There are countless Christmas traditions we all know and love: decorating the tree, baking gingerbread men, singing carols. But the squeals of delight and happy dances that come from opening up a little window to reveal a hidden treasure make advent calendars a hands-down favourite.
Gone are the days of having to choose between chocolate and, well, chocolate. Advent calendars now make serious pre-Christmas gifts, and they are filled with everything from the hottest toys and stationery to beauty products, jewellery, even socks and tea.
The hardest part is choosing!
Best advent calendars for counting down to Xmas
Ready to find the ultimate advent calendar for your little elf (and even yourself)? Take a peek at our roundup of winners.
Filled with Hogwarts-themed mini-builds, minifigures and a good dose of magic, this is the ultimate Christmas countdown for Potter-loving brick-builders. There are 24 unique gifts in the calendar and a fold-down playmat for recreating the iconic Yule Ball. Expecto Patronum!
Christmas has arrived in Heartlake City and it’s time to get building! There are over 200 pieces in this festive countdown, including Mrs Claus herself and an adorable LEGO elf. Action builds include a snowball catapult and rolling skateboard.
An annual favourite among LEGO CITY fans, this calendar contains seasonal mini-builds and six minifigures based on the LEGO CITY Adventures TV series. It’s suitable for ages five and up and a fab choice for fans who are just starting to build their LEGO collection.
In a galaxy far, far away…Darth Vader wears a Christmas sweater! This calendar contains over 300 pieces, with 12 mini-builds that include the Millennium Falcon, an A-Wing and a Droid Control Ship. The fold-down playmat features fabulous imagery for playing out intergalactic adventures.
Mr Men & Little Miss
This is such an adorable calendar for all the Little Miss Sunshines and Mr Noisies out there. It features 24 mini-books, all individually wrapped, Christmas-themed and based on favourite Mr Men and Little Miss characters.
This annual favourite includes fully articulated, smiling figures (including Santa!) and loads of festive props for building the ultimate Christmas diorama. It’s recommended for ages four and up and makes a terrific introduction to the world of Playmobil.
It’s medieval times and the scene is set for the Battle of the Magic Stone. If your littlies have a fascination with firey dragons, brave knights and gothic castles, they will adore collecting the 24 treasures in this themed calendar to play out endless battles.
Disney Storybook Collection
Perfect for book lovers and Disney fans alike, this jumbo calendar includes 24 mini paperback stories kids to unwrap and enjoy each morning in the lead up to Christmas. From Woody to Dumbo, the whole gang’s there.
Littlies still hooked on all things Arendelle? This special edition of the bestselling Disney Storybook Collection Advent Calendar includes 24 individually wrapped Disney Frozen stories. Among the goodness is Olaf’s Birthday and The Midsummer Parade.
Could we BE any more excited?! With 25 days of surprises and 40 Friends keepsakes, this calendar is a must for any anymore who’d rather be at Central Perk sipping coffee made by Gunther. Goodies include recipe cards, buttons and trinkets.
If your kids are obsessed with anything that drives, this calendar is tough to top. It includes eight Hot Wheels vehicles and 16 accessories, including Santa’s sleigh, a snowman, snow plough and a pair of particular sweet reindeer. Years of fun to be had with this set.
Will it be a Spinosaurus? Maybe a baby T-Rex? Whatever prehistoric treasure this calendar reveals each morning, you can be certain that dino-fans will adore it. There are 24 unique Schleich figurines and accessories included, all made on Germany to impeccable standards.
Elf on the Shelf
Uh-oh! With his very own train to get around on, Elf is going to harder to find each morning than ever! This countdown is a must if Elf on the Shelf is a big deal in your house. It includes four themed cardboard trains
Not only is this advent calendar a fun way to count down to Christmas, but it’s also going to equip little artists with all the tools they need to keep creating throughout the summer holidays. There are 24 surprised to uncover, including modelling compound and activities.
This is one of our favourite advent calendars for younger kids for the simple fact that it is as sweet as it is earth-friendly. It contains 24 unique, buildable cardboard gifts, all crafted from recycled paper and printed with vegetable-based inks.
Fancy a cuppa? This year’s T2 advent calendar includes 24 scrumptious tea varieties that will make very welcome pick-me-ups during the busy Christmas season. Flavours include Chai, Pumping Pomegranate and gingerbread-infused Christmas Breakfast. Delish!