With origins tracing back to the 19th century, Advent calendars have, over the years, become a favorite holiday tradition of families around the world as a way to count the days until Christmas.
Today’s Advent calendars, most of which start with Dec. 1, range in style from versions filled with chocolates and other treats to more elaborate creations that play Christmas tunes. They’re carried at big-box, home goods, specialty and online retailers. Here are some festive options.
Santa’s little helper
The famous Elf On the Shelf is known for his mischievous ways and for popping up when you least expect it. He lends a helping hand to families’ Christmas countdowns with his own Advent calendar. Elf On The Shelf Advent Calendar, $69, Pottery Barn Kids, www.potterybarnkids.com.
Filled with fun
The holiday wreath that keeps on giving, Threshold’s Advent Wreath features circular compartments perfect for concealing a variety of Christmas trinkets and treats. Threshold Advent Wreath, $24.99, Target, www.target.com.
Here comes Santa
Santa Claus is coming to town, so what better way to count down the days to his arrival than with an Advent calendar that looks just like the big man himself? Pier 1 Imports Santa Advent Calendar, $19.95, Pier 1 Imports, www.pier1.com.
A fun twist on the traditional advent calendar, L.L. Bean’s three-dimensional Lighthouse Advent Calendar features windows and doors that open each day to reveal a special holiday surprise. Lighthouse Advent Calendar, $119, L.L. Bean, www.llbean.com.
Jingle all the way
A musical countdown to Christmas, Hallmark’s Jingle and Bell Advent Calendar marks the passing of each day with a snippet of a classic carol. Jingle and Bell Advent Calendar, $24.95, Hallmark, www.hallmark.com.
Forget the wimpy calendars filled with chocolate that tastes like plastic. This edible Advent calendar by the famous Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City makes counting down the days until Christmas a very indulgent pastime. Dylan’s Candy Bar Advent Tree Calendar, $30, Neiman Marcus, www.neimanmarcus.com.