Advent Calendars

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    Learn More About Advent Calendars

    Advent calendars are special time-keeping calendars that mark the countdown to the end of Advent. Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Crhistmas—falling between Nov. 27 and Dec. 3—and ends on Christmas Eve.

    Advent calendars are typically paper or multi-chambered wooden boxes marked with the days of Advent, with little doors or flaps for each day of the Advent period. The flap or door on the corresponding Advent day opens to reveal a special picture or a fun prize for that day, such as a little toy or piece of candy. Household customs vary from a different person opening a panel each day of the season to a single designated person revealing and passing out the surprise inside.

    Vintage advent calendars were often filled with a small gift, candy, a verse, or a portion of a story. Each day reveals a new surprise for both children and adults as you countdown to Christmas. Most of these calendars can be used year after year by adding new treats or story tidbits to it at the beginning of the advent season.

    Whether you want an Advent calendar to hang on the wall or a large conversation piece to place front and center, there's a type of Advent calendar to go along with your holiday traditions—or to help you create new ones. Here are some popular types of Advent calendars you’ll find when browsing shops on Etsy:

    • Wooden Advent calendar boxes are a popular tradition in many homes around the world. Reusable from year to year, you can pick a new set of prizes every year to surprise the opener.
    • As an entertaining option for everyone, give each person in your home a different paper Advent calendar to open during the season. Each day gives a different surprise, such as a dazzling picture or fun seasonal saying.
    • An Advent calendar tree is usually a tree-shaped stand made of wood or similar sturdy material that’s placed in a corner or on a table. Little bags are tied to the branches—each bag marked with the day of Advent. On each day of Advent, the corresponding bag is taken down and opened to reveal the prize inside.

    Advent calendars make a fantastic present for friends or family. You’ll find a wide variety of calendars to add a touch of amusement to the daily calendar opening. Here are some fun Advent calendar suggestions that can open the door to a wonderfully enjoyable season:

    • Cute children's Advent calendars: With simple designs and bright colors, a kids’ Advent calendar with a piece of candy or a small toy for each day will delight any little one. They'll wait eagerly for the next Advent season when it's all over. You could also opt for a personalized advent calendar for each child in your family so that everyone has a new surprise to enjoy each day.
    • Adult Advent calendars: For a more serious Advent season, Advent calendars for adults are a more mature approach to the daily panel opening. They’re perfect for filling with tiny bottles of liquor or other grown-up gifts.
    • Cat or dog Advent calendars: If you have furry friends to share your holidays, get them a special pet Advent calendar. They might not understand Advent, but they'll still appreciate the daily treat.