Celebrate the season with these Advent calendars

While the Advent season has a deeply religious meaning and purpose in most Christian denominations, gifting someone an Advent calendar has become a tradition that many have adopted to ramp up anticipation and general excitement during the holiday season. A gift each day has become such a popular notion that you can actually give an Advent calendar to a pet. This means there are such a variety of options that you may need some help learning what’s available.

Which type of Advent calendar do you want?

There are two main types of Advent calendars: refillable and one-time use.

Refillable

A refillable Advent calendar is usually more ornate and made with durable materials (like wood) so it can last year after year. The one thing a refillable Advent calendar doesn’t include is the gifts. Each year, you get to fill the compartments with whatever you want to make the year special.

One-time use

A one-time use Advent calendar is designed to be discarded after the last compartment has been opened. It’s usually made out of cardboard and features perforated doors that the recipient needs to tear open.

The three key features to consider when shopping for an Advent calendar

Price

Just like any other item you shop for, consider the price. You can get a fun, affordable Advent calendar for a kid that costs less than $20, or you can get an Advent calendar for an adult that costs several hundred dollars.

Theme

Since the gifts inside will often only cost about a dollar, an Advent calendar is the epitome of “it’s the thought that counts.” This means you want to get one with a theme that’s appropriate for the individual. For example, a small child might not like a Keurig-themed Advent calendar.

Order

Some people like order. For them, an Advent calendar that progresses from left to right and top to bottom, like the order of words on a page, will be best. Others love the thrill of the hunt. A randomized order can increase the excitement level for these types of people.

This year’s best Advent calendars

Best Paw Patrol Advent Calendar

Paw Patrol Advent Calendar

If you have a Paw Patrol fan on your list, this is an awesome gift. It comes with 24 exciting surprise toys and accessories. Sold by Amazon

Best Rubber Duckies Advent Calendar

Joyin Rubber Duckies Advent Calendar

Rubber duckies are a collectible phenomenon. This surprise-a-day calendar includes 18 Christmas-themed ducks and six novelty ducks. Sold by Amazon

Best Fidget Christmas Countdown Calendar-Advent Calendar

Best Fidget Christmas Countdown Calendar-Advent Calendar

Engaging, brain-teasing and stress-relieving, this wide assortment of fun ranges from puzzles to fidget toys. You get 24 neatly packaged surprises in this reusable countdown calendar.

Sold by Amazon

Best The Purple Cow Crazy Scientist Advent Calendar

The Purple Cow Crazy Scientist Advent Calendar

Recommended for kids 8 and above, these intriguing experiments cover chemistry, biology, mechanics, optics and magnetics. Sold by Amazon

Best LEGO Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar

Lego Marvel Studios The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Advent Calendar

This holiday season, don’t just watch the new “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special,” use this fun collection of Lego kits to play it. Sold by Amazon

Best Godiva Chocolatier Advent Calendar

Godiva Chocolatier Advent Calendar

A different Godiva chocolate every day for a month? There are a lot of people hoping for this calendar this year. Sold by Amazon 

Share Love & Joy Ultimate Advent Calendar

The Body Shop Share Love and Joy Ultimate Advent Calendar

This is the ultimate self-pampering countdown calendar. It is packed with 25 beauty products that cleanse, moisturize, nourish and more. Sold by Ulta Beauty

Best Plow and Hearth Advent Cabin

Plow & Hearth Advent Cabin

If you’re looking for something truly unique that you can use year after year, this 3D Advent cabin from Plow & Hearth is for you. It has compartments on all four sides that house wonderful woodland holiday secrets (surprise figurines are not removable). Sold by Wayfair

Best Kurt Adler LED Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

Kurt Adler LED Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

This festive light-up Christmas tree Advent calendar features Santa, helpers and ornaments. It adds holiday flair to any decor. Sold by Kohl’s and Wayfair

Keurig Advent Calendar Variety Pack

Keurig Advent Calendar Variety Pack

If you have a Keurig, you will love this Advent calendar. It features a mix of 24 K-cup pods, including coffee, cocoa and latte. Even better, these updated pods are now recyclable. Sold by Amazon

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