Best Advent calendars of 2022
November 7, 2022 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Every year I love to give advent calendars to my family to enjoy together. What are some good ones to buy this year?

I'm looking for some great advent calendars for myself and other members of my family. I would prefer ones that have drawers/doors filled with little surprises, although if it's a REALLY awesome picture only one, I'd take that too. (Two years ago I gave this krampus one to my sister and it was a big hit.) Also good are ones where you pull a new thing out each day that goes into a scene you build, like this one from Meri Meri.

NOT looking for ones that we have to fill ourselves. I've done that a couple times and it is exhausting to find 24 little thingies that fit in those teeny tiny drawers.

What I don't want - jewelry or makeup or nail polish or tea. Yes I know about that Bonne Maman jelly one. Basically any that turn up on good houskeeping or amazon or buzzfeed's top 10 advent calendar list or whatever, I've already seen. I"m looking for some obscure ones that I may have missed in my extensive googling! So maybe something from etsy or some other tiny webstore.....THIS is a very cool one I might pick up that I just happened to stumble on. So, other ones like that, that are a little unusual or spooky or strange or beautiful or crafty. There are no children in our family, just immature adults!
posted by silverstatue to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Possibly a little too basic for you but the chocolate in this one is truly special.
posted by shadygrove at 6:04 PM on November 7, 2022

there are various booze advent calendars.

sugarfina makes pretty good (if expensive) candy, and they a calendar this year. that site, food52, has some other good ones (i can vouch for venchi chocolates being fabulous.)

national geographic has a science advent calendar for kids that looks pretty neat (speaking as an also immature adult).
posted by koroshiya at 6:32 PM on November 7, 2022

This is hardly obscure, but Lego does a variety of minifig advent calendars that are fun.
posted by jeoc at 7:05 PM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

OOOOH oooooh I got this!

(I see that you aren't interested in tea or jam, but I'm including them anyway for completeness -- thanks for your patience!)

Coolest advent calendar: Women Philosophers Advent Calendar: every day a quote from a different thinker, and some surprise tea to go along with that. Apparently the boxes are printed (and maybe cut?) in China, then assembled in the US. The tea was nice too, with some lovely flavor combinations I hadn't tried before.

I have only actually tried the classic one, not the women philosophers one (it's new), and cannot promise that all the philosophy will be agreeable.

Runner up: the original Philosophers Advent Calendar, also with tea.

Both are available in a slightly more expensive version with two teabags per day.

The hot chocolate in this hot chocolate advent calendar was *divine* (alas, some of the flavors had an ingredient to which I'm allergic, but the others were awesome). It was worth shipping from the UK, but I wish I could find one in the US.

The English Tea Shop advent calendar was nice, although I can't really drink black tea, so I didn't get to try some of the flavors. The ones I did try were lovely. The really nice part for me, though, is that the little individual tea boxes, in the advent calendar frame, form a puzzle! As we drank the tea, we enjoyed rearranging just the empty boxes to show the puzzle design (which hid the numbers), and trying to put them in the right positions even though we didn't know the final picture. It looks like, this year, they have a White Organic Tea Advent Calendar, a "Green Puzzle" version (also has both black and green teas), and a book-style one.

The Bonne Maman fruit preserves advent calendar is awesome! I'm sure someone else will recommend it here, and that's for a reason -- the preserves are really, really good. Totally recommend getting or making some tiny light American style biscuits to maximize your enjoyment, but some lovely toast would work fine.

I didn't think I would like the wire puzzles in the Coogam Wire Puzzle Advent Calendar, but (maybe you can tell) I have a thing for advent calendars, so I tried it. They really come in a range of difficulties, so it was really fun to try.

I gave the Mandalorian chocolate advent calendar as a gift last year. No complaints.

Also only given as a gift: the Bodleian Library bookshelf advent calendar. Kind of cool!

Finally, this one seems cool, but I donated it, so I can't report results: The Purple Cow Crazy Scientist Advent Calendar with 24 Exciting Science Tricks & Experiments. I read reviews and it looks like the experiments are kind of basic, so if you're considering it, read more about it and make sure it's at the appropriate level for the recipient.
posted by amtho at 7:15 PM on November 7, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: There's a couple of EXIT (escape game) advent calendars.
posted by stormyteal at 7:37 PM on November 7, 2022

Best answer: The beautiful Higston and Olsen Short Story Advent Calendar might be right up someone's alley!
posted by Hellgirl at 7:38 PM on November 7, 2022

The algorithm has made sure I am very aware of the Hans Gruber falling off Nakatomi Plaza advent calendar from everyone's favorite xmas movie.
posted by doift at 7:40 PM on November 7, 2022

Bonne Maman is amazing; we love it.

The Lego and Playmobil advent calendars have been very popular with my kids!

There are also tea advent calendars, we've gotten them from Yawn the last few years.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:57 PM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far! Just want to repeat that I am NOT interested in anything tea, Bonne Mamen, or specifically for children. My house is drowning in tea and jam on a regular basis!

So far I am SUPER excited about the escape room one and the Bodleian Library one also looks promising. Keep them coming!
posted by silverstatue at 8:08 PM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Dandelion calendar looks especially good this year; the chocolates are always exceptional (and interesting) and they’ve added a daily star-watching element.
posted by scyllary at 8:28 PM on November 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

You may already know about this one (I believe I heard about it from a previous year's MeFi thread), but I haven't see it on many other lists and it's not in this thread yet. If you even remotely like licorice, the Lakrids By Bülow Licorice Advent Calendar is amazing! I'm actually already eating this year's for November (countdown to Thanksgiving?) and so far it's been a good range of different flavors.
posted by catabananza at 8:47 PM on November 7, 2022

Best answer: Art supplies

Have you any interest in a) pet toys or b) little science experiments? The latter is kid-friendly (/kid-focused) but I legit had fun.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:25 PM on November 7, 2022

I had this jigsaw one last year, though I got overwhelmed with it - it is quite fiddly. I was also given this build a radio one, which I plan to do this year. And I am eyeing this book quiz one; same seller also has history, drama and art ones, though they don't meet your request for having items.
posted by paduasoy at 12:27 AM on November 8, 2022

This would be for next year for you since they sell early, but if you have any D&D players in the family, Beholder's Gaze has a dice calendar. Mine for this year is already on its way to me in the US from the UK. I'm excited about opening up doors and getting shiny math rocks!
posted by gentlyepigrams at 7:49 AM on November 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

High quality hand tools. Confirm the selection is useful — no point in getting a bunch of metric tools if the recipient doesn’t have any metric fasteners.
posted by easyasy3k at 5:07 PM on November 8, 2022

If you're anywhere in the Aldi region, they have some great ones this year.

here is a link to the current and upcoming ones for 2022.

In addition to several with chocolates, and a couple of wine/beer/hard seltzer versions, they also have one in the refrigerated section with various cheeses, a really lovely one with tiny winter-themed candles, and some with popular movie figurines with a backdrop.
posted by jolenex4 at 8:46 AM on November 9, 2022

I ordered a reusable carboard box set (this one but there's lots of others) and some individually wrapped cookies and caramels and chocolates, and Christmas labels, and into each box will go at least one item (two if they're small) for each person in the house, then the boxes go on a table in the corner and we can open one a day. The boxes I got don't need to be individually wrapped which cuts down on fuss and waste. This is the first year I'm doing this and I'm rather pleased with myself.
posted by joannemerriam at 11:28 AM on November 23, 2022

Found an advent calendar for cats made by Purina/Fancy Feast.
posted by amtho at 1:08 AM on December 2, 2022

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