I’m just going to throw this out there… I love Christmas. I love everything about it; the decorations, the excuse to wear fluffy socks and comfy pyjamas, the time spent with family, the giving of gifts and, of course, the food! But the past few years I’ve been a little disappointed with advent calendars. Let’s be honest, the chocolate is usually a bit of a let down and we probably all forget to open them daily after a few days and just scoff the lot at once mid-month!

So this year, I thought I’d investigate alternative advent calendars. Ones that you can be excited to open each day and find something new to enjoy. Something to help you count down the days to Christmas among the parties, shopping and Celebrations.

And you know what? I’m impressed! The retail industry is really killing this advent calendar thing. There’s a calendar for everyone – even ones with miniature bottles of gin or beer! But, this being a fitness blog, I thought I’d try and stick to the more healthy end of the spectrum with my selection (not to say enjoying a tipple or some chocolate/sweets every now and then is unhealthy, but let’s not go down that road!).

Here are my recommended alternative advent calendars…

Healthy Advent Calendars

For the beauty lover

Open up a daily treat from the Body Shop in the lead-up to Christmas. With shower gels, body lotions and make-up goodies, this advent calendar is packed with an incredible selection of beauty must-haves. At only £48 it’s incredible value for money:

https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-gb/gifts/over-30-gifts/24-happy-days-advent-calendar/p/p002016

The Body Shop Beauty Advent Calendar

For the magpie

Oliver Bonas have outdone themselves with a charm bracelet advent calendar this year, complete with a bracelet and 23 charms. It’s jewellery box design is super cute and although it’s for ages 5+ I’m sure lots of women would love it too! Get yours for £20.

https://www.oliverbonas.com/jewellery/nutcracker-jewellery-advent-calendar-37952

Oliver Bonas Charm Bracelet Advent Calendar

For the coffee connoisseur

A selection of 25 different coffees (including filters) that are pre-ground for use in a cafetiere or drip-filter, this advent calendar is perfect for the coffee-drinkers of the UK. It even comes with a desktop flip calendar with info about each coffee and farm. Order from Pact for £39.

https://www.pactcoffee.com/shop/the-pact-coffee-advent-calendar

Pact Coffee Advent Calendar

For the tea drinker

Biscuit dunkers rejoice! This cute calendar contains a selection of different brews from PostTEA. The kit even includes a mesh metal ball tea strainer for brewing and twine/pegs to display your advent calendar. Available for £49 from Not On The High Street.

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/posttea/product/pre-order-tea-advent-calendar-for-christmas

PostTEA Tea Lovers' Advent Calendar

For the pamper queen

This cute advent calendar from Berylune contains 12 mini handmade soap slices and 12 mini bath bombs – perfect for relaxing after a day’s heavy duty gift shopping! Who doesn’t need a little pamper in the run-up to Christmas? It’s yours for £30.

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/berylune/product/2016-bath-bomb-and-soap-advent-calendar

Bath Bomb and Soap Advent Calendar

For the bearded man

To my male readers, did you think I’d forgotten about you? Every CrossFitter knows at least 5 bearded men, and this advent calendar is perfect for you. With a different scent for each day, your beard will be well-groomed for all the beard baubles your family are bound to get you for Christmas! Yours for just £29.99 from the Bearded Man Co.

http://www.thebeardedmancompany.com/christmas-beard-oil-advent-calendar.html

The Bearded Man Beard Oil Advent Calendar

 

For the macro counter

If you’re really set on getting a chocolate calendar this year, why not try MyProtein’s protein chocolate advent calendar? With 1.35g of protein for each 27kcal piece, this will help keep you well on track over the festive period while enjoying a Christmas tradition. At just £4.99 it’s not to be sniffed at!

http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/myprotein-advent-calendar/11332807.html

MyProtein Cocoa+ High Protein Chocolate Advent Calendar

For the fitness fanatic

Don’t worry if you’ve missed the chance to pick up an advent calendar, you can still open an advent calendar door each day with Fitness First’s healthy advent calendar. Just visit the site daily for exercises, recipes and tips. You might even recognise a certain friendly fitness blogger or two along the way! This one’s totally free – Merry Christmas!

Fitness Advent Calendar

Fitness First Advent Calendar

Those are my advent calendar finds. Let me know in the comments or on social media if you have any of these, or any other healthy alternative advent calendars! Keep an eye out for my CrossFit Christmas Gift Guide soon…