With some harbouring hundreds of pounds’ worth of luxury miniatures behind their little doors, advent calendars have definitely become gifts in their own right.
Here are our favourites from the offerings this year, from the extravagant to the inspired, some for children and some definitely for grown-ups.
There are some delightful bargains too – along with a couple of refillable options that will enable you to curate your own personalised selection of Advent gifts, year after year.
Best For… Something Totally Different
A gorgeous selection of miniature air plants (in glass baubles), cacti and succulents, all hardy and easy to care for. Pre-order now for delivery last week of November. Limited stock available.
£174.95 (worth £250+), The Urban Botanist
Best For… A Month-Long Celebration
This is a wine lover’s perfect Christmas countdown. A mix of red and white 187ml bottles, all different, and for Christmas Eve, a 375ml bottle of champagne. It’s a beautiful festive design too! Pre-order for delivery from late October.
£89.99, DC Thomson Shop
Best For… Sharing The Love
Each day you’ll open a box to find 2 tea bags – brand new blends as well as special edition Christmas flavours such as Snowball and Hazelnut Rocher. 100% zero plastic (including tea bags). There’s also a daily kindness calendar and interactive digital tasting notes diary! Warm and cosy feelings all round. Caffeine-free version available.
£38, Bird & Blend
Best For… Foodies
A hand-cut and hand-wrapped taster of artisan cheese awaits you each day in December. 24 individual boxes are supplied in 3 fresh, festive deliveries. Free UK Delivery (see conditions).
£150, Paxton & Whitfield
Best For… Customising
This lovely LED illuminated Advent Calendar from the National Trust is made from FSC certified wood with village detail and has a drawer for each day. Have fun selecting daily treats for a special someone, young or old!
£30, The National Trust
Best For… A Voyage Of Discovery
Featuring 24 x 20ml glass bottles of premium rum from around the world. Also included are two tasting glasses and notes to guide you. The interactive global micro-site offers additional background on the producers, where you can also rate each rum and take part in interactive discussions and Q&As. Carefully selected with vast history and variety, including Pasador De Oro from Guatemala, Naga from Indonesia and Arcanne from Mauritius.
RRP £79.99, Amazon and Harvey Nichols
Best For… Taste & Sustainability
Dick and Angel, of Channel 4’s Escape To The Chateau series, say, “Montezuma’s Chocolate believe in trading fairly and are passionate about finding new ways to reduce their impact on the planet, not forgetting their absolutely delicious chocolate, all organically sourced.” A worthy addition to their Chateau gift range. Choose from milk or dark. Currently only shipping within the UK.
£12.50, The Chateau
Best For… Magic Year After Year
This handmade Felt Embroidered Heirloom Advent Calendar by House O’Fellows is a beautiful wall hanging even before it’s filled with the recipient’s favourite treats… and of course after it has been emptied!
Best For… Keeping Them Busy
From multi-award winning children’s craft company toucanBox, The Very Merry Advent Calendar for children aged 2-8yrs is stashed with 24 boxes of festive fun. Featuring exciting Christmas crafts such as a snowball-juggling bear bauble and snowman puppets, scrummy recipes for gingerbread reindeer, hot chocolate spoons and more, plus five enchanting STEM inspired story books.
Best For… An Elegant Chilled Treat
Little Moons – the delicious Japanese ice cream dessert – is launching its covetable mochi Advent calendar. Available online from November 8, it offers mochi-lovers the opportunity to embrace flavours including Mince Pie, Nutcracker, Candy Cane and Vegan Belgian Chocolate & Hazelnut throughout December.
£35, Selfridges and Little Moons
Best For… Dog & Cat Parents
From natural pet food company Lily’s Kitchen come these special Advent calendars for dogs and cats, full of tasty goodness. The canine version offers a selection of three delicious oven-baked biscuits made with the finest ingredients – the much-loved Training Treats, Rise and Shines and Bedtime Biscuits. Feline friends meanwhile can feast on Festive Salmon Nibbles and Cracking Chicken Nibbles.
RRP £10 each, pet stores, leading supermarkets and Lily’s Kitchen
Best For… Little Extras
Just add gin! Create delectable, unique gin-based cocktails with this 24 days of Gin-Mas advent calendar. Includes 12 fruit and flower-inspired flavour mixers, two edible pearls, 6 glass rim sugars and 4 cocktail shimmers to take you through December. Once opened, keep refrigerated and use within 7 days. Mixers are non-alcoholic. Shake the drink mix well and drink responsibly.