4 of the best alternative advent calendars

December is nearly upon as and as we prepare to deck the halls with boughs of holly, we're also counting down the days until the big day. And where's the fun in counting down to Christmas without an advent calendar?

While we are fans of traditional paper art (opens in new tab) advent calendars – the ones that you open to reveal a quaint nativity scene, bit by bit – as well as the classic chocolate ones, this year we thought we'd see what else is out there. So here are our favourite alternative advent calendars for those who love web design, animals, print, beautiful products and err...naked people.

For more traditional calendars, see our best calendars for 2021.

01. Mr Bingo's naked advent calendar (opens in new tab)

Mr Bingo's advent calendar

Find out what's underneath the gold ink in a tantalising Christmas countdown from Mr Bingo

What more festive than naked people in a pub? Well... quite a lot of things, but that doesn't make this naked calendar from Mr Bingo any less fun. 

Count down the days by scratching off the gold ink to reveal a naked body underneath, and then you get to tell your friends you've seen 25 naked people in December. They may or may not be impressed.

The people featured in the calendar are ordinary folk who applied to be part of the project, and you can see more about the making of the project via the video below.

02. Here Design's advent calendar shop (opens in new tab)

chillis poster by Here Design

An Anarchy of Chillies poster is one of the products available in December from the Here Design shop, but which day will it be on?

In another alternative advent calendar project, Here Design is revealing a new item on its online shop each day. Products include tote bags designed by Here for the Tate and notebooks from the Nigella cookbook collection. This is a great way to combine your Christmas shopping with some festive counting, or just drool over Here Design's beautifully crafted work.

03. 24 ways' advent calendar for web geeks (opens in new tab)

24 ways advent calendar

Last year's 24 ways provided plenty of insight

If you're looking to improve your web design and development skills, then 24 ways is the advent calendar for you. This website posts a different web article for each day in December in the run up to Christmas, and this curated list is a fantastic way to improve your skills. This advent calendar also lasts post-Christmas as the site stays live, meaning you can binge in the new year if you miss some articles.

04. Junique's the animal kingdom (opens in new tab)

Junique advent calendar

This advent calendar features a rolled up print by a different artist each day

One for print lovers: get a new print every day with this advent calendar in a box by Junique. Various themed calendars are available – including black and white, motivating mantras and botanical beautie – but there's something about getting a box full of flamingos, owls and penguins that pleases us. 

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Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where her blogging prowess led her to become Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on art and design magazines, including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw, and got the 'Apple bug' when working on US title, Mac|Life. In 2018, she left the world of print behind and moved to Creative Bloq, where she helps take care of the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach through trying to please the Google Gods, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure its content serves its readers as best it can. Her interests lie in branding and illustration, tech and sexism, and plenty more in-between.