The Best Advent Calendars of 2020

by Rudy Sanchez on 11/10/2020 | 6 Minute Read

Maybe it’s the anticipation of a new item every day until Christmas, or perhaps it’s the holiday season. Regardless, nowadays, Advent calendars come in a variety of themes, with something for practically everyone. Pet owners, wine, beer, and spirit enthusiasts, coffee connoisseurs, and, of course, chocolate lovers all have Advent calendars designed just for their vice. Er, fix. Whatever you want to call it.

But it’s not just themes that brands are playing with when it comes to Advent calendars. The designs vary, and executions run the gamut, from cozy and cute to elegant and sophisticated. Everyone has a unique take on the tradition, and some brands will even design calendars with a touch of sustainability in mind, encouraging reuse long after the holidays.

Below is a small sample of some of the more stand out calendars available this 2020.

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Editorial photograph

19 Grams

This festive Advent calendar from Berlin specialty coffee roaster 19 Grams includes twenty-four single-origin espresso beans in a smart, colorful, and gift-ready box. Each kind of bean is stored in its own resealable tin, keeping the coffee fresh. The containers, of course, can be repurposed as well.

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Bonne Maman

Jam and spread maker Bonne Maman’s signature wide-mouth jars with unadorned labels and red and checker patterned lids have always exuded a rustic charm and heartwarming purity. The brand’s character shines through in its 2020 Advent calendar, featuring illustrations of homes decorated for the holidays that exudes simplistic joys of the season—it’s homey and quaint, and yeah, your Mom will probably like it.

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Lush

A big part of the holidays is the simple indulgences we treat ourselves to, in addition to the usual festive trappings. Lush’s Advent calendar, which includes 24 different holiday-themed bath bombs and bathing accessories, and comes in a bright and psychedelic box, is designed to be used year-round, with side handles and a closing latch. The beautiful collection does away with overpackaging and features a bevy of recycled materials and a gorgeous rendition of a nighttime garden by artist Sally Kelly.

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EDC Naughty & Nice

Even those that prefer to be more naughty than nice shouldn't have to settle for lumps of coal. Sex toy international distributor EDC has returned with an Advent calendar this year that includes 24 items like vibrators, lube, and other toys. The calendar has something for men, women, and couples. The packaging presents a pleasant blue and copper box, with faceted patterns and inlaid gold foil. The calendar opens up with a mix of different containers, a veritable steamer trunk of sexy time that looks like a premium gift (that belies its boudoir theme).

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The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar

For those with studies filled with leatherbound books and a roaring fireplace, a premium Advent calendar with 24 whiskeys is a fitting way to count down to Christmas. The Whisky Shop’s Advent calendar looks like a fancy book, a blue and gold combination with a smart geometric design that screams Illuminati conspiracy with a few small nods to the spirit’s ingredients with stalks of grain.

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Hoppy Hanukkah Craft Beer Box

Though the tradition of Advent is a Christian one, it's so fun that variations for those of the Hebrew faith can be found as well, such as the pun-tastic Hoppy Hanukkah Craft Beer Box, from City Brew Tours. This calendar has a twist, obviously, with eight craft beers, one for each day of the Festival of Lights. The box is a festive blue and white and decorated with menorahs and multiple Stars of David.

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Diptyque Limited-Edition Advent Calendar

Paris-based luxury parfumerie house Diptyque’s Advent calendar features candles, fragrance samples, and exclusive ornaments. Designed and made to be reused, the trifold calendar features a fantastic illustration by artist Ugo Gattoni. The calendar is beautifully executed and can be displayed and reused year-round.

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Editorial photograph

Fortnum & Mason Kids’ Chocolate Box

This one’s just for the kiddos. Sure, anyone can release a flat-pack box of advent chocolates, but British retailer Fortnum & Mason released a picture-perfect carousel-shaped calendar for the holiday season. With non-Festivus-shaped delectable pieces of Columbian milk chocolate hidden inside, the packaging brings the department store to your home with some serious Shop Around the Corner vibes.

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12 Days of Hot Sauce

They say variety is the spice of life, but an Advent calendar filled with a variety of hot sauces brings some heat and a much-needed kick to the Christmas season. Retailer World Market’s hot sauce Advent calendar blends holiday elements like ornaments, gift boxes, and strings of light, with peppers, fires, and bottles of the hot stuff as well. The palette is simple, with red against black, and perfect for anyone who believes that, in the great ongoing debate of white versus multi-colored lights, that the correct answer is stings of chili peppers.

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Editorial photograph

Vinebox 12 Nights of Wine

Vinebox’s 12 Nights of Wine are more boxes than Advent calendars and contains 12 different glasses of wine packaged in screw-top vials. Available in three uber-Christmasy designs. Gradient features deep red with subtle gold dots, Confetti features gold bits against a white background, and Stripes has three horizontal swaths of color separated by thin, gold lines. All three fit within typical home holiday decor, except, you know, there’s booze inside.

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Haynes Retro Radio

Most DIYers are familiar with the Haynes line of repair manuals, but fewer probably know that the brand also makes an Advent calendar. The calendar is styled in the signature look of their manuals but contains 24 different experiments and culminates in a functional DIY radio. The calendar is a retro callback to the days of science and electronic project kits and is suitable for aspiring and grown-up nerds alike.

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Crown Royal 

Few colors foster a feeling of plush, velveteen comfort quite like the Crown Royal purple does. But can you take that iconic bottle and all of its glorious purple and give it the Andy Warhol treatment? Well, the Crown Royal Advent Calendar says yes, and brings plenty of festive shine to boot with its 12 whiskies, playing up the colors of the six variants included in the collection. Who says red and green have to have all the holiday fun?

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Acqua Di Parma

Is it a hatbox? Nope—it’s Italian fragrance brand Acqua Di Parma’s advent calendar, first launched back in 2019 and resurrected once more to give consumers some extra luxury for 2020. This behemoth of a box unfolds in four parts with individual compartments stuffed with complex fragrances and body and face products. Developed by design agency Chic, they engineered a 4-part hinged piece of packaging that unfurls a festive Italian home, and is intended for recipients to reuse for some of their favorite trinkets and baubles.

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