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The idea is simple: Count down the days of December leading up to Christmas Eve. Advent calendars can take a variety of forms and styles, from religious to whimsical to fun ones for the kids. Here are some of our favorites this holiday season that will surely deliver excitement as Santa heads near!
TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.
Byers' Choice Christmas House Advent Calendar, $84, Amazon
Designed with 24 numbered doors to hide small surprises for each day. High-quality wood will surely make this calendar last!
Lindt Bear Advent Calendar, $24, Amazon
Indulge in a piece of chocolate or two — or 24! Each door reveals a milk chocolate treat for each day.
LEGO City Advent Calendar Building Kit, $30, Amazon
Celebrate Christmas in LEGO City with this fun calendar. Twenty-four different items include vehicles, mini-figures, and buildings — even a Santa Claus! But you'll have to wait every day to open a new door to discover each one.
Paw Patrol Look-Out-Advent Calendar, $25, Amazon
If your kid loves these adorable crime-fighting pups, this Paw Patrol calendar will be woof-wonderful! There are 24 gifts for every day leading up to December 25. Each door opens to reveal a new mini Paw Patrol figure.
Melissa & Doug Countdown Christmas Calendar, $20, Amazon
A hands-on way for kids to get that holiday spirit. This wooden tree from toy maker Melissa & Doug makes keeping track of Santa easy with 24 magnetic ornaments. Be sure to read the Christmas poem on the back!
Cabbage Patch Kids Little Sprouts Advent Calendar, Countdown to Christmas, $30, Amazon
For the toy collector, this calendar delivers plenty of excitement. Fold down the flaps each day to discover 25 little surprises. Then, use the handy collector's guide to check off what Cabbage Patch Kids characters and accessories you found.
ARTY Light-Up Advent Calendar, $70, Nordstrom
This village lights up the top of a charming Advent calendar with 24 drawers waiting for you to fill them with tiny treats or holiday messages.
Vintage Santa Wooden Advent Calendar with Doors from Primitives by Kathy, $64, Amazon
This wooden box from Primitives by Kathy captures the spirit of the season. The vintage theme allows it to match perfectly with all different kinds of holiday decor. Kids will love the individual compartments with doors which are big enough to hold candy, small ornaments or toys.
Kurt Adler 16 in. Christmas Tree 24-Piece Advent Calendar, $75, Amazon
Turn your Christmas decor up a notch with this Kurt Adler Tree Calendar. This festive tree features a small ornament in each box. By Christmas Day, the completed tree will make it feel like the holiday has officially arrived.
Foreside Galvanized Bucket Advent Calendar, $70, Nordstrom
Countdown to Christmas Day while adding a rustic touch to your décor with this unique Advent calendar. Fill each bucket with a piece of candy or trinket. Included mounting hardware makes it easy to hang.
PALAIS DES THÉS Countdown to Christmas Tea Advent Calendar, $30, Nordstrom
Made in France, this beautiful Advent calendar is just for tea lovers. Open a numbered door to find a tea bag containing a variety of Palais des Thés' best-selling flavors and varietals.
Jelly lovers can now rejoice. This limited edition calendar comes with a variety of classic preserves, jelly and honey. There's a 1-ounce jar of Bonne Maman for each day. Try flavors like Orange & Cinnamon, Raspberry & Litchia and Pineapple and Rum.
Morris & Co Pure Advent Calendar, $70, Amazon
For the beauty lover, this calendar gives a mix of handbag-sized bath and body products. Set includes bath salts, body lotions, bath fizzers, hand creams, and more. All products are paraben free.
L'OCCITANE Advent Calendar, $69, Sephora
Countdown to the holidays with a festive collection of travel-sized treats. This set gathers everything you need to help nourish, protect, and soften skin. All 24 products from L'Occitane, (one of our favorite hand cream makers) are in the perfect travel size to grab your favorite and take it on-the-go.
Vermont Christmas Company Nativity Fabric Advent Calendar, $38, Amazon
This beautiful calendar will make you believe Christmas is near. Countdown the days by sticking velcro-affixed stuffed figures to each day of Advent to create a beautiful nativity scene that parents and kids will enjoy.
KidKraft Wooden Advent Calendar, $46, Amazon
Easy to assemble, your family will love putting together this adorable wooden gingerbread house. Each door opens and is small enough for mom or dad to hide tiny candy canes or pieces of candy. Bonus: you can personalize the calendar with child's name.
Tsum Countdown Christmas Calendar Playset, $40, Amazon
In this playset, holiday-themed Disney Tsum Tsum characters and fun winter accessories are behind each door. Collect, stack and display to create a winter ski scene. Set includes 18 figures.
Fisher-Price Thomas Friends Advent Calendar, $35, Amazon
All aboard! Train enthusiasts will toot their horns over this cute calendar. The set includes 24 Thomas & Friends engines as well as Advent calendar-style doors that open to reveal a different train.
For more gift ideas, visit our TODAY Shopping Gift Guide page.