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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good advent calendar. With so many different varieties out there—from perfume samplers to beauty goodies to to even a calendar full of dog treats for your beloved pup—it can be a little overwhelming to choose just one to commit to for a full month of treats, so I just had to bring you the best advent calendars for 2021 so you could ~explore your options~. I know that it’s only August, but hey, these popular advent calendars sell out SO fast.
There’s something so satisfying about popping a piece of cardboard or pulling open a mini drawer to reveal something new every day, whether it’s as simple as a piece of chocolate or as thrilling as a brand new lipstick. Plus, it makes the countdown to Christmas that much more enjoyable.
As a kid, all I wanted were the candy calendars filled with chocolate Santas, mini peppermint sticks and marshmallow snowmen. Sadly, however, my Jewish parents weren’t super into subscribing to Christmas traditions, so I just mooched off of my gentile friends’ calendars whenever I could. Now that I am an adult with my own bank account from which I can buy all the advent calendars I want, I find myself drawn less to the candy-filled calendars and more drawn toward the boozy and beauty-filled ones. I mean, waking up every day in December to a fun-sized beauty surprise or mini tequila bottle sounds exactly like the kind of holiday cheer I need in my life.
There’s truly an advent calendar out there for every type of person, whether you’re a beauty fanatic, wine expert or tea aficionado. Below, I’ve lined up some of my favorites on offer right now, some of which are affordable and fun and others that are total bougie splurges. Plus, they’re not all Christmas calendars. You can count down to any holiday! Or just New Year’s Eve. We all could use a little pick-me-up.
Scroll down to shop them all, and if you feel like you deserve more than one calendar this season, I won’t argue with you.
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Lipstick Advent Calendar
Count down the 12 days till Christmas with this lipstick calendar. From everything from satin glosses to matte lipsticks, there so many fun lipsticks to unbox in this set.
Friends Advent Calendar
Calling all Friends stans, this Friends advent calendar is just for you. Open the door to a little trinket, ornament or keepsake every day for 25 days leading up to Christmas. You’ll be decking the halls with boughs of Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Monica and Chandler. This one goes in and out of stock, so be on the lookout to snag it when you can.
A Christmas Story Calendar
The holiday classic got its own advent calendar. Each day leading up to Christmas, you’ll open the door and pull out A Christmas Story-themed figurine.
Home Alone Calendar
If you’re a big fan of this holiday classic, you better add this advent calendar to your cart. The calendar features a pop-up tree and 24 paper ornaments related to Kevin and The Wet Bandits. It’s available for preorder right now.
A Nightmarish Advent Calendar
Although it’s still not totally settled if Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie, there is 25-day advent calendar available for preorder. This option features 25 spooky gifts—ornaments and mini-books included.
A Very Princess Christmas
Countdown to the holidays with all of your favorite Disney princesses. Inside, there are 24 small individually wrapped books. Read a new story each day.
Calling all Marvel fans: You need to preorder this advent calendar now. There aren’t just 12 or 24 surprises inside this advent calendar though—there are 30.
Galactic Advent Calendar
Darth Vader and Stormtroopers caroling?! Sign us up. There are 30 surprises inside, so it’s a necessary early holiday gift for the Star Wars fans in your life.
Winter Town Calendar
If you want to create your own advent calendar and reuse it year after year, this option is worth investing in. It has little drawers that you can fill with treats for your friends and family.
Mindfulness Advent Calendar
Give yourself the gift of mindfulness with this Mindfulness Advent Calendar. Every day for 24 days you’ll find exercises and mantras to help you practice attentiveness and mindfulness, just in time for the busy holiday season.
Pillowcase Advent Calendar
Life hack: If you sleep on an advent calendar pillowcase you’re more likely to dream about Christmas…I think. Fill the pockets with treats and trinks or just move the attached star into the pockets as you count down the days until Christmas.
Ciaté London Nail Polish Calendar
I’m all about this Mini Mani Month Nail Polish Advent Calendar, complete with 22 mini nail polishes, one full-size polish and a watermelon lip oil. TBH, I rarely ever finish a full-size polish (does anyone?) so this is a dream come true.
Tea Advent Calendar
Calling all tea lovers, this tea advent calendar is for you. Complete with 24 samples of different types of tea, you’ll be able to cuddle up with a hot cuppa every day leading up to Christmas, but be sure to save your favorite for a Christmas day celebration.
Magical Advent Calendar
If you loved the Harry Potter movies, this is the advent calendar for you. Behind each door is a small gift that’ll remind you of a memorable HP movie moment.
A version of this article appeared in November 2019.