The best alternative Advent Calendars 2021

Get ready for Christmas with fun alternative advent calendars, including makeup, alcohol, toys and more

Christmas Collection, The best alternative advent calendars
(Image credit: John Lewis)

Christmas is on the horizon and we can really feel it! The air is cold and crisp, the Christmas lights are being put up and the advent calendars are fully stocked on the supermarket shelves. 

We’re getting ready for December by picking out our advent calendars for this year. Of course, chocolate advent calendars are the most popular and traditional, but lots of brands are jumping on the trend and offering their own.

Upgrade your chocolate advent calendars this year with alternative calendars, including beauty, jewellery, food, drinks, toys and more. Depending on the price, these advent calendars are either 12 or 24 doors and some are currently on sale in retailers’ Black Friday deals (opens in new tab).

Below are our favourite alternative advent calendars (including top discounts) and where to shop them from this year.

The best alternative Advent Calendars 2021 

Nyx Professional Makeup Advent Calendar

(Image credit: Very)

NYX Professional Makeup Gimme Super Stars! 24 Day Holiday Advent Calendar: £35.40 at Very (opens in new tab)

For the makeup lovers, the NYX Makeup Advent Calendar is a 24-day holiday countdown that features bestselling mini and full size makeup products. This advent calendar updates your makeup collection with a range of face, eye and lip products. Find a selection of classic, new or seasonal makeup picks, perfect for daily wear or for special occasions, like Christmas parties. This limited edition advent calendar is currently on sale at Very, discounted from £59 to £32.40 in their Black Friday sale.

LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar

(Image credit: Amazon)

LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar: £24.79 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Something for the kids or Harry Potter fans, create a fun Harry Potter scene with the LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar. This 24-door calendar features 6 minifigures, including popular characters like Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Griphook and Dudley Dursley. It also contains models like fireplaces, Hedwig and other fun accessories. When you’ve unpacked all your figures, don’t throw away the calendar as it converts into a board game.

Clarins 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Clarins 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar: £52 at John Lewis (opens in new tab)

Popular skincare brand, Clarins’ 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar is currently 20% off in the John Lewis Black Friday sale. If you’re a beauty or Clarins fan, this calendar includes classic and festive products, including mascara, face scrubs, cleansers, makeup remover, lip oils and primers.

Brewdog Craft Beer Advent Calendar

(Image credit: Brewdog)

Brewdog Craft Beer Advent Calendar: £39.95 at Brewdog (opens in new tab)

Alcohol advent calendars are fast becoming a popular alternative to traditional advent calendars. The Craft Beer Advent Calendar from Brewdog has 24 different beers that range from pale ales to IPAs. If you’re a big Brewdog fan, you’ll find 14 new beers for 2021, 6 new beers for Christmas and 4 online exclusives. As this calendar sold out quickly last year, Brewdog are taking £10 off so you can get yours in time for December.

Missoma 12 Days of Missoma Advent Calendar

(Image credit: Selfridges)

Missoma 12 Days of Missoma Advent Calendar: £395 at Selfridges (opens in new tab)

On the more expensive end of the spectrum, the Missoma Advent Calendar is a 12-door limited edition calendar that’s worth £812. It features bestselling jewellery pieces from the most popular UK jewellery brand, including yellow gold, sterling silver and pearl materials. Find designer necklaces, bracelets, earrings, hair clips and more behind each door.

Virgin Wines Luxury Gin Advent Calendar

(Image credit: Very)

Virgin Wines Luxury Gin Advent Calendar: £109.99 at Very (opens in new tab)

Who doesn’t love a gin at Christmas? The Virgin Wines Gin Advent Calendar has 24 amazing gins on offer from award-winning brands, including Sipsmith, London Dry, Navy and more. Explore new flavours including festive spiced orange, pear and pink peppercorn, and heather. If you’re into Virgin Wines, they also have wine and beer advent calendars up for grabs at Very.

Yankee Candle Advent Calendar Wreath

(Image credit: Amazon)

Yankee Candle Advent Calendar Wreath: £21.49 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Candles are extremely popular Christmas gifts so why not treat yourself or someone else to a Yankee Candle Advent Calendar? This 24-door calendar includes 24 festive scented tea lights and a clear glass holder to display them in. Enjoy 8 Yankee Candles’ festive fragrances including Snowflake Cookie, Christmas Magic and Pecan Pie Bites. The calendar also has a pretty wreath design which adds more decoration to your home.

Cath Kidston Bath & Body Advent Calendar

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Cath Kidston Bath & Body Advent Calendar: £40 at John Lewis (opens in new tab)

The Cath Kidston Bath & Body Advent Calendar is easily the most beautiful advent calendar on the market right now. It features 24 bath and body treats, including hand creams, essential oils, lip balms, bath bombs and more. At £40 at John Lewis, this Cath Kidston advent calendar is extremely affordable and updates your bath and skincare routine.

Where to buy alternative advent calendars 

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Amazon (opens in new tab)
As always, Amazon is the go-to retailer for all things Christmas, including decorations, gifts and advent calendars. Amazon has a full collection of alternative advent calendars, including flower seeds, teas, board games and more.
View all Amazon Advent Calendars (opens in new tab)

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Very (opens in new tab)
Very are best known for their beauty and toy collections, and their advent calendars are no exception. They have lots of beauty advent calendars discounted right now, as well as traditional chocolate and alcoholic ones.
View all Very Advent Calendars (opens in new tab)

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John Lewis (opens in new tab)
John Lewis’ advent calendars are fun, sophisticated and quirky. They have an extensive collection available including prosecco, truffles, stationary and nail care. For the more adventurous out there, they also have a pork crackling one on offer – I don’t think I’m brave enough for that one!
View all John Lewis Advent Calendars (opens in new tab)

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Acting Wellness Editor & Deals Writer

As T3's resident Shopping Expert and Deals Writer, Beth covers deals, discount codes, how to save money and seasonal holidays, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Amazon Prime Day, Boxing Day and Easter sales. Alongside her primary focus of deals, Beth is currently Acting Wellness Editor, covering all things sleep, yoga, relaxation and general wellbeing.


Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting DIY craft projects that will probably end in disaster!