From traditional nativity scenes to homemade gingerbread calendars you can eat, the variety of ways to countdown to Christmas grows every year. We road tested some of the more weird and wonderful options out there, for those who like an edible advent treat.
M&S Where’s Wally milk chocolate Advent calendarThe clever design of this advent calendar has the fun factor. Open each door for a new challenge to find Wally and friends, and be rewarded for your efforts with a festive milk chocolate shape. Definitely one to keep the kids entertained.
£2.50 from marksandspencer.com
Divine Fairtrade milk chocolate Advent calendar
Another beautifully illustrated and glossy calendar, with a smooth milk chocolate heart behind each window. A feel-good choice as well – Divine not only pays Fairtrade premium to cocoa farmers but is actually owned by them, so they get the greatest share of profits.
£4 from divinechocolate.com
Moofree organic dairy-free Advent calendarDon’t let a dairy allergy or vegan diet rule out a chocolate calendar. Having won the Vegfest Best Vegan Chocolate award for the fourth year in a row, you can be sure you won’t miss the milk in these smooth chocolate shapes. It’s dairy, lactose, gluten, wheat and egg free, making it a safe choice if your little one has multiple allergies.
£4.75 from moofreechocolates.com
Teas Online joyous Christmas Advent calendarIf chocolate’s not your thing, warm up with a festive cuppa every day in December instead. Inside the calendar are 24 smaller numbered boxes, each containing a silken pyramid-style tea bag with a herbal blend of seasonal flavours such as spicy pumpkin, ginger bread and candy cane.
£6.95 from teasonline.co.uk
Lindt bear adorable Advent calendar
This calendar has a variety of chocolate delights behind every window such as chocolate bears, reindeers, Lindor mini truffles and snowballs, all leading up to a 10g chocolate bear to look forward to on Christmas Eve. The chunky packaging, substantial treats and great variety make it good value for money too.
£9.99 from lindt-shop.co.uk
Jelly Belly Advent calendarPerfect for those that fancy a change from chocolate, but still have a sweet tooth, this calendar is filled with individual bags of jelly beans. Tantalise your tastebuds with 24 different flavours, from toasted marshmallow to strawberry cheesecake… and there’s a surprise flavour on Christmas Eve.
£15 from johnlewis.com
Chococo Advent selection boxThe simple chocolate box packaging may not make for the most festive calendar, but the beauty and complex flavours of the chocolates inside are well worth getting excited about. The chocolates are covered with a date grid and menu to guide you through the month. With award winning flavours including plenty of boozy treats with cointreau, red wine and rum – this is definitely one for the adults to savour!
£18.95 from chococo.co.uk
Godiva Christmas Advent calendarA favourite of the BBC Good Food team, this calendar has a traditional cardboard box with numbered windows, but is much thicker than a normal calendar. Each door hides a 2cm thick milk, white or dark chocolate shape with a contrasting truffle centre. If you’re usually left unsatisfied by Advent calendar chocolates, these chunky treats will be sure to please.
£22 from godivachocolates.co.uk
Hotel Chocolat Advent calendar to shareDesigned to be shared with someone special, the unique concept and tasty truffles inside this calendar got the thumbs up from the team. With flavours including salted caramel and mulled wine, you’ll both be feeling festive in no time.
£26 from hotelchocolat.com
Biscuiteers Advent biscuit tinThis attractive tin contains 24 handmade gingerbread biscuits, beautifully iced and decorated, in seasonal shapes. Chewy, moreish and lightly spiced – the only challenge will be limiting yourself to one per day.
£45 for tin only (or £95 with optional cloth calendar) from biscuiteers.com
Simon Dunn Chocolates – wooden calendars
If you’re looking for something unique, try one of these wooden calendars, available in a house, Christmas tree or train shape. Only 200 are being produced, so order early to avoid disappointment. Each one is filled with a selection of handmade chocolates, which you can also personalise to include particular flavours, white, dark or milk, alcohol or no alcohol, and children’s novelties.
£45 from simondunnchocolates.co.uk
La Maison Du ChocolatThis Advent calendar is so pretty it practically doubles up as a home decoration. Each box on the tree is filled with a daily treat from a selection of La Maison chocolates, which you can choose to suit your personal taste. We tried Coffret Maison, a selection of milk and dark pralines and ganaches.
£49 from lamaisonduchocolat.com
Best of British beer
Treat the beer lover in your life to a whistle-stop tour of Britian’s finest breweries this December. This Advent calendar features 330ml bottles of beer, specially selected from independent producers from around the UK. There’s also
£95 from bestofbritishbeer.co.uk
Drinks by the Dram
If you’re looking for a tipple to truly get you in the festive spirit, look no further than Drinks by the Dram’s whisky Advent calendar. Behind each window is a different 3cl sample of whisky, hand-picked from various award-winning distilleries and independent artisan producers. If you’re not a whisky fan, similar calendars are available with gin, rum, Cognac, vodka and tequila.
£149.95 from masterofmalt.com
Which one will you be counting down with? Do you have a favourite we haven’t featured, or is the traditional advent calendar your best way to prepare?