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The best thing about advent calendars is the daily element of surprise leading up to Christmas Day. Toddlers can open boxes filled with toys or wooden figures everyday, while older kids enjoy assembling mini Lego builds throughout December. Beauty-filled advent calendars make the perfect gift for mom, and dad might just love sampling new flavors from a craft beer set.
When searching for an advent calendar your recipient will really appreciate, it's important to keep in mind the price and delivery time of your advent calendar to ensure it arrives before December 1. Luckily, there are perfect options in every budget, so if you have to splurge on expedited shipping, you still won't break the bank.
Here, the best advent calendars of 2021 for men, women, and kids.
World Market Wawi Chocolate Advent Calendar, Set Of 4
You can pick up this set of four Advent calendars for less than the price of one at other stores, so each member of your family can enjoy their own. Each calendar has a fun, festive illustration, and behind every door hides a small piece of German chocolate. Counting down to the holidays has never been as delicious!
HABA My First Advent Calendar - Farmyard Animals
Introduce your toddler to the magical world of toy advent calendars with this one from HABA, specifically designed to be their first. While 2-4 year olds may have trouble with only opening one present per day, they will love receiving a new wooden animal figure each day throughout December until they have a complete set of friends to keep them busy for hours of playtime.
Sephora Holiday Vibes Advent Calendar
Glam up your holidays with this calendar filled with a mix of makeup, skincare, nail polish, and more. All 24 Sephora brand products are meant to add some sparkle or relaxation to your holiday season. There are even some accessories included, from a scrunchie to a makeup mirror for everything your recipient needs for a holiday makeup look.
Williams Sonoma Chuck's Luxury Advent Calendar
This Williams Sonoma advent calendar has luxury in its name and its contents do not disappoint. Each item was handpicked by Chuck Williams and includes seasonings, sweet treats, condiments, and kitchen inspired ornaments. Perfect for the foodie in your life or someone looking for a designer touch to their holiday countdown this year, this calendar has a high price tag for a reason.
Etsy Personalised A Date A Day Couples Advent Calendar
Clara and Macy on Etsy have the perfect joint present for a friend or family member and their spouse. Or, you can buy it as a present for your partner to enjoy together. This personalized advent calendar has 24 unique date night ideas to spice up your December. The ideas are just a starting point and don't include anything too costly or difficult to accomplish, but rather ways to connect and spend quality time with that special someone.
Palais des Thés Holiday Tea Advent Calendar
Grab your favorite mug and tasty Christmas cookies to enjoy with this advent calendar from Palais des Thés featuring a new delicious tea bag for 24 days of December. Whether you are gifting to a tea lover in your life or looking to explore new varieties, this is a great option for a mother, grandmother, boss, or even yourself to enjoy as days get colder.
The Open Bottle 2021 Craft Beer Christmas Advent Calendar
Beer fans are sure to love this craft beer themed box from The Open Bottle. Your recipient will open a new 12 or 16-ounce bottle or can of beer for 24 days to hopefully find a new favorite. After all of the beers are empty, the fun continues with a special coupon awarded on the last day to stock up on the best brews.
ASOS Grooming 12 Day Holiday Calendar
Why buy the man in your life one gift when you can buy 12? Help him feel like his best self with grooming products including beard oil, face masks, moisturizers and more. Many of the products can be used together for the perfect at-home spa day, which everyone can use during the stress of the holidays.
Playmobil Pirate Cove Treasure Hunt Advent Calendar
Playmobil has the perfect advent calendar for the kid in your life, no matter their ages or interests. Each one comes with 24 figures and pieces to collect as the days get closer to December 25. This one specifically follows pirates on a treasure hunt. Kids ages 5 and up gather a boat and tools to hopefully discover the hidden treasure at the end.
LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar with Minifigure Characters
This Advent calendar features 280 LEGO pieces— a mix of buildable ships, accessories, and mini-figures that the young Star Wars fan in your life will love. While the calendar is sold every year, the pieces inside are switched up—highlights include a Gonk Droid, a porg in a Santa hat, and Poe’s X-wing starfighter.
West Elm Wooden Tree Advent Calendar
Fill each of the 24 wooden drawers with your own small treat—think an ornament, a piece of chocolate, or a small toy—as you countdown to Christmas. The box is topped with snow-covered pine trees and can be reused year after year for holiday-lovers young and old.
Hatchimals Advent Calendar with Exclusive Characters & Paper Craft Accessories
If Hatchimals are on your kid's wish list, they'll go bananas for this Advent calendar that includes 10 exclusive Hatchimals, plus accessories, stickers, and more. As the month goes on, your child can craft a fun holiday scene, complete with Christmas trees, a fireplace, and even a sled for their Hatchimals to ride.
VINEBOX 12 Nights of Wine
No matter which list of Santa’s you’re on, you’ll find a wine that perfectly pairs with your day. This bundle comes with 24 single servings of wine sourced from around the globe. You’ll enjoy rich white wines and bold reds that will add to your holiday cheer.
Rituals The Rituals of Advent Advent Calendar
Not only is this advent calendar packed with luxurious goodies from the beloved skincare brand, it also makes for beautiful holiday decor. The calendar is designed as a mini Christmas village with each product as its own structure. Perfect for skincare lovers or those who need a little more self care in their lives, this unique calendar is a great value for all of the luxury items included.
DreamBone Holiday Advent Calendar with Limited Edition Holiday Dog Treats
Your pup definitely made the nice list, right? Reward their good behavior with a tasty rawhide-free treat every day. The calendar includes eight sweet potato mini-bones, eight mini-candy canes, and eight miniature chicken-wrapped sticks to ensure your furry friend feels just as spoiled as the rest of the family this holiday season.
Best DIY: QueenBeeInspirations Countdown to Christmas
Cheery elves, flying reindeer, and cute little animals will help you mark the days on the calendar until the big 2-5. You can fill each of the 24 doors with a piece of candy or a small present. The top can be personalized with your child’s name for a holiday keepsake he or she will have forever.
Nespresso Vertuo Advent Calendar
The coffee lover in your life will love this limited edition Nespresso advent calendar. The beautiful design comes from Colombian fashion designer Johanna Ortiz and features blends inspired by the forest. Recipients will receive a new Nespresso pod everyday as well as a special surprise on December 24.
McCrea's Candies Handcrafted Caramel Advent Calendar
Graduate from classic chocolate advent calendars to this one from McCrea's Candies, which features 12 different flavored caramels spread out over 24 days. The Massachusetts-based brand uses all locally sourced ingredients completely free of nuts, soy, and artificial flavors. What's more, the adorable illustrations come from New Hampshire illustrator Cindy Hendrick with packaging printed by Maine-based Franklin Printing, for a completely local New England experience no matter where you reside.
Voluspa Japonica Advent Calendar Candle Set
Candles are a universally great gift, whether you are buying for a spouse, sibling, or favorite coworker. This advent calendar from Voluspa adds some opulence to candle buying with 12 wax candles in different scents, so recipients can burn a new one each day. While this gift has a high price tag, 12 candles are a long lasting present that they can enjoy all the way until next Christmas.
Lovepop Advent Calendar: Pancake the Penguin's Christmas Adventure
Thanks to Lovepop, advent calendars can also be a great way for families to spend quality time together everyday leading up to the holidays. This unique calendar tells the story of Pancake the penguin on an epic winter adventure with new characters and twists revealed everyday. Kids will love playing with the included pop-up figures as parents read the engaging story for a great excuse to gather in front of the fire every night.
OPI Holiday '21 Nail Lacquer Mini 25pc Advent Calendar
Add to your nail polish collection with this advent calendar from OPI. It features 24 mini polishes in every color you could need for a year's worth of manicures. This would make a great gift for a teenager or friend looking to expand outside of a classic red set of nails, or for your gal pal who prefers doing her nails at home.
ChapStick Holiday 12 Days of ChapStick, 12ct
Spice up your smile with some holiday cheer in the form of festively flavored ChapSticks. Whether purchasing for a pre-teen or cousin that's already has everything, these 12 ChapSticks are sure to delight in flavors including sugar cookie, holiday cocoa, candy cane, and more. Happy kiss-mass!
Uncommon Goods Holiday Scratch Off Advent Calendar Playlist
This advent calendar could not be any less traditional for those looking to countdown to Christmas in a new way. Each day, you scratch off the designated number to reveal a QR code. Scan the QR code with your phone to receive a download of a holiday carol sung by an emerging artist. For music or tech lovers, this one-of-a-kind gift is fun for the whole family as they build their ideal holiday playlist.
Funko Advent Calendar: Harry Potter - 24 Vinyl Pocket Pop! Figures (2021)
Harry Potter fans of all ages will delight at this magical advent calendar from Funko. Each day, wizards receive a new mini Pop figure of one of the beloved characters from the franchise. After collecting them all, little ones can have hours of fun retelling the classic stories with their new figures, while older recipients can add to their growing collection.
Target Women's Holiday Dogs 15 Days of Socks Advent Calendar
As the days get colder, warm socks are a perfect gift for all ages and genders. Target has sock advent calendars for every ages and tase: Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Elf, Nickelodeon, and more. This set of holiday dogs is a safe option for any recipient. For just $15, this budget-friendly option includes 15 different pairs of socks featuring adorable pups in holiday gear.
What to Look For in an Advent Calendar
Depending on the contents of an advent calendar, the price will vary. There are luxury options including skincare products, perfumes, and fancy food items. Then, there are also many cheaper options including toys, socks, and even ChapStick. No matter what you want to fill your advent calendar with, there will be cheaper and more expensive options to fit every budget. It is important to remember that you are paying for 24 items rather than just one, so a higher price tag is normal. When considering that this gift continues for 24 days and often includes items that your recipient can continue to use after that period (other than food-based calendars), it can make sense to splurge.
Advent calendars are a time-sensitive gift, so paying attention to shipping times is extremely important. Most advent calendars begin on December 1, so shopping early is vital. Some retailers offer the last date to order a certain calendar to ensure its delivery by the first of the month. For others, you may have to pay extra for expedited to get your gift in on time.
Other calendars only contain 12 items, so you have a little more leniency on when to order. Still, ordering early is always advised for gifts of any kind, especially ones meant to be enjoyed on certain days (and given the current chain supply issues).
One of the most classic options for advent calendars is chocolate. For this and other food-based options featuring popcorn, caramels, candies, jams, honey, and more, it becomes very important to consider the allergen information of the person receiving the advent calendar. Luckily, retailers selling advent calendars containing food usually list all of the allergen information and ingredients on their website. Be sure to scan this section before purchasing!
Another important note for food-filled advent calendars is that certain choices may require a signature upon delivery. This is especially relevant to ones containing alcohol or perishable foods. Take your recipient's schedule into account when choosing a delivery time and maybe give them a head's up (without revealing the gift, of course).
Why Trust the Spruce
This article was written by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays. She's also covered similar topics in other roles, including toy reviews, product roundups, interviews with experts, and more.