No, we won’t be asking for your ID to read this article, but please note this list is for the over 21 crowd. We still like little surprises and candy all wrapped up in a festive package too!
There are some great options here for Pre-assembled, Calendar only, and DIY advent calendars. Each type of calendar brings the fun its own way. Pre-assembled are ready to go after purchase and require no prep work.
Calendar only gives you a chance to choose a stationary or hanging option and then purchase your filler items separately. DIY allows you to choose and create your own calendar as well as purchase your filler items separately. Make sure to review the entire list to find the best option for you this festive season.
We also included a helpful Buyer’s Guide below. This will also assist you as you narrow down your selection.
Perhaps you are looking for an option that is more of a general countdown v. candy or small surprise items. If so, check out 20 Christmas Countdown Calendars 2021.
12 Pre-assembled Calendars
If you’re looking for a ready to go fun option, look no further. Several calendars here feature your favorite tv shows or movies. It doesn’t get much better than this for fans!
A fun calendar for collectors and fans! 24 coins made from zinc and brass plating are carefully housed in protective plastic to prevent damage. Vintage style drawings decorate the exterior of the calendar for extra fun. Recipients will enjoy opening the perforated tabs to reveal a new coin each day. An officially licensed Warner Brother’s product, so you are assured the pieces are of the highest quality.
The NEW 2021 edition of this calendar is sure to be smile inducing for the Friends fan in your life! Each calendar is a non-traditional size measuring about 10 inches by 14 inches. This means there is lots of room for fun surprise items like mini notepads, pens, ornaments, cards and more! Grab one for yourself or a friend today!
“Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant.” It’s hard to look at this calendar and not break into the theme song. Am I right? Fans won’t be able to resist this fun calendar. 12 pairs of socks include crew and ankle styles. Ideal for those who wear men’s shoes sizes 8-12 and women’s shoe sizes 8-14. When the recipient opens this gift they’ll “Thank you for being a friend.” (Ok that’s the last one-we couldn’t resist!)
NEW for 2021 this calendar is larger than life-just like the Marvel movies. The calendar measures about 10 inches by 14 inches so it has plenty of room for fun Marvel themed filler pieces like ornaments, gift tags, collector cards, pins etc. This is more than the standard cardboard container you’re used to. This is similar to a hard back book. The inside is filled with Marvel themed envelopes in various sizes. This piece is unique enough to keep out all year!
The perfect choice for Nintendo gaming fans! This set will help them countdown the last 12 days before Christmas with a new pair of Nintendo themed socks each day. These appear to run smaller in size and are recommended for those who wear men’s size 12 or less. However, reviewers seem to agree these are best for those who are men’s size 10 or smaller. The packaging is a replica of a controller with a flap that opens to reveal all 12 of the surprise flaps. Bonus points for staying on theme!
Another 12 days of socks calendar-but this time for The Office fans! This one is worth it for the packaging alone. The calendar looks like a small box of Dunder Mifflin paper. A fun piece to keep out all year. Inside you’ll find 12 pairs of assorted socks. 4 pairs are crew style and 8 are ankle style. This is an officially licensed Universal and NBC product so you are assured of quality. Recommended for those who can wear men’s shoe sizes 12 and smaller.
Calling all fellow Potterheads-this one’s for you! This advent calendar was released a few years ago, but if you, or the fan in your life missed out, now is the time. You’ll be delighted each day with a new mini vinyl figurine of your favorite Harry Potter characters. These are Funko Pocket Pop figurines, so they aren’t your average run of the mill pieces. They are adorable and would look great on a shelf or desk as décor all year. All Potterheads need these in their life!
Another fun release from Funko, this time for Marvel fans. Does it get any better than this? I think not! Similar to the Harry Potter Funko calendar this one also comes with 24 mini Funko Pocket Pop figurines. Each one is unique, interesting and adorable! This one is an extra special release because it was made specifically for the 80th anniversary of Marvel comics. A must-have for all Marvel comics or movie fans.
Who loves tea? This set is for you! A beautifully illustrated box comes with 24 individual pyramid style tea bags. There are 13 different tea flavors included for black, green, and oolong teas. Bonus- it also comes with an adorable Christmas tree spoon! This is perfect for the hard to buy for friend or relative.
Here’s another option for all the tea fans. This one features green tea that is organic, gluten free, vegan and certified Fair for Life. The packaging is bright and cherry and the flavors look delightful. A great alternative to a candy calendar. This would make an excellent gift for a co-worker or hard to buy for relative.
What a unique and fun idea! If you know any newlyweds this would be a fun one. The calendar includes 1 date suggestion a day for 24 days. Personalized packaging and beautiful handmade wooden and copper foil tokens indicate the day’s activity. These are great because there really is no advance planning needed. You should already have everything you need to carry out the recommended activities. This one is a no-brainer.
A fun reusable option for couples. Filled with festive holiday activities to do together. This one is fun because it’s not date specific, you can do the activities in any order. You could even do more than one in a day if you want or need. The holidays are busy so the flexibility is nice. A fun option for those who are engaged.
9 Calendar Only Options
Looking for an empty calendar to fill with some goodies you already have in mind? This is the place for you. Lots of fun options for the 21+ crowd here. Don’t worry they don’t all require ID.
Not sure where to get started with filler items, be sure and check out The Perfect Filler Items For Your DIY Advent Calendar-by Age.
An empty box with pre perforated doors and openings. A great option to fill with mini liquor or wine bottles. Bonus points if one day is champagne! Alcohol not included.
Ideal for small alcohol bottles. Could easily include or use completely different filler items. This would be great for a custom candy, coffee pods, hot chocolate packets, socks, lip balms or small beauty items.
Bingo! Every Christmas Vacation fan needs this set in their lives. Full of laughs and with ample space for filler items. Hang to double as decor or add to a decorative basket or box.
Unfinished baltc birch handcrafted into a festive tree. Holds 24 full size beer bottles. A fun option for beer fans. Fill it with their favorites, new seasonal finds, or a mix of both! Beer not included.
This is the perfect size for mini wine bottles. 12 spaces ideal for a 12 days of Christmas calendar. Wine not included.
A fun retro option for one time use. It doesn’t get any easier than this complete kit with stickers included. There’s also a can’t miss option to add clothespins and twine for a small fee at checkout. These would look great hanging or in a festive box or basket.
Quick and easy to assemble. Handmade from maple. Space for 24 mini liquor bottles. Note-wine bottles won’t fit in this one. Liquor not included.
A beautiful and reusable option. Love the simple design and tassel detail. Ample pocket spaces that allow for large and small filler items. A great option if you plan to use mostly larger items. I’m thinking full size candy bars, socks, beauty items etc.
Wow, the craftsmanship on this one looks amazing. The details are exquisite. An overall classic calendar option. Just the right size for small items. This would look gorgeous as part of your decor this year!
5 DIY Calendars
DIY is the place for you if you want to customize your calendar and filler items. There are some great options here listed from least amount of DIY time and effort to most. It all depends on how much customization you want to do with each piece as well. The sky’s the limit here- so craft as little or as much as you like.
If you want a jump start as you plan your filler items make sure to read The Perfect Filler Items For Your DIY Advent Calendar-by Age.
This is the least amount of effort on the DIY list. Fill the bags, hang or display and you’re ready to go. You can definitely do more if you want a more custom look with special ribbon etc.
These will be a warm and cozy addition to your festive season. These are sold in sets of six, so grab 2 for a 12 days of Christmas calendar or 4 for a full 24 day advent calendar. Great space for filler items too. Don’t forget to add numbers too.
What a unique idea for tea lovers! Create an advent calendar with a tea bag for each day tucked inside a cozy little Christmas village. Available as a downloadable PDF so you can customize too!
A downloadable PDF or the full set sent to your door. I love the idea of printing your own paper village. You can add personalization to the houses or leave them as is. You could even print them in different colors. Such a fun option.
A true classic reusable option. Ideal for a true DIY creation. Add some numbers, paint or stain, and your filler items and then you’ll be all set. Keep in mind the drawers are all the same size when purchasing filler items.
Still unsure about advent calendars? There’s a lot to consider; advent or countdown, where to begin, and which type is best for me this year. If this is you, be sure to read our 8 Advent Calendar FAQs.
Advent Calendar Buyer’s Guide
There are a few things to consider when getting ready to purchase an advent calendar for yourself or a loved one. Keep each one of these suggestions in mind and you’re sure to find the perfect advent calendar to make your Christmas extra special.
Before you start shopping, decide on a budget. How much would you like to spend and most importantly how much is too much. There are advent calendars for every budget-from a few dollars to ultra luxurious designer brands.
There are two main types of pre-assembled advent calendars, those with food and those without.
Most food-based calendars are candy.
You can find chocolate calendars at most big box retailers, grocery stores or online during the festive season. These are generally cardboard paper calendars with a small piece of chocolate for each day. This type of calendar is generally inexpensive and popular with children.
Other calendars are food-based around one brand or type of specific food. For example, several brands release cheese or wine advent calendars each year. Others include assorted jellies, M&Ms or Godiva Chocolates.
If you have a favorite food brand or food item do some searching and if they have an advent calendar you will be able to find it.
Non-food calendars are just that, advent calendars that include only non-food items. These can be anything from small children’s toys to expensive jewelry pieces, and office supplies to socks. There is something for everyone.
Don’t forget to consider theme as well. Themes are the characters, tv shows, films, or interests calendars are based around. For example, if you love Disney, there are candy and non-candy based Disney calendars for kids and adults.
If your kids have a favorite show or movie there are lots of options here as well. Do you like beauty products? Check your favorite brands and there will likely be an option for you.
If you don’t know where to start, start with the theme.
You will definitely want to keep size in mind if you plan to ship your calendar. Do you have a friend or loved one who lives far away? Enjoy the season together by sending them an advent calendar. Smaller and lighter items are the most inexpensive to ship. Keep this in mind if you plan to send one in the mail.
No matter how you choose or where you start, you can’t go wrong with a festive advent calendar to celebrate the season! Still have questions be sure to read 14 Advent Calendar FAQs for more helpful tips.