(Updated November 28, 2019). December, the month of Advent calendars, is nearly upon us. For those who have — or who are wanting to — ditch dairy, there’s no need to go without. A growing number of brands are launching vegan Advent calendars to keep up with demand. Sometimes you deserve to splash out, especially at Christmas, so here are some of the most unique vegan Advent calendars – featuring cruelty-free candles, gin, and even weed – to make this festive season the best yet.
What Is an Advent Calendar?
Advent calendars were first used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries. Traditionally, an Advent calendar was used to count the days of Advent before Christmas. The date of the First Sunday of Advent — the first day of the liturgical, church, or Christian year — differs; it can fall anywhere between November 27 and December 3. So nowadays, a lot of Advent calendars start on December 1 and count the 24 days before Christmas.
Today, most Advent calendars feature small paper doors that can be opened. Inside, there’s typically a piece of chocolate, a Bible verse, or an image.
Types of Advent Calendars
These days, chocolate-filled Advent calendars are arguably the most common. However, if you’re not a fan of chocolate (it’s okay, we won’t judge), there are still plenty of options.
1. Gin Foundry
Perhaps you need something a little stronger than coffee to get you through the festive season. Gin Foundry’s Ginvent Calendar 2019 has got you covered. This calendar is filled with 24 gins that “provide a snapshot of the category’s depth, diversity, and global reach,” Gin Foundry’s website says.
“We scour countries in search of the very best, the most unusual, the most progressive and – of utmost importance – the most sublimely delicious gins,” it adds. Cheers to that!
You can buy Gin Foundry’s Advent calendar here.
2. Boost Box
You don’t have to break your healthy living habits just because it’s the festive season (although there’s no shame in that). Boost Box makes plant-based protein Advent calendars to keep you powering on right through to the new year.
This gift features 25 full-sized treats from 10 brands, including Terry’s Chocolate Orange treats and Boost Ball’s maple and cinnamon swirl bites.
You’ll get 12 grams of protein a day, 20 different flavors, and it will cost you just £1.59 a day.
You can buy Boost Box’s vegan protein Advent calendar here.
3. The Bearded Man Company
For the bearded faces in your life, go for this Advent calendar. This quirky gift offers 24 scented beard oils in the leadup to Christmas. The selection of vegan oils will keep beards looking and smelling great throughout December and beyond. The oils come in varieties like sandalwood and Sicilian lemon and they’re all certified by PETA.
You can buy The Bearded Man Company’s vegan Advent calendar here.
4. Yankee Candle
It’s not just beards that could be smelling fresh this holiday season. Yankee Candle offers three Advent calendars that will have every room of your house smelling like Christmas this year. The company’s Wreath Advent Calendar includes 24 vegan tea lights hidden behind doors. They come in fragrances like Pomegranate Gin Fizz, Candlelit Cabin, Evergreen Mist, and Christmas Magic. We can almost smell them now.
You can buy Yankee Candle’s Advent calendars here.
5. 24 Days of Teapigs
Start your day right with Teapigs’ vegan-friendly Advent calendar. It will keep you on your toes; the calendar comes with 24 different tea blends. Some teas are intended to relax you whilst others offer a burst of energy. One of the teas isn’t plant-based but you can get in touch with Teapigs and let them know you’d like the vegan version. The team will send you a replacement in no time.
The company is certified plastic-free and works with the Rainforest Alliance to help protect forests, save wildlife, and fight climate change.
You can buy Teapigs’ Advent calendar here.
Vegan Chocolate Advent Calendars
Whilst quirky Advent calendars are good fun, sometimes you can’t go past the classic chocolate version. These five calendars are packed with sweet-tasting, dairy-free chocolates.
1. Moo Free Organic Advent Calendar
Dairy-free chocolatiers Moo Free have been crafting organic milky vegan chocolate since 2008. Now, the company is winning the hearts of many with its chocolate bars in flavors mint, orange, toffee, honeycomb, and fruit and nut. Moo Free makes vegan chocolate baking drops and Easter eggs, too.
This year, the Independent crowned Moo Free with the title of Best Vegan Advent Calendar. The chocolate is organic, dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free (Moo Free uses rice milk to make it). The gift is A4-sized and features drawings of a handful of Moo Free friends ice skating with Santa.
You can buy Moo Free’s vegan Advent calendar here.
2. Livia’s Indulgence With Bells On
The title says it all. This indulgent, dairy-free Advent calendar features 24 full-sized Livia’s products. The treats are all gluten-free and can include anything from “heavenly” Nugglets to “gooey” Million Squares. In your pack, you might even get some Dunx, Livia’s oat cookies that come with a nut butter dip like caramel almond butter. Drool.
You can buy Livia’s vegan Indulgence With Bells On calendar here.
3. Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar
Seventy percent dark chocolate. Twenty-four smooth Christmas-inspired chocolate sculptures. One very merry Christmas. These deep dark chocolates — shaped like reindeer, spruces, penguins, and snowmen — feature rich notes of cacao. The calendar is made by Hotel Chocolat, which is one of the only chocolate makers in the world that grows its own cocoa, which it does on its Rabot Estate plantation in Saint Lucia.
You can buy Hotel Chocolat’s vegan Advent calendar here.
4. Eponine Vegan Truffle Calendar
Eponine was out to steal hearts when it launched its vegan Advent calendar. The gift includes 24 full-sized, dairy-free chocolate truffles in eight unique flavors. Each treat is wrapped in gold foil; ganache and praline fillings await the calendar-opener. The product comes with tabs on its back so that it can be stood up like a picture frame or hung on a wall to add a little bit of Christmas magic to your decor.
You can buy Eponine’s vegan Advent calendar here.
5. Montezuma’s Like No Udder Advent Calendar
This vegan Advent calendar is like no udder, according to its creator Montezuma. The calendar is packed with organic sweet treats that taste so much like milk chocolate, you’ll be surprised there were no cows involved. The British artisan chocolate maker uses cane sugar, cocoa butter, rice syrup, and vanilla to make its dairy-free chocolates. Don’t have a cow, try this Advent calendar.
You can buy Montezuma’s Like No Udder Advent calendar here.
Vegan Cannabis Advent Calendars
The world’s perception of weed is evolving. Last year, Canada became the second nation in the world to legalize recreational cannabis. Weed laws are lax in Uruguay, the Netherlands, Belize, Switzerland, and some parts of the U.S., with more locations expected to follow suit. If you live in one of these places, and if pot is your thing, you might like to branch out with a unique type of Advent calendar this year.
1. Stash Club
Stash Club wants to make your festive season the best yet. The company’s Cannabis Christmas Advent Calendar is “overflowing” with Indica, Sativa and Hybrid bud (a whole gram’s worth, to be exact), as well as chocolates, hash, pre-rolls, gummies, and candies. You’ll get more than $300 worth of goods.
You can buy Stash Club’s Cannabis Christmas Advent Calendar here.
2. Cannabis Flower Christmas Calendar
Canna Tours brings you this cannabis flower Advent calendar. It comes with 25 individual 1-gram packs of premium cannabis (Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid varieties). The cannabis is grown on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and it’s all packed in a box that features Santa and a snowman smoking a joint whilst Mrs. Claus bakes some questionable looking brownies.
You can buy Canna Tours’ Cannabis Flower Christmas calendar here.
3. Weedvent Calendar
This product by Bud Express Now features 25 “mystery containers” packed with half-grams of “holiday herbs.” The gift — for a loved one or yourself, you do you — wouldn’t be complete without some beloved Christmas characters, so they’re included, too. Happy holidays!
You can buy Bud Express Now’s Weedvent Calendar here.