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Somehow, some way, December is nearly upon us, which means your time to pick up an Advent calendar for the great count up (yes, up—more on that later) to Christmas is running out. To ensure you have yours on hand by the beginning of the month (this year’s official Advent start date is November 28, though most calendars begin on December 1), you’re going to need to order one ASAP. Your best bet? Good old Amazon. The mega-retailer offers free two-day Prime shipping on a number of festive calendars featuring makeup, toys and, of course, chocolate, plus options for speedier delivery at an upcharge for those who aren’t signed up for the monthly membership. Since there's not a moment to lose, we’ve done the legwork to find the best Advent calendars on Amazon—just in time for you to celebrate.

What Are Advent Calendars?

Advent calendars are typically used to count the days of Advent (aka the days leading up to Christmas). It makes sense, considering that the word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which literally means “arrival” or “coming.”

They first started popping up among German Lutherans, who had previously used chalk marks on the door or lit candles to mark the days, during the 19th century. While they were originally reusable (the first one is believed to have been wooden or clock-shaped, depending on who you ask), a man named Gerhard Lang is widely believed to have created the first printed paper versions, shaping their evolution into the Advent calendars we know and love today.

Nowadays, they're available in a variety of forms, from rectangular cards with "windows" that open up to reveal special treats, to big wooden boxes that can be stuffed with fun trinkets. Many contain chocolate (a practice Cadbury popularized in 1958), but the sky is really the limit for these babies—we’ve seen them stuffed with everything from Dolly Parton treats to sex toys.

How Do Advent Calendars Work?

Advent calendars have either 24 days to mark the days leading up to the holiday or 12 (to represent the 12 days of Christmas). While it may seem that you should start on the 12th or 24th day and work your way down to No. 1, the proper way to use them historically would be to start from the lowest number and count up to Christmas—just like the Germans would have while making their chalk marks or lighting candles. Either way, it’s a fun activity that children and adults alike can enjoy (especially when food is involved).

The Best Advent Calendars at a Glance

RELATED: These Are the 18 Best Advent Calendars to Buy This Holiday Season

Amazon

1. Madelaine Chocolate Advent Calendar

Best for the chocolate lover

Inside this portrait of a village toy shop are 24 pieces of chocolate, each of which is adorably wrapped like a present. Better yet, when you open each door to reveal the treat behind it, you’ll see a little rhyme that you can recite to your kids to get them excited about the fact that they're getting closer and closer to the big day.

$13 at Amazon

Amazon

2. Keurig Advent Calendar

Best for the java junkie

If you’re practically a zombie in the morning when you walk to your coffee maker, you’ll greatly appreciate waking up to this Advent calendar. It contains 24 Keurig pods of coffee and cocoa from brands such as Caribou, Krispy Kreme and Cinnabon in flavors like Red Velvet Latte and Dark Chocolate Hazelnut that will really capture the sweetness of the season.

$36 at Amazon

Amazon

3. 'Friends': The Official Advent Calendar

Best for TV bingers

Friends just might be the ultimate comfort show, and thanks to this Advent calendar, Rachel, Joey and the rest of the gang can help you count down the season in style. Housing a variety of more than 40 keepsakes, it will have you reminiscing on classic quotes (“I'm the Holiday Armadillo!”), with its ornaments, gift tags and more, all of which you’re sure to treasure beyond the holidays.

$27 at Amazon

Amazon

4. Vermont Christmas Company Christmas Tree Fabric Advent Calendar

Best for the traditionalist

Not all Advent calendars have to be filled with treats or trinkets: Sometimes, the excitement of getting closer to Christmas is enough. Take this classic fabric tree. It’s filled with stuffed, holiday-themed figures that your little ones will adore putting on the “tree” each day leading up to Noel.

$40 at Amazon

Amazon

5. 'Harry Potter': Holiday Magic: The Official Advent Calendar 

Best for Potterheads

The magic of Christmas can only be matched by the magic of Hogwarts—especially with a 20-year reunion special in the works. Inside this themed Advent calendar, you’ll find 25 unique Harry Potter-inspired keepsakes, ranging from festive paper ornaments to recipe cards. The only thing sweeter would be a trip to Honeydukes!


$30 $19 at Amazon

Amazon

6. Reese's Holiday Advent Calendar

Best for the peanut butter enthusiast

You don’t have to spend a lot to join in on the fun: For less than $10, you’ll get everything you need to tide you over ‘til Christmas in the form of this peanut butter-filled calendar. Its six miniature peanut butter cups and 18 mini packs of Reese's pieces aren’t huge, but they'll be just enough to calm that peanut butter craving. And, should you get bored while you're waiting for your holiday dinner to cook, it's got a word search on the box that will help keep you occupied.

$10 $9 at Amazon

Amazon

7. Yankee Candle Advent Calendar Tree

Best for candle collectors

Scent can create a cheery vibe in your home—especially with Yankee Candle's seasonal scents, like Christmas Magic and Twinkling Lights. This festive tree-shaped pick, which comes with three small jars, 10 votives and 18 scented tea lights, will help you find your favorite before you pick up the full sizes. It's also packed with additional goodies that will help you make the most of your candles, like a wick trimmer, a snuffer, a clear glass tea light holder and a decorative glass votive holder.

$132 at Amazon

Amazon

8. SpaLife Fizzle All The Way Bath Bomb Advent Calendar

Best for the super stressed-out

The holidays can be stressful, but you can soak off some of the hecticness with a long hot bath when you’ve got a good bath bomb on hand—or 12. This set that's designed to count down the 12 days of Christmas will give you everything you need to take a little “you” time when the in-laws get to be a little *much.*

$15 at Amazon

Amazon

9. VAHDAM 2021 Advent Calendar 

Best for tea sippers

Not a fan of soaks? You can still sink into bliss thanks to this cozy option from VAHDAM. Each of the 24 different flavors included comes with five bags (that’s 120, for those of you doing the math) that you’ll enjoy steeping after a long hard day of decorating and baking cookies. With flavors like Cookies & Cream and Hibiscus Rose among them (um, yum?), you may even find a new favorite.

$57 at Amazon

Amazon

10. Winlyn Ornament Advent Calendar 

Best for the Christmas fanatic

The only bad part about decorating the tree? Once it’s finished, you don’t get to do it again until the following year! You can keep the magic alive for your little ones with this Advent calendar, which offers up a new ornament for every day of the month leading up to Santa's arrival. Each of these clay baubles has a seasonal shape (think Christmas trees, snowflakes and jingle bells), and you can pull them out again the following year.

$17 at Amazon

Amazon

11. The Office 12 Days Of Socks Advent Calendar

Best for the one who’s always cold

You can never have too many socks—especially if you’re perpetually cold. Treat yourself or a pal to 12 pairs of The Office-themed foot covers. With Dunder Mifflin and Schrute Farms logos emblazoned all over them, they'll keep your toes nice and toasty. You’ll also have some protection should you ever put your foot down on a Foreman grill (just saying).

$40 $34 at Amazon

Amazon

12. HearthSong Gingerbread House Advent Calendar

Best for the environmentalist

You can knock out two holiday tasks in one thanks to this reusable gingerbread house Advent calendar, which will not only count the days until Christmas, it will serve as a bit of festive décor. You’ll have to fill the 24 drawers with your own goodies, but its high-quality wooden construction means you can reuse it—and change the surprises up—year after year after year.

$42 at Amazon

Amazon

13. National Geographic 2021 Advent Calendar 

Best for the budding scientist

Nurture their love of science with this unique Advent calendar that will present your child with a new rock, fossil or mineral from around the world each day. On Christmas morning, they’ll get an extra-special treat in the form of a rose quartz buried in a mini brick that's meant to be extracted with the included excavation tools. There’s also a magnifying glass your kid can use to inspect all of their newly acquired treasures.

$40 at Amazon

Amazon

14. The Holiday Spirits Advent Calendar

Best for the party gal

Make someone’s holiday spirits bright with this alcohol bottle Advent calendar. With mini vessels for booze or wine that can be filled with your favorite whisky, tequila, bourbon and more, it will be easy wind down after a long day of holiday shopping. Plus, the durable design means you can use it for multiple seasons—or even give it as a gift.

$20 at Amazon

Amazon

15. NYX Diamonds and Ice Advent Calendar 

Best for lipstick lovers

Give your holiday glam a little extra pop of sparkle with this Advent calendar of lipsticks from NYX. It features midi-sized versions of 12 of the brand's most popular shades in a mix of mattes and satins, from a bold red called Kitten Heels that will complete your NYE look to a neutral mauve called Butter Gloss that will work great for that post-Christmas brunch. Did we mention they’re also all cruelty-free?

$40 at Amazon

Amazon

16. Tingletouch The Advent Calendar for Couples 

Best for couples

Want to spice things up this Yuletide? Check out this couples’ Advent calendar. Each window houses three suggestions for a shared activity—some nice and some naughty—that will help you savor every moment of the holiday season together. Happy twosomes say it’s filled with “very good ideas to help spark love,” and it won’t be too bad on the old wallet, either.

$14 at Amazon

Amazon

17. Chilli Hot Sauce Advent Calendar

Best for the adventurous

Take heed: This one’s not for the faint of heart. It contains 24 pouches of hot sauce for every day in December through Christmas, with each one getting saucier than the next. Apart from heat, you’ll find plenty of unique flavors, too, like Thai-riffic, Hawaiian Lava Flow, Egyptian Fire Scarab and (gulp!) Death Valley.

$68 at Amazon

Amazon

18. Arteza 2021 Advent Calendar

Best for creatives

With 24 different art projects to keep you busy, plus a bonus gel pen and metallic watercolor half-pan, this hands-on option is basically tailor-made for the creative set. Behind each door, you’ll find staple art supplies, (we’re talking acrylic markers, paint brushes and iridescent acrylic paint), plus a QR code to scan instructions for how to use ‘em. By the time you reach the last one, you’ll have a big enough arsenal to become a modern-day Bob Ross.


$65 $54 at Amazon

Amazon

19. Wüfers 2021 Dog Advent Calendar 

Best for dog owners

Our dogs are a part of our families, and they deserve to get in on the Christmas fun, too! Enter: This calendar chock-full of all-natural, handmade cookies for Fido. Each one is individually wrapped to maintain its freshness, and your pup will look forward to a new reward each day, making for a bonding moment for your both.

$60 at Amazon

Amazon

20. Purina Fancy Feast Feastivities Advent Calendar

Best for cat owners

This wet cat food Advent calendar will be the purr-fect treat for your favorite feline (just note that it may arrive a few days after the 1). You’ll get 24 cans of Fancy Feast in both classic and seasonal flavors, like Hearthside Salmon Platter, which features pumpkin and spinach, and Yuletide Turkey Feast. They’ll also have their pick of gravy, paté and chunk varieties. Me-ow!

$25 at Amazon

Amazon

21. Fidget Toys Advent Calendar

Best for kids

With a bubble-shaped bear, stretchy noodle toys and sensory balls, the “fidget toys” found in this Advent calendar will be ideal for anyone with kids who have a short attention span. All of the included goodies are non-toxic and may help them stay a little more focused throughout the day. Some studies have even found that these types of toys may offer some therapeutic benefits.


$50 $44 at Amazon

Amazon

22. L'Occitane Signature Holiday Advent Calendar

Best for the beauty guru

There's nothing better than a sample from your favorite beauty brand, and with this Advent calendar, you’ll be able to try out 24 of them from French cosmetics company L'Occitane. It features some of the brand’s top-rated products, including the cult-favorite shea butter hand cream and almond shower oil, both of which will come in handy ahead of a long, brittle winter. Even the package is charming: The goods are housed in a rendering of Provence (founder Olivier Baussan’s native land) from French illustrator Edith Carron. Fair warning, though: You just may find yourself asking for all of the full-sized versions under the tree.

$74 at Amazon

Amazon

23. Bonne Maman 2021 Advent Calendar

Best for foodies

Anyone that’s obsessed with toast or cheese boards can likely tell you that Bonne Maman makes some of the best jams around. Needless to say, marmalade connoisseurs will adore this calendar from the French brand, which features 24 jellies, fruit preserves or honey jars in exclusive holiday flavors, like cherry with hibiscus flower, sweet orange and passion fruit and wild blueberry with lemon balm. Trust us: They’ll seriously upgrade those holiday dinner rolls.

$35 at Amazon

Amazon

24. Man Crates Jerky Advent Calendar

Best for jerky connoisseurs

Carnivores will be delighted by the daily hunk of jerky this unique option affords to celebrate the season. With savory, bite-size jerky snacks in a variety of flavors, including garlic, chili lime and whiskey maple, even the heartiest of meat eaters will be satiated. Bonus: The box has a hilarious cow caroler design that will bring a chuckle to holiday party guests.

$90 at Amazon

Amazon

25. 12 Days of Cocoas Advent Calendar

Best for a sweet tooth

After a long, chilly day of playing in the snow, there’s no better way to warm up than with a hot cup of cocoa. This 12-day hot chocolate sampler is filled with unique flavors, such as Cocoa-Nut Cocoa, Caramel Crème Cocoa and Candy Cane Cocoa that will make your taste buds dance: Just mix the pack with your milk of choice.

$23 $17 at Amazon

Amazon

26. Lego 'Star Wars' Advent Calendar 

Best for Star Wars fans

Kids (and adults) can spend each day leading up to Santa's debut assembling their very own red-nosed Tauntaun, a Christmas sweater-wearing Darth Vader, the Millenium Falcon and more with this kit. You’ll get 311 pieces in total over the course of 24 days, plus a code to unlock Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga game.

$65 at Amazon

Amazon

27. Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar

Best for the chocolate snob

If it’s classic chocolate you’re after, plain and simple, why not turn to the OG company that made chocolate Advent calendars famous? Cadbury is on a whole other level with its melt-in-your-mouth treats. And with 24 days of chocolate chunks in wholenut, dairy milk and caramel flavors that you’ll want to savor, it’ll be all you can do not to skip ahead a few days. (Don’t worry—we won’t judge if you do.)

$22 at Amazon

Amazon

28. 'Elf' Advent Calendar

Best for the movie buff

This Advent calendar will spread Christmas cheer loud for all to hear. It contains 24 figurines from the beloved film Elf that just might make smiling your favorite as you uncover character after character. The calendar itself opens up to a snowscape diorama, too, for the perfect holiday décor.

$58 at Amazon

Amazon

29. Lindt Teddy Advent Calendar

Best for gifting

Lindt makes incredible chocolate bars, and this Advent calendar features 24 of them in the shape of teddy bears, reindeer and other seasonally appropriate characters. Since they can be universally enjoyed, it makes for a great gift, too.

$32 $30 at Amazon

Amazon

30. Ciate London Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar

Best for at-home manicurists

Can’t pick a polish color? Why not mix it up every day of the Christmas season with this nail polish Advent calendar? It comes ​​with 22 vegan mini polishes, a full-size polish and a deluxe mini watermelon primer. But trust us—you’ll be using these into the new year—and beyond.

$105 at Amazon

RELATED: The 20 Best Beauty Advent Calendars for a Little Surprise and Delight This Holiday

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