10 Best Advent Calendars 2020-2021

Counting Down To Christmas Advent Calendar Selection

Children and adults alike love to start that countdown to Christmas. Using an Advent calendar to do the counting is one fun way to carry out the goal for many families across the globe. Advent calendars are often made of cloth, paper, plastic and wood. They might have a traditional religious theme or in themes of popular movies, toys or a general holiday theme. Each day starting on the 1st of December, a window, door or possibly a drawer can be opened going through December 24th. Behind the door there will be a small surprise . The surprise might be an image, it might be a small gift or token and sometimes it is a piece of chocolate depending on what kind of calendar your family has chosen to use.

Let’s look at some options for Advent calendars for your family this Christmas.

Some of the First Advent Calendars were made of Cloth

The advent calendars that I grew up with were made from felt by members of our family. When I see the fabric calendars that are available to the families of today it gives me such a nostalgic feeling with memories of my own childhood and anticipating those 24 days of December.

fabric-advent-calendarA lovely advent calendar for any family! Quality fabrics and exquisite stitching detail with the ability to use this calendar for many years. The Christmas tree holds 24 fabric items with velcro. Each day the child or adult can remove one and place it in a pocket. I think I would save the Santa figure for the last day! Once all of the pockets are filled the tree remains to enjoy.

fabric-advent-calendar-2The story of the Nativity is featured in this fabric advent calendar which is worked a little differently. The cloth figures which have a velcro strip are placed in the pockets. Each day one item is removed and placed up at the top to start to create the scene of the first Christmas. I think most families will choose to have the baby Jesus to be placed last in the scene announcing that Christmas has arrived…the babe has been born.

More toddler advent calendars

A Little History of the Advent Calendar

The tradition of using an advent calendar began in Germany around the latter part of the 19th century or late 1880s. It did not take long for the rest of Europe and North America to join in the fun of counting down the days until Christmas. The first advent calendars were religious in nature. Images of angels, people of the Bible or biblical scenes would have been behind the doors. Perhaps some would have a biblical verse or an image relating to the story of the Nativity.

As the Christmas holiday has become more commercialized over the decades many advent calendars no longer have a faith based surprise behind the door or window. Everything from toys to chocolates to images of popular celebrities can now be found as a family counts down to Christmas.

Chocolate Advent Calendars

A really nice and delicious way to countdown to Christmas is to have an advent calendar with the surprise being a piece of chocolate! There are many chocolate companies that produce an Advent calendar providing their own gourmet or special chocolate bites of pleasure. If there is only one child in the family, they get a chocolate morsel for the 24 days leading up to Christmas. A suggestion if there are more children in the family is to let the children take turns in opening the window or door. Another idea is to have a question to be answered, the child who answers correctly gets the treat.


As the children and adults open the window to find the treat they also get a bible verse or text that tells the story of the first Christmas. A great way for children to learn the story of the Nativity while anticipating December 24th.

This more traditional advent calendar shows a scene of the Nativity of Christ. Each day your child can open a window to find a piece of chocolate to enjoy along with a Bible verse that tells the story of the birth of Jesus. A perfect choice for a Christian family that wants to begin to teach the story of Christmas through their faith to a young boy.

chocolate-advent-calendar-2Each day the children are reminded that Santa is busy making toys and gifts in his workshop preparing for the night he travels the world to deliver them to all of the boys and girls across the world. A piece of gourmet chocolate is revealed each day along with a verse from the classic tale of Santa Claus Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore.

Advent Calendars and Small Children

While counting the days until Christmas Eve, small children can practice their counting skills. Encourage counting to 24 and counting how many days have transpired since they started and how many days are left until Christmas. Activities like this introduce some basic math concepts.

Wood Advent Calendars can count the days to Christmas

The nice thing about the Advent calendars that are made from wood is that they are durable and can be used year after year as a tradition that a family will treasure. The children will have fond memories of the calendar being a part of their family tradition and will probably want to continue it when they leave home and start a family of their own.

wooden-advent-calendar-kurt-adlerThe Kurt S. Adler company is well known for making delightful decorations for many of the holidays that we celebrate throughout the year. Christmas is no exception and the company offers a traditional advent calendar made of wood that tells the biblical story of Christmas. The figures from the scene at the manger in Bethlehem are stored in the wooden drawers that surround the main scene. Each day a figure is placed into the scene until the story is complete. The figures have small magnets on the back which will them adhere to the main scene without destroying the paint.

wooden-advent-calendar-christmas-treeThe traditional Christmas tree is another way to have an Advent calendar. This particular model comes unfinished so that you can paint it in the colors that you desire. It might be a fun family project! The other nice thing about this wooden piece is that the drawers are empty allowing the adults to choose what the treat will be for each day. It might be candy, a small toy or whatever you want the “gifts” of the countdown to be. Also one that can be used over and over again as your tradition.

Who Started Advent Calendars?

The Lutherans of Germany are given credit for starting this Christmas tradition of counting the days in a calendar like format.

For LEGO Fans

LEGO building bricks have been around and popular with children since the late 1940s. Now the adults who grew up playing with the Lego pieces still love to build things with them. Lego has several sets that are Advent calendars and a great idea for the family that loves to build together. The sets cover several different themes so there is something for everyone.

lego-city-adventOne of the many sets that enhance the LEGO City Advent series of sets. Each day a different piece is revealed that will allow the building of a special Christmas themed scene. That can be included in any cityscape that the family has already started. The pieces are ones that can not be found in any other sets so the Advent model that you choose will add unique pieces to your project. This set helps Santa get his sleigh out of the snow that it is stuck in. It includes 7 mini-figures along with other pieces to complete the scene.

lego-friends-adventThe girls who love to build the sets from the LEGO Friends series are going to love this Advent calendar that surprises them each day with a new and different mini-figure doll, pets and other accessories. Twenty-four pieces not found any of the other Friends building sets.lego-advent-star-warsStar Wars fans will love this calendar for Advent. There are 8 mini-figures included in the daily surprises and one is of Yoda that can not be found anywhere else in a Lego set. Vehicles from the popular series of movies are also included like the Millennium Falcon and an X Wing Starfighter. This Advent calendar has 266 pieces included to build special pieces during the first 24 days of December.

Kits to Make Your Own Calendar

Kits are available for you to make your own Advent calendar, too. You can find them for wood projects, fabric projects and even scrapbooking projects. Obviously you will want to start the crafting in plenty of time to have it ready for the Advent Season. Asking for a gift of the type of crafting that you enjoy might be a great idea for this Christmas. You will have all year to make one for next year.

make-your-own-adventUse your sewing skills to create an advent calendar with felt applique figures to count down the days until Christmas Eve. The kit includes everything that you will need to complete your calendar using quality materials. You can also personalize the calendar with your family name or the name of the family that you might give the calendar to. The instructions are easy to follow and the design will fit just about any holiday decorating decor.

wooden diy advent calendarI love this craft idea because so many different skills can be used to make it a unique Advent calendar for any family. It can be painted with any color scheme you choose with a scene that is created by your own hands. You can also use it to create something unique with scrapbooking supplies. It can be covered with fabrics of your choosing for something really creative. Quilt a scene for the center if you like. The possibilities are endless! It is up to you and your creative genius to decorate this DIY advent calendar any way that you like.

More popular advent calendars:

Posted on Categories Advent Calendars