Remember back in the day (and I’m talking about 1986 or so) when advent calendars were simple?

You peeled back tiny pieces of cardboard to reveal pictures of a candle or a poinsettia? According to my mom, they cost a couple of dollars at most. If you were like me and had siblings, you spent most of the month arguing over which days you would get to open.

Well, those days are long gone. I thought advent calendars were lavish last year but they seem to have improved in number and opulence since then. And why shouldn’t they? 2020 has been a lot for all of us. Let’s end the year with something fun. From beef jerky and protein bars to candles and soap, there is an advent calendar for you.

Alcohol

I’m not sure this is really the place to start since advent calendars are a fun experience for children in my mind. However, the adult advent calendar market seems to be taking over, so why not start with alcohol?

As you will see, Aldi has a great range of moderately priced advent calendars. Their beer calendar is no different and boasts 24 different bottles. If you want to go with a fancier option, try a craft brew calendar. Beware that it might not be the traditional 24 days of fun though.

Don’t like beer? Why don’t you just WINE about it? There are a lot of wine advent calendar options out there. Again, Aldi makes a reasonably priced one. This was actually my intro into the world of adult advent calendars a couple of years ago. It was… fine… but seemed like there were too many repeats. Now, that was 2017 so it is possible that things have changed since then. Again, some have 12 and some have 24. Sip and Savor wines has a couple of options. The Festive Wine Advent Calendar looked the best to me. Now to figure out how to get it shipped to Mississippi. I read that Target has a wine calendar this year but also saw that it immediately sold out. I will shop earlier next year.

My husband became a whiskey guy after living in England. There are great options out there like Flaviar and Drinks by the Dram. The little bottles are so cute but they are not cheap. Save this for someone who loves whiskey and not me who gags after every sip. I am a fan of gin myself and there are fun advent calendars for gin and other liquors at The Spirit Co.

Kids

While there are a lot of alcoholic advent calendars, that is nothing compared to the number of options for kids. I’ll start by telling you what my three kids decided on for the season. My 7-year old wanted the Harry Potter Lego calendar although any Lego calendar would have worked for him. My 5-year old settled on Hot Wheels. My 10-year old wanted socks and settled on Harry Potter. At first, I thought this was a crazy theme but after I looked it up, I realized there are sock advent calendars for men and women all over the place!

If your kids aren’t into Harry Potter or Hot Wheels, don’t fret! There are so many others to choose from. For instance, I am surprised my daughter didn’t want 24 days of Squishees. You can find everything from charms, ornaments, and key chains to figurines for every theme, show, and book possible. In case you want to send an advent calendar to the child of your worst enemy, try 24 days of slime.      

Check out all of the Sock Advent Calendars and this is just at Target!

Pets

Did you know that the pet retail market accounted for $72.1 billion in sales in 2018? It should be no surprise that you can now get an advent calendar for your dog or cat. I can only assume Fido and Fluffy are filled with as much anticipation as I am while waiting for my wine of the day.

Coffee and Tea

If alcohol isn’t your thing, try a coffee or tea advent calendar. After living in England, I fell in love with tea. Whittard is one of my favorite shops. Everything they do is just beautiful and the tea is amazing. Pukka Herbs teas are another family favorite. This is my advent calendar for this year. Day 11, the Peppermint and Licorice, is my absolute favorite and I don’t even like licorice. My daughter loves Wild Apple & Cinnamon and Three Ginger, both featured on the calendar.

Who enjoys a nice coffee? I love a good cappuccino or a cold brew. This 12 Days of Pour Over from Copper Cow Coffee advent calendar is just beautiful. I love that it is so user friendly as well. Maybe I need two calendars this year? If you are a Keurig fan, try the K Cup Gift Box. It is only 12 coffees and technically they aren’t numbered but grab a Sharpie and you have your own calendar!     

Beauty

In a close second to the number of advent calendars for kids are the ones for beauty products. Do you have a favorite brand? They probably have a calendar. For instance, one of my favorites is Nuxe and I was pleased to see that even they have a calendar. Unfortunately, I didn’t pull the plug on this one in time so I will have to wait until next year. Another favorite is L’Occitane. You can’t go wrong with their products. I’m adding one from Ulta for good measure and promise you that there are so many more to choose from.

Chocolate

Seriously, this is probably one of the simplest in theme but has the most opportunity to be indulgent. For the kids, you can find inexpensive ones like the one featured here. I typically get each of my kids one of these. Easy, inexpensive, and no arguing over who gets to open the door each day.

On the other hand, you can go big with chocolate. William Sonoma has a couple of absolutely decadent calendars. Ferrero Rocher, Lindt, and Godiva also have great ones as well.  

Wild

I found a few great over the top advent calendars but nothing as extravagant as last year’s list. Maybe it is 2020 but I am I missing the $100K+ Tiffany’s calendar of 2019. There are still a few super luxurious calendars for those who are looking. Luckily, there are already several published lists for you to browse like this one from Town & Country and this one from Glamour.

Missed Advent Calendar Opportunities for 2020

Now, we have covered the basic themes but are missing a few. These are specific for 2020 and I truly think someone out there missed their moment of advent calendar fame. What do you think:

  • The 12 Days of Face Masks Advent Calendar
  • 24 Chlorox Wipes Packs calendar
  • 24 Mini Hand sanitizers (This isn’t a calendar but if you are looking for amazing smelling hand sanitizer, try Lillie & Pine)
  • 24 Days of Good News in your inbox (I am talking about pictures of hedgehogs in party hats and things like that)
  • Calendar of Snarky Social Media Comebacks

Before I wrap this up, I want to give a shout out to the hot sauce calendars. No matter what I searched, hot sauce advent calendars always ended up in the results!

Do you have an advent calendar for this year? Tell us about it!

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Christy is the co-founder of Military Moms Blog. Originally from St. Louis, Christy moved to San Antonio, Texas, for college. She ended up meeting her Air Force husband there and has been on the move ever since. She has mostly lived in the Central Time Zone but also in Italy and England, and she currently calls the Mississippi Gulf Coast home. Christy has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, specializing in pediatrics, and although she teaches as an adjunct professor, most of her mad behavioral skills are used on her three small children. Christy loves to be active and spends her time running, swimming, and playing with her kids. She is an amateur DIY’er and will attempt any and all projects. She likes to stay up late and get up early, so you may find her running before the sun comes up, Internet shopping at midnight, and enjoying iced coffee in between!