Best Christmas advent calendars to make the most of the countdown

How is it almost that time of year again?! The Christmas countdown will be here before we know it, so stay ahead of the game by snapping up a fabulous advent calendar now

Gone are the days of cheap chocolate novelty advent calendars (thank goodness). These days, Christmas advent calendars are far more imaginative. We’ve been on the look out for the best advent calendars for this year, to make the Christmas countdown an even more enjoyable experience.

For the sentimental types, we’ve got a personalised photo design. For Scandi fans, there’s a wooden LED-lit house with drawers to fill with imaginative treats for each day. In keeping with tradition we’ve got a classic chocolate advent for those with a sweet tooth – and we’ve picked only the finest milk chocolate.

There’s a calendar to keep Lego fans happy and a waist-friendly beauty calendar that has zero calories, just gorgeous treats – ideal for ladies who like to be pampered. Not forgetting our other beloved family members – we’ve got an advent calendar for cats and dogs, too.

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Best LED lit wooden advent calendar

Christmas-advent-calendar-wooden-led-lit-NOTH

A wooden advent calendar that you can bring out bring after year and fill with your own treats is a popular choice. Firstly, it allows you to be more imaginative with what’s revealed each day – it could be as simple as a handwritten happy daily mantra or even cracker jokes. If you want to stick with the tradition of chocolate, another great idea is to buy a tin of Quality Street or Heroes and pop them in each day.

This beautiful design is LED lit to enhance the 3D woodland scene with a warm glow.

Buy now: Wooden LED Lit Advent Calendar, £45, The Forest & Co at Not on the High Street

Best beauty advent calendar

Christmas-advent-calendars-Beauty-john-Lewis

This exclusive beauty advent is perfect for any beauty enthusiast. It’s filled with top brands such as Nars, Laura Mercier, Molten Brown, Clarins and many more – with a value exceeding £300.

A beauty advent is particularly perfect for busy Mums leading up to the big day. For one, a luxury beauty product every day will help to keep them stay calm in the face of Christmas madness. And secondly, they’ll be so busy worrying about everyone else, don’t they deserve a treat?

Buy now: Beauty Advent Calendar, £150, John Lewis

Best chocolate advent calendar

Christmas-advent-calendars-KIDS_ADVENT-Hotel-Chocolat

Christmas is the only time of the year when chocolate for breakfast becomes acceptable. And we say, if you’re going to let the kids eat chocolate every day in December, at least make it good quality chocolate.

We headed straight to Hotel Chocolat to find the tastiest advent, filled with milk chocolate characters. The final day reveals the whole gang holding up a sign that rather sweetly reads ‘One more sleep to go’.

Buy now: Up to Snow Good Kids Advent Calendar, £8, Hotel Chocolat

Best easy-to-hang advent calendar

Christmas-advent-calendar-Etsy

Go for something quirky such as this clever hanger design. You simply tie on treats with pretty ribbon and hang it from a hook or door handle. The design can be personalised with the name of your choice, and comes in either a natural wood finish or Black, Red or White.

Buy now: Personalised Christmas Tree Advent Calendar Hanger, £25, Etsy

Related: Emma Bridgewater Christmas pottery is here

Best pet advent calendar

Christmas-advent-calendars-Pets-Lily's-Kitchen

Pets may not be just for Christmas, but these pet treats most certainly are! Have fun counting down the days with your furry friends by spoiling them with their very own advent calendar. Lily’s Kitchen has catered for both cats and dogs by creating two calendars filled with delicious morsels.

Making pets feel pampered is also a lovely way for children to bond with their pets, if you let them be in charge of dispensing the treats each day (under supervision of course).

Buy now: Lily’s Kitchen Christmas Advent Calendars for Pets, £10 each, Pets at Home

Best traditional advent calendar

Christmas-advent-calendars-wooden-train-not-on-the-high-street

Who doesn’t love a wooden train set? This traditional design evokes an instant feeling of nostalgia, of Christmases past when all toys were handmade. This charming advent doubles up as toy, which can be passed down through the generations if kept in good condition.

To add a personal touch you can have a name painted on the top of the first carriage, sitting alongside the second compartment that says ‘Santa express’.

Buy now: Personalised Wooden Train Advent Calendar, £39, Lisa Angel at Not on the High Street

Best wine advent calendar

Christmas-advent-calendars-Virgin-Wines-Advent-Calendar

Booze and good times go hand-in-hand during the festive period. This advent is a great way to enjoy a tipple in moderation, with each day revealing mini bottles of fine wine behind ‘wine windows’. We’re not suggesting you have to drink a bottle a day, but it’s a nice way to sample and collect new wines and also they make great little gifts to forward on.

The box contains 10 red, 10 white, two rosé, one Prosecco and one bottle of Laurent-Perrier – especially for Christmas Eve. This advent sold out fast last year, so order yours now to avoid disappointment.

Buy now: Wine Advent Calendar, £79.99, Virgin Wines

Best photo advent calendar

Christmas Advent-Calendars-Photos-Jessops

Surprise a loved one with a personalised photo advent. What better way to wake up than to reveal a treasured photo that will make you smile for the rest of the day.

To give the countdown a festive theme it it could be filled with nostalgic pictures from Christmases down the years, or simply a selection of snaps that evoke happy memories. Order before Friday 18th November to ensure delivery by 1st December.

Buy now: Photo Advent Calendar, from £6.99, Jessops

Best toy calendar

Christmas-advent-calendars-Lego-Tesco-Direct

Calling all Lego and Star Wars fans!! Forget sweet treats – for kids that love bricks and The Force, this is the ultimate Christmas countdown. Behind each door, a Star Wars-themed gift awaits. Expect MiniFigures, starships, iconic weapons and more. It’s worth noting that the RRP is £29.99, which we think is an excellent deal.

Buy now: Star Wars Advent Calendar, £24.50, Tesco Direct

Best fabric advent calendar

christmas-advent-calendar-Fabric-Marks-and-spencer

Add a rustic touch to the Christmas countdown with a little help from a natural fabric hanging advent. We particularly love the on-trend poms-poms that add a little bit of personality to this reindeer silhouette.

Buy now: Hanging Fabric Stag Advent, £25, Marks & Spencer

Be sure not to leave ordering your calendar too late, you don’t want to miss out on the fun of counting down to Christmas.

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