holiday gifts 2022

An Advent Calendar for Every Type of Person

Photo: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Historically, Advent calendars were simple and filled with Bible verses or chocolate — a sweet little morsel to enjoy each day during the countdown to Christmas. But thanks to the overwhelming (and only growing) popularity of luxurious beauty Advent calendars, you can now find an Advent calendar filled with just about anything you can think of. From wine and whiskey to dog treats and itsy-bitsy toys, there are myriad options out there to make the holidaze far more fun. While tradition dictates that you start using an Advent 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. We’ve rounded up options for all kinds of people, from bougie-candle collectors to hot-sauce aficionados — and while some are full 24-day sets, others have a dozen or fewer boxes, so it isn’t too late to indulge (especially since some of the calendars are now on sale).

For the person who’s seen every single Hot Ones

Featuring habanero, habanero green, Carolina Reaper, extra hot hot, Cajun, jalapeño, mango mild, chipotle, hot, garlic, wasabi, and cascabella hot sauces.

For the person who’s a lifelong Lego fan

LEGO City 2022 Advent Calendar
From $30
From $30

Lego sets don’t have an age limit, and brickheads young and old can enjoy the brand’s widely beloved Lego City Advent calendar, which features 24 small builds and mini-figs that all come together to create a wintry scene. (Lego also makes Harry Potter, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Lego Friends Advent calendars to appeal to builders of all stripes.)

For the person who’s gotta catch ’em all

If the words Charmander, Pikachu, and Squirtle mean anything to you, you’ll get a kick out of seeing the OG Pokémon dressed in their winter best. This Advent calendar includes 24 palm-size characters and seasonal accessories like sleds and Christmas trees, and the packaging doubles as a snowy backdrop that has lights and sounds to add to the holiday ambience.

For the person who appreciates a good pour

The Vinebox Advent calendar comes with 12 glass vials filled with expertly curated wine selections. Each one holds 3.4 ounces — about one glass — and there are two packaging designs to choose from. No matter which one you select, you’ll get a mix of red, white, and rosé, as well as links to daily tasting videos hosted by a certified sommelier. If you can’t decide, you can get both boxes for $199 (with no overlap between the two).

For the person who loves a self-care Sunday

This display-worthy three-dimensional tree includes sparkly string lights and more than $150 worth of beauty products and candles. From a hair mask and shampoo to body oil and hand cream, there are 24 mini- and full-size products that will please any skin-care enthusiast.

For the toddler who cosplays as a mermaid

Refresh their collection of bath toys with this “just-add-water” Advent calendar from Playmobil. Once all 25 doors are opened, they’ll have a new flotilla of boats and marine life to play with in the tub.

For the amateur rockhound

Discover a new rock or gemstone every day leading up to Christmas with this National Geographic Advent calendar filled with 24 specimens, including black obsidian, blue quartz, jade, and a special “dig brick” that budding gemologists can chip away at to reveal a special crystal. The calendar also comes with five jewelry settings for those who’d like to transform their finds into wearable art.

For the person who’s always bugging you to “smell this”

Candle aficionado and content creator Kudzi Chikumbu (@sircandleman on the internet) considers Apotheke’s Santal Rock Rose candle one of his favorites under $50, for the subtle fragrance that makes it “good for burning all day.” This 25-piece Advent calendar from the brand comes with 16 mini-candles, two 5-ounce candles, two scent diffusers, and a handful of candle accessories.

For the toddler who wants their own tree to decorate

This tree-shaped countdown calendar is a good choice for young kids who love to “help” hang holiday décor. It comes with 24 magnetic ornaments that will cling to the wood-backed tree, plus a bright-yellow star for the top. Not only can they rearrange the display to their heart’s delight, but the calendar is reusable year after year.

For the person with a toast habit

Bonne Maman Advent Calendar

This literally jam-packed Advent calendar from compote king Bonne Maman contains 24 wee jars of jelly and honey to zhuzh up your biscuits and toast all December long. It’s a favorite of multiple Strategist staffers; Jen Trolio has purchased it two years in a row and likes that it’s easy for her family of four to share, with enough spread in each small jar for everyone to get a taste.

For the person who wants to deck out their dollhouse

Recommended by Ali Mierzejewski, editor-in-chief of the Toy Insider, this Advent calendar has the same unboxing appeal as the best-selling 5 Surprise Mini Brands series — but with 24 teeny grocery and household items, including four that are exclusive to the calendar. Mierzejewski says they’re great “to display, trade with friends, and use as props for Barbie and other similar-size dolls.”

For the person whose Harry Potter fandom knows no limits

Funko Pop! figurines are made for collecting, and this magical Advent calendar is filled with 24 mini-versions of highly collectible Harry Potter toys. Perfect for fans who are still waiting for their letter to Hogwarts to arrive, they can display the Pocket Pop! items (with a maximum height of 1.87 inches) on their desk or around their home.

For the person who’s serious about their morning joe

Strategist contributor and coffee expert Sal Vaglica tested eight different coffee-subscription brands and made Bean Box his best simple-subscription pick. The company’s Advent calendar curates a similar experience with 12 limited-edition, holiday-inspired blends from roasters all over the U.S. Bean Box sent me this year’s edition to check out for myself, and I have already drunk my way through most of it. Each sachet is labeled with a gradient scale indicating the intensity level (with a mix of lighter and darker blends in the box), and you can choose between ground coffee or whole beans — you’ll get enough of each blend to make a full pot.

For the person who prefers matcha

This matcha Advent calendar from David’s Tea contains 24 blends of the frothy green beverage, with flavors ranging from Pumpkin Pie and Sugar Cookie to Vanilla Chai and Wild Honey.

For the teen who’s getting into makeup and skin care

Sephora’s 2022 Advent calendar contains 24 beauty and skin-care products and accessories that run the gamut from a cherry lip mask to a mini gua sha tool.

For the person who soaks

Lush didn’t officially invent bath bombs, but the brand is well known for making some of the best ones out there; this 25-piece Advent calendar includes Magical Santa and Gift Horse bath bombs, a salted-caramel lip scrub, and Elf Shake and Snow Fairy shower gels, among other holiday-themed goodies. For a wallet-friendly option, you can go for the 12 Days of Christmas box, which features some of the same bath-time treats.

For the person who (mostly) sticks to classics

Sugarfina’s Advent calendar includes not only chocolate but lots of other types of candies among its 24 treats. Inside the box are favorites like birthday-cake caramels, clementine bears, and heavenly sours.

For the person who actually likes licorice

Licorice isn’t for everyone. But if you’ve acquired the taste, this Advent calendar from Danish confectionery Lakrids by Bülow contains 24 days’ worth of candy-coated licorice with unique flavor profiles like passion fruit and salted caramel, plus “a few sweet and salty classics.” There are two pieces of each flavor; keep it all for yourself or share with an anise-loving friend.

For the person who refers to their dog as their fur baby

Fido deserves a seasonal treat too. This calendar has 12 different chew treats, twists, and kabobs for their cute pup to enjoy.

For the person who always has a cat on their lap

This Advent calendar comes with 12 holiday-themed toys filled with catnip and crinkle paper for your kitty to nibble, bat, and pounce on.

For the person who knows the difference between bourbon and rye

Gifting expert Aileen Avery says Flaviar’s subscription service is a whiskey lover’s dream; get a similar experience on a smaller scale with the brand’s Advent calendar, which contains 24 vials of bourbon, rye, Scotch, and more.

For the person with a legendary home bar

Give your favorite amateur mixologist an excuse to invent a new whiskey-based cocktail with this “8 Days of Spirit” calendar from Woodford Reserve. It contains unique mixers and aged bitters; they just need to add their favorite whiskey.

For the person who’d rather FIY (fill it yourself)

This white-and-gold wooden calendar has 24 small boxes that will hold just about any tiny treat that comes to mind, from candy and coins to holiday trinkets and love notes. After the holidays, you can store it away to fill up again next year.

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An Advent Calendar for Every Type of Person