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Favorite Things: Advent Calendars

I love surprises!!! Let me clarify… I love GOOD surprises. You know, that little element of the unknown that brings a spark of joy to your day? That’s why advent calendars are one of my favorite things.

An advent calendar is a way of counting down the days of anticipation for Christmas. They have existed for more than a hundred years. Starting on the first day of December, an advent calendar contains a series of compartments, hiding a little surprise for each of the next twenty four days. Vintage advent calendars were usually created of wood or fabric, allowing parents to fill its compartments with whatever they wish like coins, candy, and small toys.

Modern advent calendars, however, are usually pre-created with some sort of theme. As a child, I would receive an advent calendar each year with a piece of plain chocolate behind each door. However, it seems retailers have been stepping up their games and getting in on the advent calendar trend. There are advent calendars containing everything you can imagine… wine, bacon, bath products, cosmetics, dog treats, and Legos. This year, Tiffany and Co. even released a calendar with tiny trinkets. (And holy cow, is it expensive!!!)

Each year, I love to treat myself to an advent calendar or two to help keep my December fun. Even my husband enjoys collecting a few for himself. This year Jeff chose a Lego City calendar and a Trader Joe’s Chocolate calendar. Being the indecisive girl I am… or just silly… I ended up with three different ones.

The first is a tea calendar from DavidsTea, featuring twenty four samples of loose leaf tea. The teas include special holiday blends and a selection of year round favorites. This is the fourth year I have purchased this calendar. Though many of the teas remain the same from year to year, I like the package design changes and the little extras that come along with it. Last year, the calendar included a tea spoon. Who knows what’s in store for this year, but the tea in the first few days has been wonderful.

The second calendar is a beauty calendar from Sephora. Cosmetics are another one of my favorite things! This calendar contains twenty four cosmetic and spa products from the Sephora label brand. Masks, and bath bombs, and lippies, oh my! The very first day included a Lipstories lipstick in a beautiful neutral shade. I am excited to see what else is in the calendar.

The third, and final calendar, is a body care calendar from British designer, Cath Kidston. I was turned on to this brand when they did a collaboration with Disney over the past couple of years. Cath Kidston has a line of clothing, handbags, home goods, and stationery in whimsical prints. The advent calendar contains a selection of bath essentials that feature the brand’s signature prints. (And they smell good too!!)

I am super excited to wake up to tiny surprises for the next few weeks. At the end of December, I will report about the best (and lamest) items from each calendar, and which one is the winner overall.

What are your favorite advent calendars? Better yet… what do you think would make a great advent calendar that hasn’t been invented yet?

5 thoughts on “Favorite Things: Advent Calendars”

  1. I love advent calendars! I’d never heard of them as a kid, but as an adult I have embraced them for my children. My favorite was when I made homemade “punch through” calendars (à la Price is Right”) with Disney pins for trading.


  2. Unfortunately, my calendar this year is counting down the days to unemployment not Christmas. Just found out my job is being eliminated January 3rd. I need a calendar with a daily message of encouragement reminding me I am good enough. Each day that goes by gets harder for me not to get discouraged.


    1. Oh, my goodness… I am so sorry. What a horrible thing to put on a person at the holidays. I know this sounds crazy but, I read a book by Mr. Rogers that was full of affirmations that helped me through a really difficult time. Maybe there is a word of peace for you in there as well. Keep your head up and know this is not your fault. Something better is on the horizon.


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