Even if you’re not the type to get really into Christmas, there’s something magical about an Advent calendar. The act of opening tiny little doors to reveal a surprise, once a day for every day of December until Christmas, is like getting 24 teeny presents — even if those little doors contain nothing more than the picture of a glowing candle. Still satisfying!
Advent calendars — for kids or adults; the latter have taken off in recent years — also give a fun, wholesome tempo to the post-Thanksgiving-pre-Christmas season of restless anticipation. There are, of course, plain Advent calendars, but most adult and kids Advent calendars these days contain all manner of tiny gifts behind their doors, ranging from chocolate, booze, and “beard treats,” to Legos and unicorn stamps.
The Best Advent Calendars for Kids
Markers, paints, model magic. The Crayola calendar doesn't skimp on the good stuff. Each opening reveals a Crayola product and corresponding activity for kids.
Hold on to your broomstick: This calendar is a whole cabinet of Hogwarts curiosities. It includes Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Padma Patil, Parvati Patil, and Cho Chang minifigures, plus a a miniature Beauxbaton's carriage and dining table with ice-castle centerpiece.
When kids open the little doors on this Advent calendar, they get a wooden stamp, each featuring unicorns, cherries, and other festive things. Prepare to find all your gifts stamped with said festive things.
The LEGO Advent calendar includes buildable characters and vehicles. We're talking Poe Dameron and Darth Vader, plus the Millennium Falcon, an A-wing, a TIE Fighter, X-wing, a Droid Control Ship, and Anakin’s Podracer.
Here's the cool thing about this calendar: Once kids have all the pieces, on December 24, they use them to build Santa's sleigh, work bench, reindeer, slide, bike, toys, and backdrop. It offers both daily gratification and a big payoff at the end. Gifts within gifts.
Each opening in this beautiful calendar contains an enamel pin that kids can wear. And once Christmas is over, it can be used as a treasure box.
Made from recycled paper, this calendar features 24 pop-out character and a festive winter scene where the bear, koala, and other friends can load up on Christmas cheer.
If you'd rather come up with your own gifts, for kids or adults, consider this gorgeous, classic calendar that, in true L.L. Bean style, will last for years. The drawers open, and you insert your own thoughtful gift (or, you know, candy) in each one.
The Best Adult Advent Calendars
Three cheers to this calendar, which has 24 vials of 1.7 ounce premium whiskey, along with flavor notes for each drink. It's here for you when you get frustrated at having to put together a 674-piece toy at 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve.
This calendar delivers on excellent skin-care goods, perfect for 2020 self-care rituals. Some of the items included are the brand's signature facial cleanser, the Creme de Corps body lotion, and Facial Fuel moisturizer for men.
Your family (translation: you) will appreciate this sweet calendar, which has a different handcrafted caramel — with offbeat flavors like anisette, tapped maple, cinnamon clove, and black lava sea salt — in each day.
Rich reds. Chill whites. You get 12 bottles that Vinebox hand-picks for you throughout the holidays. The box includes a mix of reds and whites, including French pinot noir and Sicilian chardonnay.
If you're sick of the same tired tunes, upgrade your holiday music game with this calendar. When you scratch off each day, you see a QR code for a new classic holiday song each day.
The French skin care brand really delivers, even in miniature. Calendar gifts include hand creams, shampoos, shower oils, lip balms, and anti-aging creams, all in a very cheerful package.
Never miss a sugar fix with this collection. It includes a chocolate Santa, snowman, and penguin, along with the brand's classic bites.
A beauty fanatic's dream, this calendar is crammed with masks, eyeliners, lipsticks, and hair accessories.
The British company renowned for its luxury scents has a correspondingly swanky calendar. The 24 little treats include colognes, miniature candles, and body lotions.
Don't forget Fido! This calendar contains 23 mini bones and one special mini-paw cookie.
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