Advent Calendars You’ll Love for Years To Come

One of the dates that my girls look forward to every year is December 1st – the date that they get to open that first door on their advent calendars and begin the countdown to Christmas! 

I’m right there with them in their excitement – seriously, what’s not to love about a month where you get a special treat every single day?!  You can pick up a standard cardboard advent calendar with chocolates for as little as $1, but I love the idea of spending a few more bucks on an advent calendar that can hold little trinkets, notes, & treats, be used year after year, and be a beautiful part of your home’s holiday decorations.

As you may have figured out by reading my blog, I’m all about options!  So, we’ll go down the high road ($$$), the middle road ($$), and the low-down, dirt cheap road ($) and find the perfect advent calendar for you!  Let’s start with the high road – this is the big bucks road for you lucky girls who have some dough to invest in an amazing advent calendar that will become part of your family’s holiday tradition and your home’s holiday decor for years to come.  My favorite advent calendars in this category are the Advent Calendar Elves sold by Garnet Hill.  You have your choice of the girl elf (hanging on the wall) or boy elf (hanging out on the bench).  Each elf has numbered pockets to store tiny gifts and treats (and they are so cute as part of this home’s holiday decor!!).  They regularly sell for $88 each but are currently on sale for $69 each.

Garnet Hill Advent Calendar Elves

Another great choice for an advent calendar that would be a big hit with the kids is Pottery Barn Kids’ Plush Snowman Advent Calendar.  This guy is regularly $99 but he is currently on sale for $79. 

Pottery Barn Kids Snowman Advent Calendar

Pottery Barn Kids also sell a more traditional advent calendar with 24 small felt stockings in which you can tuck a daily surprise.  The calendar is $89 with an additional $7 if you choose to personalize it with your family’s name. 

Pottery Barn Kids Stocking Advent Calendar also has several amazing handmade advent calendars like this one sold by Polka Stripe Studio for $69 – Polka Stripe Studio
Christmas Traditions U-fill Advent Calendar with Drawers

Now let’s head down that middle road for some advent calendars in the $10-$30 range.  My favorite advent calendars in this price range are both at Target.  I love this natural, rustic house with it’s numbered doors hiding cubbies for those special surprises!  It is regularly $29.99 but at the time of this post it was on sale for $25 (in stores only).

Target’s Classic Tidings Tabletop Advent Calendar

Target’s other advent calendar on my list is more contemporary but equally as decorative and fun!  It is regularly $24.99 but is currently on sale (in stores only) for $22.49.

Target’s Classic Tidings Tabletop Wood Advent Calendar

My final advent calendar down that middle road is IKEA’s YRSNO Advent Calendar.  This guy is made of cardboard so he’s not exactly heirloom quality but he sure is cute!  He has 24 numbered drawers that you can pull out and fill with small presents. For $9.99 he is a great bang for your buck!

IKEA YRSNO Advent Calendar

Now let’s travel along the low-down, dirt cheap advent calendar road.  This path requires you to put in some time and craftiness, but you will end up with an advent calendar that is just as beautiful as the expensive versions but with more special meaning for your family. is a great place to go when you are thinking about a DIY calendar – they provide the creative idea and give you everything you need to do it yourself!  For example, Wants & Wishes Design has the cutest Printable Paper Present Advent Calendar - for $5 they will e-mail you a PDF with 25 “presents” in five wrapping styles – simply print and cut the presents out, fold and glue them together (instructions provided), punch a hole in the top and voila – you have your own handmade advent calendar!  You can fill each numbered package with a special surprise and hang them on your Christmas tree or string them together as a garland.

Wants & Wishes Design’s Printable Paper Present Advent Calendar

For lots of other great DIY advent calendar ideas, there are tons of tutorials around the blogosphere, including these and many more: 

Add numbers to mini galvanized buckets, fill them with little trinkets or treats, and hang them on your Christmas tree for an easy, instant advent calendar. Go to {this post} for the full tutorial:

{Driven by Décor}

Martha Stewart gives you the easy peasy instructions for making this Baby Sock Advent Calendar:

Martha Stewart’s Baby Sock Advent Calendar

Centsational Girl gives you all the details on how to make her fabulous Manzanita Advent Tree

Centsational Girl’s Manzanita Advent Tree

And finally, check out Just A Girl‘s blog on how to create a Christmas Advent Jar – gorgeous!  If you missed my post on apothecary jars a few weeks ago, check it out to see where to find them for less.

Christmas Advent Jar

Have fun shopping (or crafting!) for this year’s advent calendar.  Better do it quick… it’s almost time to open that first door! 

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