Count down the days until Christmas with the help of an advent calendar. The range now goes far beyond the chocolate calendars of long ago and includes everything from shots of coffee or bourbon to scented candles and jewelry.
There are advent calendars for dogs, for cats, for children, and for adults. They come filled with an array of wonderful gifts that will last long beyond the festive period. Or if you’d rather focus on the true spirit of Christmas, then why not make your own and fill it with a good deed per day? Here are some ideas we hope will inspire you.
For the Beauty QueenSaks Fifth Avenue 25 Days of Beauty
Each drawer of this delectable calendar contains an indulgent miniature gift that will delight the senses. Whether it is a perfume from Gucci, an eye cream from Charlotte Tilbury, a candle from Diptyque, or a mascara from Christian Louboutin, the 25 premium skincare, makeup, haircare, and fragrance products will provide a daily boost from the first day of December to Christmas Day.
For the Coffee LoverBeanBox 12 Mornings of Coffee
The perfect gift for coffee-lovers, this advent calendar contains 12 specialty coffees (1.8 ounces each—enough for between four and six mugs), tasting notes, and instructions for how to brew each one perfectly. All have been selected and blended by top roasters throughout the United States. You can choose whole beans to grind at home or full-bodied ground coffee that’s ready to brew immediately.
For the Whiskey Enthusiast12 Days of Bourbon
Packaged in a brown box emblazoned on one side with the Stars and Stripes and the words “made in the USA,” this selection of 12 mini bottles includes bourbons from Woodford Reserve, Bulleit, Elijah Craig, and more.
For the Style-ConsciousAstrid and Miyu Advent Calendars
When Korean-born Connie Nam started Astrid & Miyu in 2012, her intention was to create beautifully crafted, contemporary jewelry with enduring and universal appeal. Now worn by some of the world’s most glamorous people—Jessica Alba among them—the brand has this year introduced several limited edition advent calendars, ranging from 12-day gift boxes filled with earrings in either gold-plated recycled silver or recycled silver (both $470) to a prestige lacquer-finished jewelry box that contains five 14k gold items (three pairs of earrings, one necklace, and one bracelet) for $1,485.
For the Doting Dog OwnerDreamBone Holiday Advent Calendar
For the Pampering Cat OwnerSnif-Snax Advent Calendar with Salmon Flavor Cat Treats
Dogs remain the most popular animal companion in the United States, according to the latest study from Forbes Advisor, but thank goodness that Snif-Snax hasn’t forgotten the 46.5 million households where a cat rules the roost. Its calendar is filled with omega-packed, antibiotic-free Scottish salmon and seaweed treats that will keep your kitty happy over Christmas.
For the DIYerEthel Wooden Fill-It-Yourself Calendar
Exclusive to Anthropologie, this exquisite wooden advent calendar, depicting a hand-painted scene of an enchanted forest, will likely become part of your Christmas for many years to come. Filling each of its 24 drawers with gifts for those you love might become a family tradition.
For the One With a Sweet ToothSee’s Candies Advent Calendar
Founded in 1921 by three members of the See family—husband and wife team Charles and Florence and mother/mother-in-law Mary—See’s Candies are a once-tasted, forever-craved experience. This year’s calendar is filled with much-loved, individually wrapped goodies, including filled and solid chocolates and lollipops.
For the KidsMeri Meri Marching Band Advent Calendar Suitcase
Make Your Own!One final suggestion is to make your own; it can be as elaborate or as plain as your artistic skills allow. The wonderful thing about a homemade calendar is it will be unique—something that reflects the person you are giving it to, even if that person is you! If you already have a reusable calendar, you’re already most of the way there; all you need to do is fill it with your choice of gift. You could, for instance, buy a tea or chocolate selection box and pop in a different tisane or candy in each drawer. Or you could stitch pockets onto a ready-made Christmas stocking and fill those.
Or, in this season of giving, how about a calendar full of ideas for helping others? Either buy a wooden tree from a craft shop or make your own out of cardboard. On a piece of paper, write out between 12 and 24 good deeds or random acts of kindness. Cut out each one, fold it, and then attach it to your tree. Each morning, pick one and carry out the action. If you have young children, make sure to involve them too; for instance, one of the deeds could be to donate a toy or book to a thrift store or charity. Older children can pay something forward—a coffee or a slice of pizza. Adults might offer to shop for an elderly neighbor. It can be anything that helps improve the life of someone else, however small. Even paying a compliment can bring a drop of joy to someone’s day.