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Alternative Advent Calendars!

Alternative Advent Calendars!

I love the run up to Christmas. I love that the nights start to get crisper and cooler, that all the cosy clothes come out of the wardrobes and that the girls start to get excited about the ever nearing arrival of their favourite man in red. We have a lot of Christmas Traditions in this house, and now the girls are getting a bit bigger, I am starting to introduce more and more.

As a child myself, I always loved Advent, however my Mum could never quite trust me not to open every single door on my calendar when she wasn’t looking, particularly when there was chocolate inside. If I was feeling particularly mischievous, I would figure out how to slide the entire tray out of the box, polishing off all 24 chocolates before sliding it back in place whilst leaving all doors perfectly intact and closed. I was officially a little madam. Because of this, Mum always looked for alternative advent calendars to keep me entertained in a slightly different way.

I’ve now carried on that tradition with my own daughters. Here’s my pick of some of the best we’ve come across this year.

  1. Elves Behavin’ Badly

Ok, I admit it, I am a little biased here as this year I am an Elves Behavin’ Badly ambassador! 🙂 – These elves are such a fun way to celebrate the countdown to Christmas. On the first day of December, the elf enters your home, introducing himself to the children with a little note on his message board. Each night he returns to Father Christmas to let him know how your children have behaved. When he returns, he gets up to all sorts of mischief whilst the whole house is asleep, and hides somewhere different on his return. The children will LOVE coming down each morning to discover what their cheeky elf has been up to next. The elves and a whole range of accessories to help you bring their mischief to life are available in my festive shop – The Advent Shop.

2. Fairy Friends

As a similar concept, but for those who want a more fairy style friend, the Fairy Friends watch over your children and report back to Father Christmas, with the aim of encouraging positive behaviour. With four different fairies to chose from, these are perfect for families who already have one of the Irish Fairy Doors in their children’s room! Retail at £12.99 and available to purchase from The Irish Fairy Door Company.

3. Pom Pom Santa

For younger children or for parents who want their advent to be a little more interactive, these Pom Pom Santa advents are lots of fun. Each kit comes with 24 white pom poms and one red. Each morning, stick a pom pom to Santa’s beard using the sticky pads provided, and watch his beard grow and develop as each day passes. On Christmas morning, finish off the design by applying Santa’s little red nose! Retail at just £3 at The Advent Shop.

4. Hama Beads Calendar

I love the practical element of this advent calendar – as something that will occupy a child who is getting increasingly excited as the days go by. Under each door is a different festive design template. Children can use the beads supplied and one of the 6 different shaped boards (including a star, heart and square) to complete their design. A fun activity, and a little bit different from the norm! 🙂 The Hama Beads calendar retails at £15.99 and is available to purchase at Amazon here

5. Schleich Advent Calendar

We are huge fans of Schleich toys in this house, and having grown up with them myself, you can always rely on the quality, and be confident that these products will last the test of time. This year Schleich have launched their very own Horse Club advent calendar, with an item behind each door to create a Horse scene. The set includes two full sized horses, a foal and a dog, as well as gates, food baskets and apples for the horses to eat. Due to smaller parts, this set is suitable for children aged 5 plus, and retails at £22.99 and is available at Amazon here

6. Lego Friends Advent Calendar

This fab Lego Friends Advent has a compartment to open each day and count down to Christmas with buildable gifts. There are 24 buildable surprises including furry friends and their homes, Christmas tree, gifts and all sorts of surprises, as well as a Stephanie mini figure in her very own festive outfit! Perfect for keeping the children entertained long after the doors have been opened! 🙂 

Retails at £19.99 available here.


What about the parents?

For the last couple of years I have also treated myself to an advent calendar. It seems only fair that whilst Erin is opening her doors, that I get to do the same! Prezzybox have two fantastic beauty calendars this year which are perfect for ladies who like to take care of themselves!

7. The Mad Beauty Advent Calendar

Features some fun beauty items behind every single door, including nail varnish, eyeshadow, lip gloss and even some adorable festive nail art stickers. The items cover face, skin, and make up, and are mini sized, making them perfect for popping in your handbag, or travel kit when your out visiting relatives over the festive period. Retails at just £16.99 at

8. The Mad Beauty 12 Days of Christmas

Mad Beauty also offer a smaller set with just 12 doors, meaning you can get a beauty treat every other day instead for a slightly cheaper price. With a range of bath, make up and skin items inside including a loofah, nail polish and bath salts, this fun set would be great for teens or older children. Retails at £10.99 at

And not leave out Daddy… last year Mike moaned that he was left out of the advent fun, and as such, I had to make a last minute rush to the Coop to buy him a chocolate treat. However this year I have discovered something that is MUCH more up his street. BEER!!!!

9. Best of British Beer Advent

This large Union Jack beer advent calendar is a crate with a 330ml beer behind each door! With a range of world beers from ales, to lagers and stout, there really is a beer for everyone (if he will share!). A bit more of an investment at £75, but this works out at just £3 a beer. Available to purchase at Best of British Beer

Have you got your advent calendars yet?

*Disclosure – I was sent press samples of the items featured for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own*


  1. Jon

    Some great ideas here. I would have to go with the beer advent calendar I think!

  2. Talya

    Wow there are so many cool non chocolate advent calendars to choose from now – I love the look of the Schleich advent off to have a nosy at that.

  3. Deborah Nicholas

    Im loving all of the alcohol ones around this year, im not really a chocolate person so these are great ideas!

  4. Deborah Nicholas

    Im loving all of the alcohol ones around this year, im not really a chocolate person so these are great ideas!

  5. Clare

    This is the first year I’ve really noticed these alternative advent calendars. The alcoholic ones would be a winner with me too.

  6. five little doves

    Great ideas! I am all about the chocolate advent calendar though…does that surprise you?

  7. Kara

    I didn’t realise Schleich made one, Eliza would adore that

  8. Vicky

    These are so cool. Pom pom santa for the little one and beer advent calendar for the MR. 🙂 lovely round up of alternative calendars

  9. Emma

    I must admit I’m not really a fan of Elf on a Shelf… I find the concept a bit backwards. Having a naughty elf to report on a good behaviour… where is the logic? I love the animal figures advent though, what a fun idea. I know Mr. C would love the Beer advent as well.

  10. Kira

    Some great advent calendars. We got Alessi the Hama bead one . Can’t wait to try it out 🙂


    This is great selection. I particularly love the mad beauty advent calendar xx

  12. Baby Isabella

    We love Schleich toys, so would go for this advent calendar- glad to know its not just all about chocolate.

  13. Beth @

    Great advent calendars. I love the idea of an alternative to the chocolate ones we seem to have EVERY year. I want a Yankee Candle one for myself this year.

  14. Shahneela

    Amazing ideas! I like the mad beauty advent calendar.

  15. Janet

    Beer is MY thing! I wouldn’t let the Dad have any haha! Oh ok I probably would 😀

  16. Emma Lofthouse-Burch

    I have always done a handmade advent calender for my boys but this year they wanted a £1 Paw Patrol one instead! Sad times (totally making a homage one too!)


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Hi, I’m Lucy, a thirty something mum of two from Birmingham. A memory maker, tradition keeper, stationery addict and Mr Men fanatic. HR Advisor by day and sleep deprived Mama by night!

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