Having remained blessed with incredibly beautiful weather even throughout November, it doesn’t feel quite right thinking about Christmas already. However don’t let this fool you, we are a mere 17 days away from opening the first door on our advent calendars, so what’s waiting behind that first door for you this year? Bearing in mind that it is currently ‘Sugar Awareness Week’ and ‘World Diabetes Day’ today, we thought why not pull together the 10 best chocolate-free advent calendars for you. If you’ve not already got a specific calendar in mind, you’re bound to find something that suits you from the list below, be it a gift or a treat for yourself (afterall, it was World Kindness Day yesterday!).01Gibsons 12 Days of Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle Advent Calendar, RNLI
Behind each door you'll find an irresistible treat in the form of an 80 piece jigsaw. The 12 puzzles will eventually create 1 beautiful panoramic Christmas scene, and what’s more is that the money from your purchase will count towards help save lives at sea. Made from thick, durable puzzle board that is 100% recycled, how’s that for combining something fun together with a good deed?
02Green Regime Beauty Advent Calendar, Green People
Passionate about beauty, whilst remaining conscious about the effect that your choices have on the environment? If so, this might be the one for you. There are 12 little boxes containing a total of 15 plant based, organic and cruelty-free hair, skin and beauty products (worth £125) plus as a bonus factor, the packaging is 100% recyclable too.
0312 Festive Spirits, Chase Distillery
Multi award-winning vodkas and gins from Britain’s first single-estate distillery, need we say more? You can expect to please your taste buds with flavours such as: Seville Marmalade Gin, Sloe and Mulberry Gin and Smoked Vodka amongst a variety of other interesting options. The bottles are packaged beautifully too, rested in individual little pull out drawers.
04So Wrong, it’s Nom
Yep! It’s true, the sell-out ‘world’s first ever’ calendar oozing with cheese has returned this year with wheels of Jarlsberg, Applewood, Mexicana and Ilchester… It might be time to stock up on chutney and crackers. Available at supermarkets such as Asda and Sainsburys.
05Personalised Treehouse Advent Calendar
Responsibly sourced card and vegetable based ink colours have been used to create this unique, interactive calendar. For those of you that are hands-on and fancy a touch of customisation, this personalised 3D advent calendar arrives flat-packed. It contains two punched-out thick, glossy card sheets and can be easily dismantled and stored with future use in mind, for generations to come.
06Protein Ball Calendar, The Protein Ball Co.
Are you more into your protein powders than you are chocolate? This bargain advent calendar could boost your healthy-eating regime. All of the balls produced by this company are made using clean proteins such as pea, brown rice, egg white and whey. The balls are 100% natural with no added sugar; in addition to being gluten and wheat free, 4 flavours in the range are suitable for vegans (all of them are vegetarian-friendly). Who knew that advent calendars could be nutritious and delicious?
07Pukka Herbs Calendar, Pukka
24 carefully selected organic, herbal, fruit and green tea bags to keep you warm through December’s dropped temperatures. Infusions include supreme matcha green, vanilla chai, peppermint and liquorice, lemon ginger and Manuka honey. This is the perfect treat for those that wish to experience different teas, without having to commit to full packs. Get excited, you might just discover your new favourite brew.
08Fold Out Advent Calendar, Yankee Candle
This is just 1 of 3 Yankee calendars for 2018: filled with a mix of small jar candles, votive candles, wax melts, and more. Beautifully boxed for gift giving, this clever calendar opens up to reveal a magical holiday scene and will transform your living space with festive scents and sounds.
09Personalised Photo Framed Advent Calendar, Insta Junction
Personalisation is key with this unique take on the advent calendar, each numbered day of the month is represented by a small kraft brown envelope containing an image of your choosing. Each day is hung using miniature wooden pegs, all you have to do is take them out each day and hang them up. Other than sending across your chosen photos, there is really nothing more for you to do as Insta Junction will do the rest!
If you have something more specific in mind then why not try to make or design your own calendar? There are plenty of ways you could incorporate your favourite things into an advent calendar, especially with so many inspiring ideas on platforms such as Pinterest & Instagram. If you are a creative person, why not create little illustrations for friends to colour everyday, or write 12-25 short personalised poems?
If you’re feeling not so artsy then give some thought as to what that person likes and perhaps combine a mixture of those things. This could be seeds to grow plants, fruits or vegetables at home, various herbs and spices to be used for cooking or superfood powders, dried fruit and nuts to add to smoothies. If you are making calendars for a few people, you could purchase large bags/ boxes of the product and distribute them across the various calendars to make the project more pocket-friendly. If you’re steering clear of food then perhaps try to put together a personalised photo calendar like the one above.
If however you are a little low on both funds and on time then you could opt for something a little more sentimental like writing down your favourite memories with the recipient. You could include one memory for each day, enveloped and hung with twine from a small branch. ‘Tokens’ for loved ones have become quite popular over the years (ones that can be ‘cashed in), for example: ‘get out of jail free card’ for those times when you’ve gotten yourself into a sticky situation and wish for forgiveness, ‘1 hour massage’, ‘home cooked candlelight dinner’ or ‘a movie plus takeaway of your choice: no phones, no distractions’. You can personalise it in any which way that you find suits your relationship with the recipient.
Price: Totally up to you!