15 Most Festive Advent Calendars for Christmas

One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories is surely the process of discovering the gifts inside advent calendars during the month of December leading up to Christmas! Advent calendars help make the holiday season even more joyful than it already is.

These quintessential Christmas decorations can come in many forms. Some advent calendars are pre-filled with gifts and others are essentially blank canvases that you can use to stuff your own small gift ideas inside. The gifts in pre-made advent calendars typically revolve around one theme like holiday chocolates or beauty products.

History of Advent Calendars

The history of Advent calendars can be traced back to the 19th century, and it has its roots in the Christian tradition. The Advent calendar is used to count the days in anticipation of Christmas, beginning on December 1st and ending on Christmas Eve, December 24th. The history of the Advent calendar is closely tied to the practice of observing Advent, a period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

In the early 19th century, German Lutherans began marking the days of Advent, either by drawing chalk lines on a door and erasing one each day or by lighting candles. This evolved into more tangible practices, such as hanging up small religious pictures or symbols.

The first known Advent calendar in its more familiar form was handmade by Gerhard Lang in the early 20th century in Germany. Lang’s mother had made him an Advent calendar with 24 small candies attached to a cardboard, and the concept stuck with him. He later became a publisher and produced a calendar with small doors that could be opened to reveal a picture or a Bible verse. This was the first commercial Advent calendar, and it was produced around 1908.

The practice began to spread beyond Germany, but it was interrupted by the scarcity of resources during World War II. After the war, the tradition resumed and grew in popularity, especially in Western countries.

In the 1950s, the Advent calendar evolved further, with chocolates and other small treats being hidden behind the doors. This made the calendars particularly appealing to children and helped cement the tradition as a family-oriented practice.

Since then, Advent calendars have taken on many different forms and themes. In addition to religious imagery, you can now find calendars with secular themes, such as popular children’s characters, and even luxurious versions containing high-end beauty products or gourmet food items.

How Do Advent Calendars Work?

The concept of this special calendar is quite simple. Advent calendars are used to count the days leading up to Christmas, starting on December 1st and ending on December 24th. They typically consist of 24 small doors or compartments, each containing a surprise such as a picture, Bible verse, or small gift like chocolate, which is revealed when the corresponding door is opened on the appropriate day. The daily ritual of opening a door and discovering a hidden treat or message helps build anticipation for Christmas and has become a cherished holiday tradition in many cultures.

Best Advent Calendars

We picked out 15 of the most interesting, fun, and festive Christmas countdown calendars for you to shop this year. We hope one of them will spark your imagination for your holiday decorating! Here is our selection:


Here is a German chocolate holiday calendar:

Best Advent Calendars for Christmas

We just love decorating for the holidays here at Curated Interior. That’s why we’ve written extensively on the many ways you can decorate your home for Christmas. Here are some recent holiday decorating guides:

Merry Christmas!


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