In recent years, the overwhelming (and only growing) popularity of luxurious beauty advent calendars has spawned somewhat of a transformation of the advent-calendar industry overall. Once typically characterized by numbered doors hiding chocolates, or numbered pockets containing the pieces to assemble a Christmas or nativity scene, there are now advent calendars that present you with everything from wine to pet toys as you count your way down to December 25. After exhaustively covering the best beauty advent calendars to buy, we decided to turn our attention to the many other advent calendars out there, gathering our 17 favorites for most every type of person below. While tradition dictates that you start using a calendar on the first day of December and return to it each day until December 25, the options below (and their goodies within) would be just as delightful to receive and open all at once. (The ones that only include a dozen or so treats obviously adhere less to custom.)
For the person with fidgety hands
For the person who loves all things STEM
Whether they’re young or old, if they’re into engineering, they’ll probably love this advent calendar that allows recipients to build their own toy over the course of the advent season. Each day reveals a new piece so that, come Christmas morning, the toy is ready to play with (or just display).
For the person who is a traditionalist
As we noted, it doesn’t get more classic than a chocolate advent calendar. This one comes from the just-as-classic English department store Fortnum & Mason, which has been making Christmas goodies since the 1700s. The festive 3-D box is designed to look like a miniature version of the company’s flagship store in London and can serve as décor when displayed on a countertop or table through the month of December.
For the person who is (mostly) a traditionalist
Sugarfina’s advent calendar not only includes chocolate but lots of other types of candies among its 24 treats. Inside the box are favorites like Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels and Sugar Lips, along with festive limited-edition sweets that include Candy Cane Caramels, Gingerbread Cookie Bites, and Snowman Gummies.
For the person whose sourdough starter is still alive
For the person who collects Kidrobot
According to tween boys (whom we tend to trust when it comes to cool toys), Funko Pop bobbleheads are always a favorite. “I collect Funko Pops because they have lots of different characters from my favorite shows, games, and comics,” tween boy Peyton told us in our gift guide for tween boys. This advent calendar includes 24 mini-figures that remain a mystery until each door is opened.
For the person who collects bath bombs
“If you are shopping for a teen (or love a bath), Lush’s calendars are sweet,” explains Ailbhe Malone, the senior editor over at Strategist U.K. Lush’s popularity has also been co-signed by teens and tweens: “Lush bath bombs are on my wish list this year — they are super-fun to use, and they smell amazing,” tween Ella M told us. The brand’s 2020 advent calendar features 12 limited-edition holiday products, including its seasonal Jingle Bells and Winter Garden bath bombs.
For the person who refers to their dog as their kid
Their beloved pup can get in on the fun with this toy-filled advent calendar from Chewy, which is specifically designed with small to medium-size dogs in mind.
For the person with a whole skin-care routine
Dermstore’s just-released advent calendar is skin-care-centric and includes 24 of the retailer’s top-selling products. According to our beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton, “it’s an excellent collection from trustworthy brands, like the Dr. Dennis Gross exfoliating peel pads (that Zoë Kravitz and Naomi Campbell allegedly both rely on), Holifrog’s Balmy Wash (which gently melts away any dirt, sweat, or debris while nourishing the skin), and Skinceutical’s cult-favorite retinol serum (which New York City dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss swears by).”
For the person who needs a whole skin-care routine
We’re not here to judge, but we know plenty of little (or older) brothers and other guys who can use some gentle encouragement when it comes to grooming. With bathroom essentials from brands like Harry’s, Marvis, and the Ordinary, Asos’s 12-product grooming advent calendar may be the most nicely packaged form of gentle encouragement we’ve seen.
For the person who loves a cuppa
For the person who loves a cup of Joe
Onxy Coffee Lab’s third-consecutive advent calendar features 24 two-ounce bags of single-origin, whole-bean coffees (the brand says each bag is the perfect amount for one fresh pot or Chemex). All included beans will be nitrogen-flushed to ensure they stay fresh through Christmas, according to Onyx.
For the person who’d rather drink wine
For the person who had to cancel their trip to Italy
Bring the carbs they missed to them: This advent calendar has 12 different pasta shapes to feast on. It would also make a great host gift should you attend any socially distant gatherings.