Home | 10.12.2023

2023 Advent Calendars: Which Are Best for Adults? 

A three-part image of some of 2023 advent calendars including tea satchets, puzzles, and jams.

By Franki Hanke

Halloween is around the corner, which means Christmas is breathing down our necks already. That makes my December baby heart oh-so-happy! This year’s 2023 advent calendars are already starting to hit the market and the best ones always sell out fast. So, if you’re picking out holiday advent calendars for your loved ones, don’t wait, shop the best of this year’s Christmas advent calendars soon. 

If you find retailers’ pre-made advent calendars lacking, don’t be intimidated by the do-it-yourself approach. It’s easier than you think, and we’ll tell you how. 

Our list curates the best of 2023 advent calendars for adults because kids are much easier to make happy with some Star Wars, Funko Pops figurines, or Legos playsets

What makes a good advent calendar?

The best advent calendars combine attractive holiday-themed packaging with high-quality goodies inside that minimize repetition, maximize value, and avoid fillers. 

Here are the best advent calendars in 2023. 

Best Advent Calendars for Every Adult

A Santa's Workshop themed advent calendar filled with miniature jars of jam by Bonne Maman.

For the Home Chef or Foodie – $45

Bonne Maman’s limited-edition advent calendar has seemingly been trending for five years! Anyone who appreciates jam (on top of toast or in a gin drink) can appreciate this jam-packed countdown. 

Read our full breakdown on this viral calendar, including the eight new flavors of French jam for this year. Don’t wait to checkout, it sold out early last year!

Buy Now on Amazon

A classy black advent calendar featuring gold numbering and individual doors. It is filled with chocolate-covered licorice balls.

For the Licorice Lover – $60

While chocolate advent calendars are a classic, this year consider a unique alternative: LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW Gourmet Licorice Calendar. This Danish brand delivers 24 days of chocolate-coated licorice made in Copenhagen. I’d especially recommend this for gingerbread lovers as the flavor profile can be similar. 

“Husband LOVED this. What I think are weird combinations with licorice, but they work! I think it’s the only advent calendar I’ve given my husband that he looked forward to getting into every day,” wrote one reviewer. 

Buy Now on Amazon

A 2023 Advent Calendar featuring a workshop themed illustration set.

For the Board Game Enthusiast – $40 ON SALE

Not everyone loves trinkets, which makes this advent perfect for them. For the one who loves a board game night or prefers experience gifts, this is the perfect advent calendar. Exit the Game’s Advent Puzzle. Each day exposes a puzzle or riddle for a month-long escape-room-style game leading up to Christmas. 

Buy Now on Amazon

For the Tea Lover

There are a few different tea gift sets in the advent market this year. Depending on the flavor preferences of the recipient, opt for one of these tea advent calendars. 

24 individual loose leaf tea containers make up this 2023 advent calendar.
For an Adventurous or Variety Tea Drinker – $60

Vahdam’s advent calendar features stunning packaging with 24 loose-leaf teas from India. Flavors in this box tend to be tea-forward and strong with a heavy focus on Masala Chai. Buy this advent for your tea shop drinker, not a Starbucks tea latte drinker. 

Buy Now on Amazon

Individual tea sachets inside an orange and berry themed advent calendar.

For a Flavored or Herbal Tea Drinker – $20

Alternatively, Pukka Herb’s advent calendar features 24 different herbal tea sachets for a lighter, caffeine-free selection of teas. For an affordable advent calendar, this one has some of the most attractive, unique packaging on the list. 

Buy Now on Amazon

A woman wearing a sweater holds a red plaid advent calendar.

For the Chocolate Hater – $24

If you want a simple advent calendar, but don’t want chocolate, Walker’s Shortbread Advent Calendar is the best alternative. Featuring a variety of unique shapes, but the same buttery shortbread each day, it’s a chocolate-free alternative to the classic, simple advent experience. 

Buy Now on Amazon

If your recipient isn’t big on shortbread, opt for McCrea’s Gourmet Caramel Advent ($50) or Sugarfina’s high-end candy Advent ($60) with gummy-style candies too, their high price tags dropped them out of our favorites ranking, but either work as good alternatives to chocolate. Personally, I prefer McCrea’s caramel to Sugarfina’s gummies, but I generally prefer caramel. 

A 12-day advent calendar beside a bowl of popcorn.

For the Movie Buff – $30

Williams Sonoma has an adorable popcorn advent calendar this year, but it’s $70! Instead, save $40 with the Amish Country popcorn advent. It is only 12 days with eight different popping kernels and four seasonings. It’s the perfect accompaniment for your favorite movie. 

Buy Now on Amazon

A gold decorated advent calendar with a selection of skincare products.

For the Skincare Sampler – $60

To try a variety of beauty products, treat yourself (or your recipient) to Ulta’s 24 Days of Self-Care Advent Calendar. Priced at $60, it’s considerably less than many of the brand-specific beauty advent calendars we’ll see, but features a curated list of some of their best-selling products including one full-size. The overall value is around $225, based on our own math. 

The appeal of this item is 24 days of skincare, like moisturizers, and haircare products with different brands each day. Read our full breakdown of the value for the full list of contents. 

Buy Now on Ulta

Anthropologie’s George & Viv Beauty Advent Calendar is very comparable to Ulta’s with some products I’m more excited by like my beloved Elemis Cleansing Balm, but the amount of very small perfume products is a bit of a let-down for value in your routine, so I’d opt for Ulta’s if you can sacrifice the much cuter packaging by Anthro. 

We do anticipate Sephora rolling out an advent offering too, but it hasn’t been released at the time of publication. 

A Christmas tree-shaped advent calendar.

For the Luxury Lover – $78 ON SALE

Winning some of the best advent calendar packaging, Rituals 2022 24 Days of Beauty and Bath Calendar is still available on Amazon at a serious discount! Priced above $100 last year, the calendar is now discounted over 30%. The tree-shaped packaging even includes twinkling lights for a miniature Christmas tree full of gifts. The contents range from shower products to candles and a reed diffuser. It’s ideal for someone who loves their bathtime routine and will use a range of items. The contents are very similar to this year’s new edition, but I find this packaging style more enticing and the price cut is a good bargain! 

Buy Now on Amazon

For the Lip Balm Loser – $24

No offense to your chapped friend, but we all know someone who is chronically misplacing their chapstick. This affordable 12-day advent calendar features 12 different flavors with a solid 50% off retail price per tube. 

Buy Now on Amazon

For the Married Couple – $200

Hear me out: imagine gifting someone a little ritual they can enjoy with their partner throughout the month of December. This luxurious advent is just that. With 24 miniature puzzles inside, it is an opportunity to sit next to your favorite person for a few minutes each day of the month while you solve a New Yorker magazine-themed puzzle. Unlike so many couple gifts, this is neither weirdly couples-therapy adjacent or overly tipped towards one-half of the couple’s preferences. It’s a truly mutual experience. 

Buy Now on Anthropologie

How to DIY an Advent Calendar

Sometimes, the advent calendars on offer just let you down. If you want to really wow you’re recipient, then try creating an advent calendar yourself. It’s not as hard as you’d think. 

For packaging and presenting your DIY advent calendar, re-purpose sturdy advent packaging from a past year, purchase a reusable wooden advent calendar, or buy numbered gift boxes like these gingerbread-themed ones. The benefit of these boxes is the size is much larger than most single-piece advents, which makes filling them easier! 

Popular Advent Calendars I’d (Maybe) Skip

Sometimes a high-price advent calendar is worth it, but some do not live up to the price tag. 

Voluspa Candle Calendar

With a high price tag of $158, the Voluspa Candle Advent calendar is surprisingly well-priced if you consider the typical price of their candles mirrors the same per piece cost of the calendar ($13/each). However, the range of scents inside the box is so broad, I know I wouldn’t enjoy all of these candles, and I’d hate to open an expensive advent and not like one of the candles. Especially if you’re gifting, this one may risk disappointment, and I’d prefer a 24-day calendar at this price point. 

Ciaté London & OPI Nail Polish Advent Calendars

Unless you’re gifting to an amateur manicurist, I’d caution against these nail polish collections. The range of colors is so broad that most recipients would have some colors go unused. 

Sock Advent Calendars

Every single year retailers (especially Walmart and Target) release sock-filled advent calendars filled with Disney characters or Harry Potter memorabilia, but I would not buy these. The socks aren’t comfortable, and the range of heights usually leaves some socks by the wayside because most people have a style preference. 

If you’re on the hunt for more gift ideas this holiday season, read more of our gift guides. Good luck playing Santa and finding the best gift for everyone on your list! 

The above content may contain affiliate links. When you click and shop, we receive a small commission to support our writers. 

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