What, you thought Jesus-lovers owned the advent calendar game? Bible verse cardboard advent calendars are so yesterday, sweet friend. If you’re shopping for the best advent calendars this year, please know that you don’t need to resign yourself to the waxy drugstore chocolates you ate with your first gay crush at that youth group—although, WHAT A TIME—not that you can ever rationalize settling for that TJ’s advent calendar in the check-out line. (She’s already seen it, bro.) No, we can do better. The winter days may be shorter, but they’re hornier with a couples’ sex toy advent calendar, or one filled with ~bon bons~ from France; the nights may be colder, but there is a Caspian Sea’s worth of tea and coffee advent calendars for you to cop for your beloved this holiday season.
The key to finding the best 2022 advent calendar is to find a selection of something your giftee won’t just want, but will want by the dozen. Meaning, they probably don’t need 12 more pairs of socks (maybe they do??). But you know what they will appreciate? A fleet of nail polish colors to mix and match, or a skincare calendar to keep those hands soft and coddled all through the dry winter months. Whether you’re shopping for you, your situationship, or that one Uncomfortable Uncle, here are the best advent calendars to cop this year...
Best Food & Drink Advent Calendars
Java is their Jesus
Is your giftee an arabica-addicted Beanie Baby who can’t rise and grind without the help of some conical burs? Maybe give them some horse tranquilizers and a deep tissue massage, and then gift them Selfridges’ chic and tasty 12 Days of Coffee coffret.
Tea bag your giftee
We’ve never seen an advent calendar that looks this good. Pick from OFFBLAK’s selection of 24 different teas, from medium-caffeinated black and green teas, to calming, caffeine-free herbal flavors. All the baggies are sustainably packaged, and look like they should live in the MoMA gift shop.
Take them to Dollywood
Every animal, mineral, vegetable, and honky tonk-loving person on Earth deserves to dabble in the joy of a Dolly Parton advent calendar. Each door is filled with one of Dolly's favorite treats, including chocolates, caramels, gummies and mints.
The best wine advent calendar
A glass of vino a day? Don’t mind if we do. This advent calendar will turn your kitchen/bedroom/sudsy bathtub into a veritable hot air balloon wine tasting trip around the world with bottles from Italy, California, France, and beyond.
The best whisky advent calendar
… Because you can say, “I love you,” or you can actually mean it by gifting someone 25 drams of premium whisky in little glass bottles, including single malts, peaty pests, surely sherrieds, and more. We might just get one to survive the month of February, TBH.
Semi-sweet toothed? Try a caramel calendar
A well-salted, small-batch caramel is kind of the perfect dessert for sweet and savory peeps alike. This hand-crafted calendar is filled with a selection of caramel flavors that include coffee bean, clove, Hawaiian sea salt, and more.
For the Williams Sonoma addict
We see you. We also get our dose of serotonin from the sweet, minty smell of peppermint bark at Williams Sonoma, right beside the glisten of those commercial-grade ladles and perfect bundt pans. There is no happier place on earth, and now you can have the gift of unwrapping a piece of that paradise every day with this advent calendar filled with their signature treats and cooking accessories.
Delectable French candies
This is the kind of gift that would make us feel as rich and worldly as that brilliant, mean Edwardian mom in Titanic. Maison Boissier has been one of Paris’ most esteemed candy makers for almost a century, and they’ve partnered with Food52 on this delectable advent calendar filled with chocolate-coated nuts, heart-shaped gummies, gooey caramels, and more.
Eight nights of kosher candies
Sufarfina’s advent calendar has eight nights’ worth of kosher-certified candies behind those little doors, including toffee almonds, cold-brew cordials, and miniature sugar cookies.
A luxurious licorice calendar
How many flavors of licorice could there possibly be? Just ask the Danish makers behind this handsome licorice calendar, Lakrids by Bülow, who have curated a licorice calendar worthy of Björk, people who dig Marmite, and other folks’ whose discerning and #deep taste is integral to their personality.
Best Beauty Advent Calendars
Oscar Wilde would have loved this
Established by a swanky British dude named Arthur Lasenby Liberty in 1875, Liberty is one classy-ass brand; think, heritage paisley prints in luxurious fabrics, antique-inspired home goods, and a beauty and skincare advent calendar worthy of a London dandy. This year’s loot includes 30 products, from serums and hand creams to perfumes and eye creams.
A nail polish calendar
If you buy nail polish, you know how pricey those little bottles can get. You’ll start off with Saint Sally Hansen at Walgreens, and soon you’re dropping big coins on Louboutin nail polish (worth it, TBH), because you deserve variety and flare, damnit. That’s why this collection of 22 different nail polishes—for your 22 perfect toes/cloven feet—is such a great deal. (Normally, this kind of collection would set us back a couple hundo.)
There are those who love themselves enough to love Paula’s Choice skincare, and those have not yet found The Way. Sephora is one of our favorite hubs for the best skincare and beauty brands, and it has brought together an Avengers: Endgame-worthy advent calendar filled with products by Anastasia Beverly Hills, Fenty Beauty, ILIA, our girl PAULA and her choices, and more best-sellers from the site.
The Best Overall ~Banger~ Advent Calendars
For the person whose house smells really good
… There’s always one in the friend group. Voluspa’s advent calendar is a sensory feast of 12 vegan and paraben-free candles, including scents such as hinoki, lavender, fig, and, of course, pumpkin spice.
This (reusable) one from ‘Midsommar’
So this reusable advent calendar is a DIY situation, which is cool: You just fill up the little cubbies with whatever your heart desires. (Remember cubbies? You’re welcome.) Think of how fun it would be to fill this pyramid scheme up with gumdrops, riddles, and needles for your kids/nephews, or else go in with your roommates to fill up a surprise selection of drawers to get you all through the impending SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) days?
You think Jar Jar Binks was kind of hot
What category of person is that, even? Marriage material. Anyways, if your giftee loves Star Wars and a little bit of self-flagellation (not Capricorn season yet, loves), they’ll love this LEGO advent calendar, because it requires them to build their own gift, and thereby, their own true patriotic character, every day.
The future NASA scientist
The British brand Eight Innovation specializes in electronic model building kits, and its 2022 advent calendar is a feast of mini games for the aspiring engineer; assemble Whack-A-Mole, Ping Pong, Code Breaker, and 21 more games to get the gears spinning.
A veritable cabinet of curiosities
Wowow. If you receive the Diptyque advent calendar, know that you are truly blessed/getting schmoozed upon in the best way. Your nose will explore a wonderland of candles and scents that the average candle lover would probably bring home over a decade (honestly) of indulgent shopping, but now has rolled into one marbled case with solid scents, perfumes, body balms, and more.
The Best Sex Toy Advent Calendars
A horny smorgasbord
Listen to the horniest part of your heart this holiday season and you may just find that it’s guiding you towards this curated selection of mini vibrators, strokers, restraints, and more via the Lovehoney x Womanizer 2022 couple’s sex toy advent calendar with 24 seggsy goods. “I bought this for myself and my partner, [and] we were far too impatient and opened everything in one night” one reviewer writes, “A brilliant deal and [we] have been able to try toys we might not have considered to buy separately.”
Lovehoney x Womanizer have also blessed us with a 12 Days of Pleasure advent calendar that includes a Womanizer clitoral suction vibrator, kegel balls, blindfolds, butt plugs, and even nipple suction toys. “My favourite items are the anal beads,” one reviewer writes, “the rabbit fingering attachment, and the rechargeable bullet vibrator, which was powerful for its size!”
Meanwhile, the Lovehoney x Blowmotion advent calendar has an extra dose of penis-centric fun with vibrating and adjustable cock rings, a Blowmotion masturbator, an anal plug, a ribbed stroker and more. As one reviewer writes, “This is a good set to have especially if you are a beginner in using toys and you would like to experience different toys to see what you like.”
The sex toy retailer has also assembled seven-day lingerie calendars for those looking to unbox a little something lacy before spreading out on the faux bearskin rug and getting Champagne poured down their throat in front of the YouTube fireplace video loop. We sure do love your apartment this time of year.
Happy holidays, and remember: When god closes a door, she opens another one on an advent calendar.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.