Family Life


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8 Non-Traditional Advent Calendars the Whole Family Will Love

Wooden Advent calendar

I have a love/meh relationship with Advent calendars. When I was a kid, they weren’t much to write home (or to Santa) about—there were only a handful of designs in grocery stores in the ’80s, the chocolate was chalky and my mom’s holiday baking was just so much more appealing when I was allowed to pick a treat.

So that’s the meh part. I don’t find today’s basic calendars offensive in any way, and the designs and treats have improved in leaps and bounds, but I just don’t look forward to the day they appear in stores each year. And that’s something, considering how much I adore the holidays!

But now companies have started to catch on to the idea of a countdown, and all of a sudden, we have countdown calendars featuring everything from cheese to beauty products. I also love that calendars for kids have branched out into daily activities and small toys, too, instead of plain old chocolate.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up eight non-traditional Advent calendars to delight every member of your fam.

Kidmademodernadventcal 1920x1280 e1637261282162 - 8 non-traditional advent calendars the whole family will love

Kid Made Modern Craft Advent Calendar
A holiday countdown calendar that doubles as a daily activity is actually genius. Kids can make decorations and gifts as the days tick by, using the daily craft prompts and all the fun supplies included. $25,


- 8 non-traditional advent calendars the whole family will love

Eurographics Sweets Puzzle Advent Calendar
If you’re a family of puzzle fiends, this is a great pick that’s easy to share. Each day of this calendar includes a 50-piece, 5 x 5 jigsaw puzzle themed for the season. $60,

- 8 non-traditional advent calendars the whole family will love

Barbie Colour Reveal Advent Calendar
This countdown calendar features a Colour Reveal Barbie, a Colour Reveal husky puppy and 23 other accessory surprises. It’s like a month’s worth of total unboxing joy. $50, amazon.caPlaydohadventcal 1920x1280 e1637261232805 - 8 non-traditional advent calendars the whole family will lovePlayDoh Advent Calendar
For kids who love PlayDoh, this pick is going to knock their socks off. Not only does the calendar include 24 cans of the famous dough (including a two-ounce can of sparkly white!) but the box itself also has tear-off placemats with holiday scenes. $33,

- 8 non-traditional advent calendars the whole family will love

Harry Potter Official Calendar
Potterheads will love this countdown book filled with 25 Hogwarts-worthy surprises. Each day reveals a treasure ranging from paper ornaments to Harry Potter-themed recipe cards. Butter beer, anyone? $24,

For younger Potter fans, you can’t go wrong with this LEGO Harry Potter Calendar featuring all of their favourite wizarding mini-figs.

Bodyshop advent cal - 8 non-traditional advent calendars the whole family will love

The Body Shop Share the Joy Advent Calendar
Parents, this one’s for you—consider it a daily self-care reminder. And you know you need that at the holidays more than any other time of the year (it’s a marathon, not a sprint!). In this pretty, festive box you’ll find everything from bath bubbles and body butters to sheet masks and shower gels. $89, thebodyshop.comSajeadventcal 1920x1280 e1637261189510 - 8 non-traditional advent calendars the whole family will love24 Days of Wellness Countdown Calendar
This one is a bit of a splurge, but for those who swear by essential oils for rest, relaxation and more, it doesn’t get much better. You can expect rollers, diffuser blends, mists, personal care products and more. There’s also a 12-day version that’s a hot seller this year! $250,


- 8 non-traditional advent calendars the whole family will love

Ilchester Cheese Advent Calendar
We’re not opposed to a delicious Advent calendar by any stretch—we just wanted a non-chocolate option—and this cheesy countdown pick delivers. We’re talking all kinds of delectable cheddar varieties from the UK. If only there was a matching cracker cal! Available in Canada at Sobeys, Farm Boy, Safeway, Federated Co-op, Save on Foods, Loblaws, Longos, Denningers, Vincenzo’s and other smaller independents.

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