffling Pig beer: Twisted Tail Pale Ale, Mighty Swine Lager and Wild Hog Session Ale (4.2%). There’s also a version of the advent calendar that comes with the pork alone for £18.
The Snaffling Pig Co Pork Crackling and Beer Advent Calendar, £65.99, Amazon
This Harrods advent calendar is filled with treats from candy canes to sherbet pips, but what sets it apart is that it glows in the dark! And if you're more about chocolate than fizzy baubles or white jazzies, the light-up-your-life (and the night) Christmas countdown it comes in a £14 chocolate version, too.
Glow-in-the-dark Candy Advent Calendar, £20, Harrods
This unusual advent calendar filled with popular Funko Pocket Pops with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme is a fab choice for fans of film or Tim Burton – or just anyone who loves both Christmas AND anything scary 365 days a year.
Nightmare Before Christmas Funko Pocket Pop! Advent Calendar, £59, Menkind
With Christmas taking place in the midst of a pandemic this year, with many of us possibly missing out on sharing the holidays with our loved ones, we could all use a little positivity and hope for all the adventures we'll have together in 2021. This personalisable advent calendar does just that with a set of uplifting symbols and words, such as 'Hope' and 'Dream' engraved on 12 different pewter tokens, plus an additional 12 notes with messages such as: "The world is full of magic and wonder just waiting to be explored." An oak display block with the words 'Adventure Awaits' can be added with an additional cost.
Personalised 'Adventure Awaits' Keepsake Advent Calendar, from £90, Not on the High Street
If you can't get enough of beauty advent calendars, maybe it's time to go more niche! This Christmask advent calendar contains 12 nourishing sheet masks for at-home spa treatments for everything from your face to your feet.
12 Days of Christmasks Advent Calendar, £42.50, Oliver Bonas
For the social media star who’s #readyforxmas, this selfie advent calendar is the ultimate Christmas countdown. There are 24 themed daily prompts to snap a Christmas selfie with the help of the contents of the box: a paddle with numbers for each day to hold up for your snap, and fun props from Santa hats to antlers and tinsel. Share your pics on social media each day to show off your Christmas spirit.
24 Selfies to Christmas Advent Calendar, £45, Not on the High Street
If you can't get enough of The Child – a.k.a. Baby Yoda – this advent calendar is for you! For fans of Star Wars and The Mandalorian, you can get this Baby Yoda advent calendar with 24 days of The Child-themed treats, from keyrings and stationery gifts to jewellery.
The Child / Baby Yoda Advent Calendar, £12.99, Amazon
Dog lovers rejoice! Your favourite pup can also enjoy a weird but wonderful advent calendar. This pet countdown includes baked dog biscuits with natural ingredients and a personalised keepsake: a ceramic bone with your dog’s name to decorate your tree. The advent calendar itself is a keepsake too since you can refill it yourself year after year.
Personalised Dog Biscuit Advent Calendar, £27.95, Not on the High Street
Okay now hear us out – how about getting more fit in the run-up to Christmas? If you want to maintain or support your fitness routine, we have the advent calendar for you. The Foodspring 24 Days of Fitter Christmas is full of healthy snacks from protein bars and shakes to vitamin drops.
Foodspring Fitter Christmas Advent Calendar, £59.99, Amazon
Once you pop, the fun don't stop as they say – and that’s why it’s a good thing that this Pringles advent calendar has 12 days to enjoy! There's a tub of Pringles crisps behind every door in four top flavours.
Merry Pringles Advent Calendar, £19.46, Amazon
Smell your way to Christmas with the 12 Days of Scents calendar! The gingerbread themed box contains 12 holiday scented candles with fragrances like prosecco, pine needle and Christmas pudding – an unusual countdown AND the perfect way to add a festive ambiance to your home.
12 Days of Scents candle advent calendar, £30, Amara
How about a little Xmas DIY? This advent calendar is the perfect buy for someone who is too tool for school – it's an advent calendar with two tool hand-holders for sockets and bits to create a mini-screwdriver kit that fits 17 different screw profiles.
Screwdriver tool advent calendar, £53.99, eBay
This unusual advent calendar will also be a treasured family heirloom to pass down through the generations. Wedgwood has created this Christmas tree ornament advent calendar filled with 25 beautiful porcelain ornaments in signature Wedgwood blue. Inside you'll find such shapes as angels, presents and of course mini versions of iconic porcelain company's most famous creations, from teapots to vases.
A Magical Wedgwood Christmas Ornament Advent Calendar, £650, Amara
Harry Potter is a Christmas favourite across the board – and that means advent calendars, too! If you're VERY passionate about the JK Rowling series, check out this 24-day stationery advent calendar dedicated to all things Hogwarts so you can have a magical celebration daily in the run-up to Christmas.
Harry Potter Stationery Advent Calendar 2020, £13.99, Amazon
Say cheese! This foodie-friendly advent calendar features 24 mini cheese truckles in eight unique flavours. Behind each door you’ll find such cheeses as Christmas Pudding, Sunday Roast, Orange & Whisky and Charcoal – the 'most unusual but popular' Merry Cheesemas taste.
Merry Cheesemas advent calendar, £39.99, Amazon
Let's say you love sweets... but you also love candles! Get the best of both worlds with this Swizzels Tea Light Advent calendar with a candle holder and tea lights that smell like some of your favourite candy treats.
Swizzels Tea Light Scented Candles & Holder Advent Calendar pack of 2, £34.99, Amazon
Dial up the fun with the Haynes Retro Radio Advent Calendar, which will help you build a working FM radio with throwback vibes. There are 24 parts included in the calendar for you to build the gadget one day at a time, meaning you'll have your radio up and running by Christmas Day.
Retro Radio Advent Calendar, £20, Menkind
Get your Christmas celebrations poppin' with Joe & Seph's Gourmet Tipsy Popcorn Store Advent Calendar. Behind each of the 24 doors is a packet of popcorn in unusual flavours like Eggnog, Gin and Tonic, Prosecco and Pale Ale.
Joe & Seph's Gourmet Tipsy Popcorn Store Advent Calendar, £19.50, QVC
The most iconic man of the festive season rocks a beard – we're looking at you, Santa Claus! – and there's no doubt every guy, even Father Christmas, would appreciate this advent calendar dedicated to facial hair. Inside, you'll find 24 2ml glass bottles filled with a different scented beard oil each day, ensuring that his beard will be looking great during the countdown to Christmas.
Beard Oil Advent Calendar, £32, Not on the High Street
Nothing sparks Christmas joy more than music – and this personalised Spotify advent calendar lines up the perfect festive soundtrack, a selection based on the most popular Christmas songs ever, for the days running up to 25 December. There's an iconic track behind each door – all you have to do is point your phone or iPad at the calendar to hear an Xmas tune to get you in the holiday mood each day.
Personalised Spotify Advent Christmas Calendar, £19.99, Prezzybox
Plant some seeds of positivity and growth – and flowers! – for 2021 with this handmade gardening advent calendar filled with ‘seeds and garden wisdoms for the year ahead’ There are 25 mini pegs and two and a half metres of cotton twine to display 24 envelopes, inside of which you’ll find 18 individual seed packets, with varieties that may include Cornflower, Bluebell and Forget-me-not, along with growing instructions and six fact cards.
Gardener Advent Calendar, £35, Not on the High Street
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