Gone are the good ol’ days when chocolate or toys were the only things to be found in advent calendars. Beauty products and booze are now common adult-only alternatives to the traditional chocolate calendar. But a few adventurous ideas are capturing widespread attention this year, for good or ill.

Zoella advent calendar


A U.K. video blogger touched off a wave of social media backlash with her review of fellow vlogger Zoella’s “lifestyle” calendar, a £50 ($84) kit with 12 items inside. The calendar was found to contain a variety of dollar store-level items such as a bag of confetti, a star-shaped cookie cutter and stickers.

Angry Brits vented their frustration at Zoella on Twitter, complaining that her calendar was a cash grab filled with garbage.

The calendar’s distributor, Boots, slashed the price by 50 per cent in the wake of the outcry.

Nativity scene with sausage

U.K. bakery chain Greggs sparked outrage among Christians this year with its advent calendar featuring a photo of a sausage roll in place of the baby Jesus.

The image depicted the Three Wise Men kneeling and praying around a half-eaten sausage roll in a manger.

The company apologized for the image after it triggered strong backlash from religious Brits, and a wave of derision on Twitter.

Cheese calendar

Yes, there’s a cheese calendar. And it’s extremely hard to find.

A U.K. blogger has launched her own cheese calendar this year in partnership with ASDA grocery stores, much to the delight of British cheese connoisseurs.

However, the product is proving to be more popular than anticipated, with many on social media complaining that they can’t get their hands on one of the coveted calendars.

“Your lack of cheese advent calendars is a joke!” one angry user tweeted at ASDA on Wednesday. 

Those who get their hands on a cheese calendar are advised to keep it in the fridge.

Marijuana advent calendar

Many marijuana lovers are already counting down the days until pot is legalized in Canada, but a B.C. company is offering customers the chance to count down to a green Christmas with its new cannabis calendar.

The $200-$230 calendar from Coast to Coast Medicinals contains a variety of medicinal marijuana products including flowers and edibles.

“Enjoy this adult version of a classic Christmas advent calendar filled with cannabis products,” the item’s description reads on its website.

Many Twitter users were high on the idea.