Advent calendars for adults are big business nowadays.
Far from 24 squares of chocolate (not that we’d ever turn that down, you understand), there are grown-up treats aplenty for Christmas 2017 – the beauty offerings alone could confuse a festive shopper.
So we’ve whittled it down for you, selecting our pick of the unusual and stylish advent calendars available to perk up your December. Fancy a daily stationery hit or a piece of art every day throughout the season? Candles, rum or natural skincare?
Whether you want luxury or boozy, breakfast, biscuits, tea, mince pies, cheese or even Lego (yep), scroll through our gallery below for 37 properly grown-up advent calendars – because congratulations, you made it through the year.
Stationery Advent Calendar
A daily stationery gift is the stuff of dreams. Swedish label Kikki K’s Stationery Lovers Advent Calendar is exclusive to Selfridges and filled with desk candy and decor, including candles, notepads, pens, clips… Bliss.
Wall Art Advent Calendar
It may look understated on the outside, but inside A Poster a Day 2017 by Juniqe is, well, a poster a day. Up your wall art game with 24 designs from the chic to the cute (we can confirm we have sighted a unicorn in there).
Craft Gin Advent Calendar
This is not just gin – it’s experimental craft gin. That Boutique-y Gin Company has always thought outside the box for its intriguing limited-edition runs, and the advent calendar is no different. Find 24 bottles developed in collaboration with distillers, including flavoured expressions (rose, rhubarb, chocolate orange...) and even some space gin (yep).
Cereal Advent Calendar
Surely this is the advent calendar that's been begging to be created since the dawn of, well, advent calendars. Kellogg’s Cereal Calendar. Corn Flakes, Coco Pops, Rice Krispies… it’s a surprise breakfast each and every December morning.
£4, Tesco branches nationwide
Marshmallow Advent Calendar
Those not into chocolate can sate their sweet tooth with UK-made grown-up gourmet marshmallows. The Naked Marshmallow Co. Advent Calendar has 25 festive flavours to discover, including s’mores, gingerbread and candy cane.
Craft Beer Advent Calendar
The HonestBrew Craft Beer Advent Calendar contains fabulous cans and bottles from independent breweries, including limited-edition seasonal offerings and small-batch brews. Sip IPAs, stouts and sours from Magic Rock, Siren and Beavertown.
Foodie Advent Calendar
Go savoury with your tiny morning treats: Carluccio’s advent calendar features quintessentially Italian products, such as limoncello chocolates, truffle butter, aged balsamic vinegar and porcini oil.
£75 (available from end of October), carluccios.com
Bath Bomb Advent Calendar
A Lush advent calendar. Full of bath bombs. Yep. Lush’s 12 Days of Christmas gift also includes shower gel, body conditioner and bubbles bars, but we know you’re all about the fizzy. Since it’ll only cover half the month, best get two...
Wine Advent Calendar
Perhaps not one for first thing in the morning, but a nice way to expand your palate come the festive season: Virgin Wines Advent Calendar sold out last year, so consider reserving one for 24 evenings of highly rated reds, whites, rosés and proseccos from across the world.
Korean Beauty Calendar
This Oh K Beauty Cuteness calendar contains 12 days of Korea-inspired beauty products, such as nail decals, mini nail varnishes and stick-on eyeliner.
Rum Advent Calendar
Sick of the gin train? Rum might be more your thing. Drinks by the Dram’s calendar has 24 different 30ml expressions of the good stuff. Try one an evening or have an excellent cocktail party come Christmas Eve.
Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar
Er, do those numbers imply it’s for ages six to 14? No. We want a tiny BB8 for our desks, please. The Lego Star Wars advent calendar has mini figurines, vehicles and other collectibles, as well as a playmat you may or may not want to unfurl at work.
Luxury Tea Advent Calendar
Those willing to splash out on their tea habit can sip in style with an elegant House of Newby tea advent calendar. Each silk-handled white drawer (fancy) contains three teabags from the Classic Collection.
Biscuit Advent Calendar
And what’s the perfect partner to a tea advent calendar? One full of biscuits. This limited-edition Biscuiteers advent calendar by Susie Watson can be bought separately (biscuit collection £48, reusable calendar £60).
£99 (for both), biscuiteers.com
Whisky Advent Calendar
Drinks by the Dram’s 2017 Whisky calendar is filled with 24 fine drops, including Taiwanese Kavalan Single Malt, The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak and even a rare Scotch worth up to £599.95 a bottle.
Mince Pie Advent Calendar
Yes, that’s exactly what it is. Fall in through the door, all bundled up against the cold, whip up a brew, pull up a chair and indulge in your daily treat-for-one from Selfridges’ 12 Days of Mince Pies. Includes three different flavours.
£25.99 (from 9 October), selfridges.com
Lipstick Advent Calendar
Total junkie for all things gloss, matte, satin, stain…? Then you might be interested in the Lippie Countdown from NYX Professional. Indulge in 24 days of lip colour, from the brand’s Butter Gloss to its Suede Lipstick.
Tea Gifts Advent Calendar
Much more than a cuppa a day, this luxury Christmas Tea Advent Calendar by Bluebird provides lucky recipients with a variety of tea-themed gifts, including scented solid perfume, pin badges and, of course, festive blends including mince pie and Christmas cake flavours.
Nail Varnish Advent Calendar
If you’ve got a serious penchant for polish, why bother with a calendar full of other beauty products? Ciaté’s Mani Month Advent Calendar has 18 varnishes and other assorted nail goods.
Luxury Chocolate Advent Calendar
We couldn’t completely ignore chocolate, and Hotel Chocolat's New Grand Advent Calendar isn’t just a square of the good stuff each day – it’s a veritable feast of chocolate gifts, including salted caramel vodka and crackers filled with pralines.
Luxe Fragrance Advent Calendar
No advent calendar round-up can go without a mention of Jo Malone. The fragrance queen releases a calendar every year containing the brand’s famous candles, perfumes and scented toiletries. There’s no better way to glide through December.
Chilli Advent Calendar
Prefer your tipple with a bit of an edge? Drinks by the Dram’s Naga Chilli Vodka Escalation Advent Calendar does what it says on the box (calendar): each day, the Scoville count is upped (meaning come 24 December, all you want for Christmas is a gallon of milk).
Tealight Advent Calendar
Christmas is a time for many things, and covering your house in candles seems to be one of them. This John Lewis calendar ensures you'll never be without a scented tealight this December.
Luxe Beauty Advent Calendar
The Liberty London calendar of beauty hall treats contains 15 full-sized products (including a Diptyque candle) and gifts from Nars, Eve Lom, Laura Mercier, Le Labo and more. Worth more than £500, you can definitely sell this to yourself as a bargain.
£175 (available from 25 October), libertylondon.com
High Street Beauty Advent Calendar
The Amazon Beauty Advent Calendar features drop-down drawers of products from several high-street brands (Maybelline, Crabtree & Evelyn, John Frieda) to mix and match your daily gift. Notable for including, unlike many, haircare treats.
Luxe Candle Advent Calendar
There are some advent calendars it’s worth saving all year for. Diptyque’s has become a favourite for its selection of candles and posh toiletries, all infused with the brand’s signature scents.
£300 (available 17 October), selfridges.com
Natural Skincare Advent Calendar
If you like your skincare products natural, go for Kiehl’s – the 2017 advent calendar includes iconic favourites, such as Creme de Corps and tonnes of other treats from the old-school beauty brand.
High Street Skincare Advent Calendar
High End Beauty Advent Calendar
This John Lewis Beauty calendar features the high-end brands you see on your beauty counter trawls, including Dermalogica, Benefit, Clarins and Mac. Several full-size products are dropped into the mix, bringing the value to £300.
Grown-Up Chocolate Advent Calendar
If you don’t want to go all out on a luxury chocolate calendar but still prefer fancy over Father Christmas-shaped, try the Chococo Advent Chocolate Box, with 25 handmade-to-order chocolates, including gin and pink grapefruit, pistachio, fig and port flavours. Warning: there are no doors, so you’ll probably just eat the whole thing in one sitting.
Ethical Beauty Advent Calendar
Holland & Barrett has this year released its first beauty advent calendar comprising solely of ethical products. With CC cream, face wash, masks, oils and more, the total value is more than £70 – and everything in there is free from parabens and micro plastics.
£35 (available from 18 October), in store at Holland & Barrett
Photo Advent Calendar
Jessops’ range includes calendars with your own photographs behind each door or personalised versions with your image on the outside and good old chocolate on the inside. Whether you fill it with pictures of the past year or 24 identical selfies of your gurning visage is your call (please do that).
From £6, photo.jessops.com
Loose Tea Advent Calendar
If you want to feel truly classy, how about swapping bags for loose leaf throughout December? T2’s A Sip a Day calendar contains such cha gems as French Earl Grey, Jade Mountain, and some seasonal blends.
£20 (available from 8 November), t2tea.com
Jewellery Advent Calendar
The Johnny Loves Rosie advent calendar includes necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and charms for each and every day leading up to Christmas. Who needs to wait for Santa?