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22 Advent calendars for every kind of Christmas countdown

You know the type. Those who start crossing off calendars the moment Halloween ends. Fir trees on standby. Stockings pulled out of storage. Holiday dinner spreads all planned and ready. The ones even Mariah Carey has warned in her sing-songy cadence, “Not yet.”

There’s one in all our lives: The Christmas Crusader. The one who’s already played Michael Buble‘s Christmas album at least a dozen times since the month began; Ariana’s “Santa Tell Me” thrice. Hums, repeatedly, the singular chorus of “All I Want For Christmas Is You“. Baby, it’s not even cold outside. Not yet, it’s only November! No more Christmas songs before December or it’s bad luck!

In a last-ditch effort to not let their holiday-eagerness-turned-bad-juju rub off on poor you and I, get them an Advent calendar* to channel that overflowing Christmas enthusiasm elsewhere. Holiday packaging and the potential of opening something cute (no, not another list of beauty Advent calendars) will be a great distraction. For now.

*Spoilers of Advent calendar boxes ahead, you’ve been warned

Advent Calendars to Shush Every Kind of Hummer:

The best thing about Advent calendars is the anticipation. The “What’s Next” wonders, or “Is There More” inquiries. Carolina Bucci very smartly keeps everyone on their toes by unveiling just one stone out of 24 in the form of two very small beads everyday. That’s it! Just one! String them up very slowly for a full rainbow bracelet by Christmas. There’s jade and malachite, amethyst and tiger’s eye, even a golden surprise for the last day. It’s all very pretty and you’ll just have to wait and see. No cheating!

 

Price
HK$7,970

This is a very smart advent calendar. A very smart kind of gifter will save this one immediately. It’s 12 of Missoma’s classic pieces, from the Filia bracelet and Rope eyewear chain all primed prettily in 18-carat yellow-gold. The whole set makes counting down to Christmas that much more enjoyable. Twelve gifts in one means less gift-shopping for you, so why have you not entered your card details yet?

Price
HK$3,650

This Advent calendar candlestick is so much more practical than those huge, ginormous boxes of mini candles that, post-Christmas season, half-burned, unfinished, just sit there taking up precious cabinet space. This one is inspired by the traditional Danish kalenderlys and marked very neatly from 1-24 in equal segments to be burned every day just a little bit, according to the corresponding date.

Otherwise, the two-toned wax also makes for a stunning objet d’art upon mantlepieces; save it for a special occasion and countdown to something else. Has to be exactly 24 days specific, though.

Price
€19 (approx HK$172)

Choosing a Christmas tree is hard. Putting up said tree? Harder. And don’t even mention the decorating. The styling. The colour coordinating — are we going warm- or cool-toned this year? Then, the dreaded smash of a lone bauble. Calling defeat!

To make one more component of Christmas stress-free is truly holiday miracle come true, which is exactly what this ornament Advent calendar from Anthropologie does. A 25-piece collection of delicate glass ornaments, sealed with a pressed botanical trinket within. A pretty fern. Daisies picked up from the flower field. It comes with its own hanging frame, should you like to keep these pieces up beyond the holidays, but the silky ribbons will tie on beautifully onto the ends of your tree, too — set it up in November and add on a new ornament as you go. A perfect, no-stress tree by Christmas.

Price
HK$1,798

They do say Christmas is all about indulgence, so here’s this: Tiffany & Co.’s four-foot high “24 Days of Tiffany”. Not 12, 24! You know what this means, 24 full-size Tiffany & Co.trinkets to unwrap just for you, which makes this the Best Advent Calendar Ever. Ever!

Inside this hand-crafted, white-oak chest, fronted by an infamous Jean-Michel Basquiat Equal Pi painting, is two dozen beautiful Tiffany Blue gift-boxes, individually wrapped with custom hangtags and picture-perfect velvet bows. No news of what treasures are hidden within but previous editions has seen sterling silver ornaments, jewellery pieces (!) and home decor. Even the box itself is a masterpiece I’d like to have.

Price
US$250,000 (approx. HK$1,947,463)

Okay, I’ll say it: Christmas is hardly the best time of the year. Whoever says otherwise is lying. It’s a frantic storm that extends a whole two months. Think you’ve skipped past it? You are currently scrolling through a gift guide. Case in point.

Fortunately, this Lush Advent calendar is the secret to surviving Holiday Madness. An escape! It’s packaged just for Christmas, but its intentions are to soothe and calm. All the good stuff. A reminder to kick-back and relax. Who cares what kind of lattice goes on the apple pie? These are 25 products from bath bombs to scrubs and silky soft lotion to remind you each day through December that this is a time for you, too. So, run that bath. Set a timer for tomorrow and do it again.

Price
HK$2,800

Christmas. A time where gifts a little bigger; dinner portions a little larger. And you, yourself are a little more forgiving, whether its on a spendy gift or an extra ladle of gravy on double Yorkshire puds — Christmas is all about happiness!

So in the name holiday season, Wine Moments puts together only the greatest kind of countdown: 24 mini wines! Spotlighting pours from winemakers in Europe, the selection is daily surprise of to-go 100ml sizes of either red or white in bold or light ranges. And if you’re partial to a particular one, pick up a full-size version online. It’s the holidays!

Also, look out for a sparkling surprise on 25.

Price
HK$1,190

There’s probably a just-moved friend. A used-to-have-lots-of-plants-before-they-collectively-succumbed-to-a-fatal-infection friend (this friend is me). To either friend, this plant Advent calendar is a thoughtful holiday house-warming, or “I’m-sorry-your-plants-died” kind of gift. It’s the first of its kind with 24 tiny succulents homed in a specially designed box with punctuated holes take make sure light gets through. One for every day of December to try your very hardest to keep them healthy and thriving. Godspeed.

Price
HK$1,790

If you have anything interesting to share, I’ll get the kettle going. Teapigs’ tea is one of the good kind, especially this 24 day Advent calendar that opens up each day with a different blend to encourage bolder tea experiences beyond English Breakfast and Earl Grey in flavours like Spiced Pear. Yum! Second thought, I’ll get the kettle going anyway, so we can share all kinds of delicious tea. You know what I mean.

Price
HK$380

I’ve always found the concept of mince pies confusing; they sound like they’re savoury, but they’re not, and every Christmas I am the fool once again. They’re actually just a mix of dried fruits and spices that someone has given the unfortunate name of “mincemeat”. Why? Anyway, needless to say, this is not a gift for me. But for that mince pie enthusiast in your life that swears they can have at least three a day, I’m guessing this one’s made especially for them. There’s a whole range of flavours like chocolate and citrus, but real question, do you get an extra large mince pie on 25?

Price
HK$365

If you get to open a box of treats everyday for the month of December, you dog does too. That’s the rule. And if anything, your dog deserves it much more than you do — just saying. Surprise the very good boy (or girl!) in your life with Scrumbles’ “Happy Howliday” calendar. Your pup might not understand it and you’ll probably have more fun popping open another advent calendar but the excitement on their faces for yet another chimken-flavoured treat just because? Worth it.

And for cat mums and dads, same goes. Get your kitty a “Merry Kittimas” treat here. Now! Right this instant!

Price
£26.99 (approx. HK$285)

Advent calendars aren’t just about the shaking and shimmying teeny-tiny bottles of something for your own holiday haul; they should be an experience shared, too.

Share then, this adorable “In Fairy Town” craft kit by Fabelab with every single member of your family. Customise the tiny huts with accompanying stickers and doodles of your own — everyone gets a day! — and then string it all up for a beautiful wintry scene of a fairy town in your home, made by everyone you love. Little ones will love it, so will low-effort adults. Cute!

Price
HK$447

Harry Potter is a Christmas movie, no doubt about that. There’s magic; there’s snow. There’s also that one scene in Philosopher’s Stone where Harry spends his first Christmas at Hogwarts opening a very cool present by a crackling fireplace.

With 24 teeny tiny collectables of all the best bits about the series (including Hedwig!), this Advent calendar by Lego captures your favourite moments into a real-life board game so you can build a memorable Hogwarts Christmas of your very own.

Add to the set with a full 6,020-piece Hogwarts Castle. 24 days of building the most striking Harry Potter scene.

Price
HK$256

So they love their whisky. They go for any whisky-spiked tipple at Happy Hour and won’t pass up on a whisky-flavoured treat. They’ll probably also love this whisky-filled advent calendar, then. Packaged with 24 types of whisky from different distillers of various blends and bottle, arranged within is a complete whisky tasting experience for novices and experts alike. The wax-sealed 30ml bottles are perfect the perfect size to keep and take on holiday camping trips too, if you have those planned.

Also, a great pairing with #10. Get them that too. Two Advent calendars are definitely better than one.

Price
HK$1,320

So they picked up a quarantine hobby. You noticed! Good on you. This is probably one they’ll love.

It’s 24 tiny felt toys to accompany the holiday countdown, including Santa, his reindeer, the angel and a Christmas elf. You’re guided by easy-to-follow templates and instructions, and with a swift loop-and-tuck of thread, ribbons and pieces of felt — a brand new friend! Christmas is all about friendship, anyway. Show them off in the hanging calendar — extra points if you manage to do one every day — or if you’re feeling especially creative, fashion your own Christmas scene with the remaining bits and pieces.

 

Price
HK$91

You know, it’s not forecasted to snow this winter. Of course not, we’re in Hong Kong!

But dreams of a white Christmas are not entirely dashed this December, with The Naked Marshmallow stepping up to the task in the most tasty form: Boozy marshmallows. 25 white, fluffy, pillow-soft puffs. If you wait til the very last day to open it all at once, it’ll be just like snowfall. Almost.

Price
HK$180

No, no, no! This is not the kind of advent calendar you rip open and scarf down (usually: chocolate). This is the kind you keep. You leave out to admire. This, you proudly point to and say “I made this today!”

A full collection of The New Yorker‘s most iconic festive covers, this advent calendar is 24 100-piece miniature puzzles that you valiantly put together with someone you love while sipping on hot cocoa and nibbling homemade gingerbread cookies. Stalwart readers of the magazine may recognise some — “Santas on the Subway” or “Sidewalk Spruce” — and maybe even have physical copy stuffed away in a cupboard somewhere. These are cute; a fun activity to share. Game Night everyday until Christmas.

Price
USD195 (appox. HK$1,519)

Maybe you’ve tried to leave a hint. A gentle nudge. Little reminders just to say, “You’re looking a smidge scruffy, lately. Perhaps it’s time for a trim?” Very kindly, of course. No judgy comments here. And if those didn’t work, then Liberty’s Men’s Advent Calendar will most certainly do all the implying. Stashed within are 25 grooming essentials from Augustinus Bader, Dr. Barbara Sturm, Davines and more to magic the suavest of appearances for your partner. Just in time for holiday first impressions, too!

Price
HK$2,300

Chances are, that very-excited-about-Christmas friend you have in your life has already planned and prepped a long checklist of must-see holiday movies. We’ll give it to them — it’s a holiday tradition! But we won’t be doing it without a snack, which Joe&Seph’s popcorn is the only kind to have when partaking in any movie marathon. This Advent calendar means that there’s one surprise sachet for every day of the month in a surprising range of flavours: Salted caramel, toffee apple and banoffee pie. Don’t forget to bring a blanket before you hit play on another re-run of The Holiday.

Price
HK$348

Call it a success story in subconscious marketing, but if 007 has been playing on everyone’s mind, blame all the MTR adverts and unprompted trailers of the newest 007: No Time To Die, now showing in a cinema near you!

Designed only for the truest of fans, the sleek set is fully lined and wrapped by hand in buckram-embossed paper. Very fancy stuff. Even better is the selection of Mr Bond’s most favourite things sealed inside: Casino Royale prop chip, Bond playing cards, Kamal Kahn’s lucky dice and a “007” embossed jigger of their very own to perfect that husky “shaken, not stirred” for the next Bond audition.

Price
HK$1,830

Come Christmas, socks have a poor rep. Too simple! Too boring! Too workday! To which Happy Socks replies, “Say that to my face again!” with this 24 Days of Holiday Socks.

“Holiday” suggesting that it’s lots of fun, very soft and in all sorts of cute, Christmassy patterns  — as I assume from the bright red packaging, since Happy Socks has respected the tradition to keep the gifts a secret. Surprise a friend, especially one who is currently sporting a dull collection of only monochromes.

Price
HK$2,900

And should everything else not be of any help and you’ve found yourself, now here (hello!), at the very bottom of this list, I’ve kept a special can’t-go-wrong classic for you: Chocolate.

No, not the chalky type. A tasty kind, just so it shows that you did, in fact, put some thought into it. Tony’s chocolate is a favourite. Tony’s chocolate is delicious. You’d have spotted them all lined-up neat and pretty in rainbow-coloured order right by the till. In this countdown edition, unwrap a medley of the Dutch brand’s creamy chocolates from hazelnut to white chocolate. Savour every single one of them!

Price
HK$140
Lorria Sahmet
Editor
After two years of covering luxury retail, Lorria is thrilled to be writing in fashion, food and lifestyle here at Lifestyle Asia. When not roaming around garden centres hauling back new plants for her indoor jungle, find her hunting down the best fries in the city. She's happiest by the ocean with a fishbowl glass of ice-cold Aperol spritz.