Fun fact: Did you know that the very first version of an “advent calendar” emerged in Germany in the mid-1800s?
At the time, it was merely candles lit one at a time to mark each day in the four weeks running up to Christmas.
Then in the 20th century, it evolved to a form of paper calendar with a seasonal picture or verse hid behind tiny numbered doors.
Now? It’s a variety of everything imaginable, from chocolates and beauty goodies to tea and toys.
While it’s hard to believe that 2020 is coming to a close soon (seriously, where did the time go?), the Christmas spirit surely is starting to sink in with festive trees and ornaments decorating the streets, Christmassy songs on repeat in every mall in town, and of course, the gift shopping in full swing.
If you haven’t already started, allow us to tempt you with our selection of 17 advent calendars that are equal parts fun, unique, and festive.
Don’t wait too long to cart them out though – speaking from experience, these gifts sell out fast, like, really fast.
Psst… You might also be interested in our Christmas Feast giveaway where we are giving out S$500 worth of dining vouchers from W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, SO Sofitel Singapore, and Hotel G Singapore!
1. Lady M
Fans of Lady M, rejoice!
If munching on sweet treats from the popular New York confectionery brand in the days leading up to Christmas have always been a dream of yours, you’d want to snag this distinctive advent calendar that comes in a form of an interactive snow globe featuring a winter wonderland cityscape of New York City.
Treat your giftee (or yourself!) to 24 numbered drawers filled with gummies and chocolates from the Lady M Bon Bon collection that are inspired by the flavours from its best-selling cakes.
2. T2 Tea
Sip your way through 24 teas as you countdown to the most jolly day of the year with this teabag advent calendar by T2 Tea!
Discover old favourites and scrumptious festive numbers that are guaranteed to make your daily cup full of flavour and intrigue.
3. Hook Coffee
Local start-up Hook Coffee’s annual advent calendar is back to help you broaden your coffee horizons.
Featuring 24 coffee favourites plus a handful of holiday editions, you can expect to relish in unique coffee blends such as Specu-lose Your Mind, Nuts About You, Cake It Easy, and Kiwi Me Softly.
This year, the calendar is made even more special with commissioned artwork by students from Very Special Arts Singapore (VSA Singapore).
Better yet, the homegrown company will also be donating part of the proceeds to support VSA Singapore’s initiatives to empower persons with physical and intellectual disabilities through the arts.
Hook Coffee Advent Calendar 2020 retails for S$50 online.
4. Thirsty Beer Shop
If imbibing in a craft beer every day until Christmas sounds like the perfect Christmas countdown to you, then be sure to grab this hugely popular advent calendar by Thirsty Beer Shop.
The annual gift set makes it return this year and like all its previous renditions, it’s as secretive as ever – the beers in each pack are never revealed until you actually open it.
All we know: there are 24 different beers from America and Australia of 14 different beer styles, a complimentary beer glass plus a variety of fun facts and dumb jokes behind every flap for the day.
From the review section, we reckon it’ll be quite a challenge to resist from having just one can a day.
Thirsty Beer Shop ‘Not An Advent Calendar’ Craft Beer Box retails for S$159 online.
Repeat after us: a chocolate-stuffed advent calendar is never a bad idea. For one that doesn’t break the bank, this one from Swiss chocolatier Lindt perfectly fits the bill with its collection of milk chocolate creations.
Lindt Advent Calendar retails for S$15.90 on Redmart, but is currently on 10% off at the time of writing.
Prefer something simple and practical? Then, this Nespresso advent calendar that’s packed with all the best original flavours is the one for you – there’s even a little surprise waiting for you on the 24th window!
We’ve heard that the limited-edition calendar is extremely popular amongst Nespresso drinkers so be sure to grab one before it runs out.
Nespresso Advent Calendar 2020 retails for S$50 online.
While LEGO bricks are notorious for being a painful hazard for the feet (have you ever stepped on one of those things?!), that doesn’t mean you should turn your back away from this Harry Potter version of an advent calendar.
Perfect for adults and kids alike, this set comprises mini figures plus familiar objects and accessories from the Harry Potter series that you can eventually create a magical Yule Ball and endless Hogwarts holiday adventures with.
LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar (75981) retails for S$54.99 online at Toys”R”Us.
Have plenty to be thankful for with this adorable advent calendar that reveals a fun new eraser and gratitude prompt each day.
Kikki.K Eraser Advent Calendar retails for S$39.99 online.
9. InterContinental Singapore
Been searching for the ultimate advent calendar to indulge in? Look no further than this stunning limited-edition hamper from InterContinental that’ll surely get you in the festive mood.
The treats in this advent calendar are bound to tantalise as they run the gamut of not just minced fruit pies, cookies, festive cakes, TWG teas, and dining vouchers, but also a 200ml bottle of Moët & Chandon Brut and even a two-day staycation voucher.
InterContinental Singapore Advent Calendar Hamper retails for S$398 online.
10. Nelson Line
Spotlighting the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford, this beautiful advent calendar isn’t exactly new. In fact, it was launched last year but it’s pretty timeless as a gift for bibliophiles if you ask us.
The calendar itself is made with thick, high-quality eight-by-10-inch paper – open up the 24 windows and you’ll find miniature card versions of some of the most famous paintings from the Bodleian collection.
Nelson Line Bodleian Library Christmas Bookshelf Advent Calendar retails for S$22.45 on Amazon.
11. The Office
If your buddy is one of those who can give you a play-by-play of The Office, you can’t possibly pass up on getting this gift set that contains eight funny low-cut and four crew sock designs inspired by the American mockumentary.
Word of caution though: the reviews are generally mixed for this product. While some loved its quality and design, others have experienced broken packaging due to handling at shipment, so proceed at your own risk.
The Office 12 Days of Socks Advent Calendar Set retails for S$108.88 on Amazon.
Listen up, Pokémon devotees! Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean you can take a break and stop catching ’em all.
Wake up to a surprise every day as two-inch Pokémon characters such as Pikachu, Charmander, Mimikyu, Ditto, Jigglypuff, and Munchlax are all hiding behind wee numbered doors waiting to be let loose.
Pokémon 2020 Holiday Advent Calendar retails for S$86.75 on Amazon.
Impress your vegan friend with this collection of 24 pure plant-based mini chocolates. Indulge in 13 different flavours ranging from classic dark chocolate to colourful fruit bars and even a vegan gingerbread chocolate.
Spoiler alert: there’s also a small extra 25th Nashido bar filled with refreshing peppermint mousse – yummy!
Zotter Nashis Advent Calendar retails for S$60 on Hello Chocolate.
14. La Petite Épicerie
DIY lovers will surely appreciate this delightful La Petite Épicerie advent calendar that lets you count down the days until Christmas in a creative way.
In it, you’ll find stationeries and accessories such as Edding pen, wax seal stamp and wax stick, iron-on patch, bulldog clips, gold ink, pins, glitter, stickers, and more.
This is the perfect gift for a loved one, but honestly, we won’t blame you if you want keep it for yourself!
La Petite Épicerie DIY Advent Calendar Kit retails for S$45 on Smallable.
15. Zippy Paws
Don’t forget your furry friend this holiday season – give the perfect barking gift for the holidays with this advent calendar for dogs.
It’s got 12 squeaky holiday Miniz toys, so your pup can celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with a new toy every day.
Zippy Paws Holiday Advent Calendar retails for S$39.99 on Amazon.
16. Temple Cellars
‘Tis the season to be truly hoppy with Temple Cellars’ IPA gift box that features 24 IPAs – including New England IPAs, West Coast IPAs, and Imperial (Double) IPAs – from a diverse list of breweries.
Best part? It’s delivered chilled to your doorstep.
Temple Cellars IPA Canvent Calendar retails for S$249 online.
17. Newby Teas
For tea connoisseurs, you can’t go wrong with this advent calendar by Newby Teas which is inspired by the brand’s London headquarters in celebration of its prestigious 20th anniversary.
As you admire the quintessentially British townhouse design, enjoy 24 luxury blends from Newby’s Classic Tea Bag collection.
From premium black tea and tisane blend to green tea and oolong, you can be sure that no two days are the same as you uncover each drawer that’s packed with four individually wrapped sachets of a select blend.
Newby Teas Advent Calendar retails for S$128 on Selfridges.