16 Modern Advent Calendars That Are Anything but Boring

updated Nov 2, 2020
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It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is coming up fast. If you have any time-honored traditions, you might be starting to think about them, whether it’s a holiday greeting card, family dinner, or special advent calendar. Growing up, I associated advent calendars with vintage illustrations, religious quotes, and maybe a small piece of chocolate. Now though, advent calendars have really grown up, with a number of unique options out there that feel both religion- and holiday-agnostic. Really, they’re basically many-gifts-in-one treats that are hard to not also buy for yourself.

If you want to switch up tradition and treat yourself to a different kind of advent calendar, we rounded up the best ones available right now. Buy them ASAP before they sell out and have something to look forward to once December rolls around—or start the festivities early and open them now (hey, anything goes in 2020).

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Obsessed with Anthro’s signature scent? Us too. Now you can experience the best of Volcano with this gift set, featuring 12 mini Volcano products: five candles in different tins, diffuser oil, hand cream, votive candle, ornament, room spray, bath bomb, and bar soap. (Hint: Check out our full review here.)

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World Market

Bonne Maman's iconic advent calendar dropped early this year, and it's somehow not sold out yet—but you'll want to grab it ASAP before it's gone. Ideal for the foodie in your life, it includes 24 different flavors of Bonne Maman jams, marmalades, and honey in tiny 1-oz. jars.

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was $29.99

Calling all “Friends” lovers! The official "Friends" advent calendar is filled with all kinds of paraphernalia from the beloved TV show, like door hangers, coffee-scented erasers, notepads, and more. Perfect for the "Friends" superfan in your life, this is a great affordable option that's also tons of fun.

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Get cozy all December long with this advent calendar from your favorite Canadian tea company. It includes 24 loose leaf teas and infusions, with two servings per day (to share… or not). The blends include classic favorites, web exclusives, bestsellers, and brand new flavors, plus some limited edition picks.

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Williams Sonoma

You’re never too old for "Harry Potter". This Williams Sonoma-exclusive calendar features 24 treats from the Wizarding World, including Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Fizzing Whizbees, and Lemon Sherbets. Eat your candy while rewatching one of the "Harry Potter" movies for the 20th time (we definitely won’t judge).

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Count down the holidays in style with the George & Viv beauty advent calendar! The charming design will make you want to put this calendar on display, and the well-curated beauty treats inside are even better. From Mario Badescu to Sunday Riley, this calendar is packed with splurge-worthy beauty faves at an affordable price.

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Neiman Marcus

Take a more traditional route with the Sugarfina candy-filled calendar. Filled with 24 taster packets of caramels, gummies, and cookies in the cutest holiday packaging, it makes a perfect gift for your sweet tooth friend (or yourself!).

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Happy Socks

For the sock lover in your life, snag this not at all boring 24 Days of Happy Socks gift set. Keep their toes warm and countdown to Christmas in style with a fun new pair of socks everyday. Packed with playful designs and bold styles, this is one of the most unexpectedly exciting advent calendars out there.

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A box of wine has never been better. The 12 Nights of Wine set from Vinebox includes a mix of reds and whites in slim canisters that translate into one glass each—perfect for unwinding at the end of the day.

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Uncommon Goods

Up the anticipation for Christmas with this cookie making advent calendar. Each of the 25 days delivers a new ingredient, baking tool, or recipe to create six different kinds of holiday cookies. This is a great way to count down with kids—they’ll be so excited to see what cookies they’ll be making on Christmas Day!

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Saks Fifth Avenue

This luxe beauty advent calendar is packed with products that will help you look and feel your best during the holiday season. Filled with beauty cult-favorites like the holy grail Augustinus Bader Rich Cream and the Sunday Riley Retinoid Serum, you’ll enjoy high-end beauty samples at a fraction of the cost.

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The ideal gift for gardeners, this flower seed advent calendar has the makings of an entire garden in it. Featuring a new surprise each day, it includes 24 adorable envelopes filled with high quality seeds, plus growing tips and even twine to display the envelopes as you go.

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World Market

Keep the whole family in tip top mental shape with this fun brain teaser calendar. Packed with 12 brain teasers and puzzles, open one a day and get your gears turning. By the time Christmas rolls around, your brain will be on its A-game.

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Williams Sonoma

This popcorn lover's advent calendar is as salty as it is sweet. Filled with fun surprises from Wabash Family Farms, this calendar has everything from movie theatre-style Big and Yellow kernels to sweet Tender and White kernels. Of course, it’s also got all the toppings you love, like salted caramel seasoning and mini marshmallows.

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World Market

If you need to put hot sauce on everything you eat, you’ll love this gift set. Filled with 12 gourmet hot sauces, the assortment includes jalapeño, chipotle, sriracha, and chili flavors—perfect for adding a little heat to your holidays. It’s one of the more affordable options on our list, so no worries if you want to buy one for yourself and a friend.

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24 days of delicious coffee beans? We’re in. This coffee advent calendar has 24 specialty coffees from around the world, available in whole beans or ground. With delicious options ranging from Costa Rica Honey Prep to Tiger Tiger coffee, indulge in high quality brews all December long.