Top 5 Non-Chocolate Advent Calendars

Tomorrow is the first of December, meaning if you haven’t got your advent calendar yet you need to get a wriggle on! If you fancy a bit of a change from bog standard chocolate this year, there are plenty of alternatives that have something way more exciting waiting behind each door. If you’re on a student budget, why not ask for a more pricey one as one of your Christmas presents and spread out the Christmas cheer. Here are my top 5 alternative-to-chocolate advent Calendars:


Smiggle Stationery Advent Calendar

This year I’ve been sent a Smiggle Advent Calendar*, and I cannot contain my excitement. For those of you that don’t know, Smiggle is an Australian stationery brand that is currently spreading out across Europe. If you’ve read Good Girl Gone Brum before, you may already know that my love of stationery knows no bounds, so an advent calendar with a stationery treat behind every door trumps chocolate any day (and I do love my chocolate). This advent calendar is a great idea for children, students or any big kids that still get excited over novelty stationery (if this is not you, you need to take a long hard look at your soul). Despite the fact that it’s not the first until tomorrow, I very nobly took one for the team and opened days 1 and 2 early to show what kind of thing is inside. If you’re local, Smiggle has just opened a brand new store on the ground floor of the Bullring, so if you’re a stationery lover get yourselves down there asap!


Ciate Mini Mani Manor

If nail varnish is to you what pens and erasers are to me, then there is still time to get yourself the Ciate 2014 Advent Calendar. The name ‘Mini Mani Manor’ should be enough to convince you, whoever came up with that in the boardroom must have got a pat on the back. With this Advent Calendar, by Christmas you will have 24 mini nail varnishes, meaning you won’t have to get yourself any for at least a year!

ciate mini mani manor

Tesco Beauty Advent Calendar

This is one of the more affordable beauty advent calendars out there, and I love that it includes a range of brands so you can discover a few new beauty favourites. With this calendar every day really is a surprise, as it includes make up, skin care products and beauty accessories.

tesco beauty

Jelly Belly Advent Calendar

If chocolate is not your thing, but you still want something sweet, look no further than this Jelly Belly advent calendar. It’s a great way to discover your favourite flavour combinations, and there is a special surprise flavour behind the Christmas Eve door. Jelly Bellys are one of the few gummy sweets that are suitable for vegetarians, so if you know any veggie friends who miss their fruity sweets, open their eyes to the world of Jelly Bellys.

jelly belly

Lush 12 Days of Christmas

Okay, so this one isn’t strictly an advent calendar, but C’MON it’s 12 of Lush’s most popular products in a giant story book; you really can’t go wrong. The set includes products from across the Lush range, including bath melts, soaps, shower gels and bubble bars. Though this one is pretty pricey, it surely wins on most luxurious.

lush 12 days

The Smiggle Advent Calendar was gifted for review, all opinions are my own*




  1. Hayley Russell
    November 30, 2014 / 12:25 pm

    I would love the Lush one, I just don’t like that it tells you what#s in it 🙁 My mum bought me a party lite one which I’m so excited to open, each day has a little tea light in it.
    Water Painted Dreams xo

    • Emily
      November 30, 2014 / 2:20 pm

      I know I thought that was a bit odd! Half the fun is in the surprise! Aw yours sounds cute! Perfect for cosy nights in 🙂 xx

  2. November 30, 2014 / 2:10 pm

    These are all such cute options, especially the Ciate and the Smiggle ones.

  3. November 30, 2014 / 4:30 pm

    Not being much of a chocolate fan, I’m always looking for calendars like these. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    xo Novellette

    • Emily
      December 1, 2014 / 4:54 am

      No problem! I do like chocolate but you have so much of it at Christmas anyway so it’s more exciting to have a different advent calendar! Happy December!

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