Why yes, we are aware that Halloween hasn’t even happened yet, and yes, we’re here to discuss all the best advent calendars of 2021 (though there are Halloween versions as well). Surprise! While it’s true that for some of us, the holiday season starts the day after Halloween (you wake up, and your next-door neighbor has somehow put up all their Christmas lights, is blasting Christmas carols through a loudspeaker and has a 12-foot inflatable Rudolph twerking on their front lawn), for others the holiday season starts slowly. Maybe a snow globe appears on the mantel, a wreath appears on the door. And then there’s a third category of people: The most Christmas-obsessed of us — yep, this definitely includes us — who started tuning in to the new toys and the advent calendar launches right abouuuuut…August.
Because believe it or not, the year’s options for advent calendars are already well underway. Because toy brands are just as nuts about Christmas as we are! And regardless of your holiday decorating style, there are so many better ways to count down to the big day than those flimsy cardboard kids Advent calendars with gross, rock-hard chocolate inside. You thought that was the only option, didn’t you? It’s OK. Your kids will forgive you for being totally in the dark when it comes to actually cute advent calendars that are pre-filled with toys and treats — or ready for you to fill yourself. Heck, we’ve even thrown in a few extra-elegant advent calendar DIYs for parents who want to get real serious about the trend.
Not sure how to find the best advent calendar that actually adds to your holiday decor this year? Not to worry: We’ve rounded up the coolest Advent calendars, from DIYs to Disney stories , Nintendo characters , and Pusheen the cat to chocolates and more, that all look fabulous sitting on your dining room table or mantel. Your kids will love these so much, they might actually be sad when Christmas arrives — because their awesome Advent is over. But hey, at least then, there will only be 365 days ’til next Christmas.
Check out all the best advent calendars of 2021, for kids and adults alike, ahead.
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A version of this story was originally published in November 2018.