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Best unusual advent calendars for Christmas 2021

The countdown to Christmas doesn't have to be marked in chocolate - check out our pick of the best novelty advent calendars, including drink advent calendars, food calendars, beauty calendars, and more!

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Unusual advent calendars have exploded in popularity in recent years, as shoppers start to think beyond the traditional for gifting and the festive season in general. Chocolate advent calendars are great for kids - and more than a few adults - but as more and more of us embrace the idea of advent calendars as a grown-up treat, novelty advent calendars featuring everything from gin to chilli have flooded the market.

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An advent calendar is a brilliant way of gearing yourself up for the festive season, but it also makes a thoughtful gift for a friend or relative - especially if you can find a novelty advent calendar that caters to one of their passions.

Read on for our round-up of the best alternative advent calendars on the market this year...

Beauty advent calendar

Cohorted Beauty Advent Calendar

Cohorted Beauty Calendar, £98, Cohorted Beauty
Cohorted Beauty Advent Calendar, £98, Cohorted

Beauty and skincare lovers will adore this luxury advent calendar from Cohorted. Worth a whopping £463.50, this advent calendar features twelve cult classic products from the likes of Laura Mercier, Sunday Riley and This Works. Each product has been selected specifically to celebrate and enhance your festive season, from a bold red lipstick to a luxurious and replenishing night cream. This advent calendar would make a lovely treat for yourself or for a loved one.

  • £98

Buy Cohorted Beauty Advent Calendar from Cohorted

Gin Advent Calendar

That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar

That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar (2021 Edition)
That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar, £49.95, Master of Malt

Gin isn't just for Christmas Day! If you're a fan of a tasty tipple, this 24-day gin advent calendar from The Boutique-y Gin Company is for you. Each day in the run-up to Christmas, you will find a 30ml wax-sealed dram of inventive and deliciously flavoured gin, from cherry to pineapple, yum! Get your cocktail glasses ready for December 1st...

  • £49.95

Buy That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar from Master of Malt

Rum Advent Calendar

24 Days of Rum Advent Calendar

24 Days of Rum Advent Calendar
24 Days of Rum Advent Calendar, £97, Harvey Nichols

Gin advent calendars have definitely gone mainstream, but if your favourite spirit runs more to the dark and stormy, you'll love this 24-piece rum tasting advent calendar, available at Harvey Nichols. Each door reveals a miniature bottle from a different country, including a few you might not associate with rum production. The calendar also comes with two tasting glasses and a set of tasting notes to help you find your new favourite.

  • £97

Buy 24 Days of Rum Advent Calendar from Harvey Nichols

Personalised Advent Calendar

Lights4fun Townhouse Advent Calendar

Lights4fun Townhouse Advent Calendar
Townhouse Advent Calendar, £39.99, Lights4fun

Fancy filling an advent calendar with your own personal treats? This gorgeous wooden advent calendar from Lights4fun has three drawers to hold your festive goodies. LED lights inside light up the windows for a truly cosy display and wooden number tag hooks help you to countdown to Christmas. This is an advent calendar you can get out every year and its beautiful design makes it a decoration item in its own right.

  • £39.99

Buy Townhouse Advent Calendar from Lights4fun

Tea Advent Calendar

Bird & Blend Tea Co. Christmas Advent Calendar

Bird & Blend Tea Co. Christmas Advent Calendar
Bird & Blend Tea Co. Christmas Advent Calendar, £38, Bird & Blend Tea Co.

If you can't do without a cuppa, it's definitely worth giving this tea advent calendar from British brand Bird & Blend Co. a go. The teas include yummy Christmas flavours like Snowball and Hazelnut Rocher to get you in the festive spirit! The calendar comes with two tea bags per day, making it perfect for sharing, and if you don't fancy a caffeine kick you can choose the caffeine-free version. Both the calendar and tea bags are plastic-free and vegan which makes it a great eco-choice too!

  • £38

Buy Bird & Blend Co Christmas Advent Calendar from Bird & Blend Co.

Food Advent Calendars

The Naked Marshmallow Co Advent Calendar

The Naked Marshmallow Co Advent Calendar
The Naked Marshmallow Co Advent Calendar, £17.95, Harvey Nichols

If you've got a sweet tooth, the Naked Marshmallow Co advent calendar could be up your street. Twenty-five gourmet marshmallow squares make up this fun calendar, with twelve alternating flavours including S'mores, mint choc chip and honeycomb & chocolate. Each door also reveals either a festive joke, fact or exclusive discount code to use on the Naked Marshmallow Co website. You can even buy an additional marshmallow toaster for that ultra-delicious crispy marshmallow taste.

  • £17.95

Buy Gourmet Marshmallow Advent Calendar from Harvey Nichols

Gourmet Chilli Powder Advent Calendar

Gourmet Chilli Powder Advent Calendar, £39.99, Not On The High Street
Gourmet Chilli Powder Advent Calendar, £39.99, Not On The High Street

These days, most of us know at least one chilli connoisseur who prides themselves on their expertise on all things hot 'n' spicy. So why not treat them with this advent calendar packed with 24 varieties of chilli powder, ranging from the fearsome Carolina Reaper to more mild fruity blends, each accompanied by a recipe suggestion. These little pouches of heat will jazz up the blandest dinner - or even to sprinkle on top of a festive hot chocolate.

  • £39.99

Buy Gourmet Chilli Powder Advent Calendar, £39.99, Not On The High Street

Charity Advent Calendar

Advent of Change Charity Advent Calendar

Advent calendar
Advent of Change Charity Advent Calendar, £32.95, John Lewis & Partners

Christmas is the season of goodwill, so why not choose an advent calendar which gives you the satisfaction of helping people in need? The Advent of Change charity advent calendar offers just that.

Every door represents a donation of £1 to 24 worthy causes in the UK and around the world. Open each door to find out where your donation is going today, and the work you'll be supporting.

  • £32.95
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Buy Advent of Change Charity Advent Calendar from John Lewis & Partners

Authors

Rebecca MessinaEditor, YourHomeStyle.uk

Rebecca is the Digital Editor of Your Home and HomeStyle

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