This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
Christmas is coming! The Christmas shopping season is well under way (in no small part because we can expect coronavirus-related shipping delays this year), and it’s never too early to think about holiday shopping in general.
In a festive season of joyous excess, what better way to mark the days leading up to the main event than to indulge in yet another little treat? Enter an Advent calendar.
The best Advent calendar depends on your personal taste, but if nothing tickles your fancy like good food and better drinks, these 2020 Advent calendars will get you into the holiday spirit. We’re talking all kinds of Advent calendars — everything from cheese and chocolate to wine and beer.
Let’s start celebrating this festive season in the most delicious way possible. Besides, you deserve every morsel of pleasure you can find in the last days of 2020. These are our picks for the best Advent calendars of 2020, which we update periodically. (Note: Prices shown do not include shipping and handling where applicable.)
A important note: anyone who loves a good Advent calendar will need to order theirs ASAP in order to get them in time to actually count down the days until Dec. 25.
Update, Nov. 15: We’ve checked the stock of the products listed, and front-loaded the 11 that are still available.
Black Friday 2020 sales and deals
Direct Wines Inc.
Just one of many options for wine lovers, this traditional-looking Advent calendar has a grown-up twist: It contains 24 quarter bottles of vino from around the world, including French reds, Italian whites and prosecco for a little sparkle. Order by Nov. 17 to receive it in time to start your Christmas countdown on schedule, but be aware it may sell out a lot sooner than that.
For those who prefer their good cheer in stronger liquid form, this calendar serves up 24 samples of whiskey from around the world, plus a Glencairn glass, Flaviar coaster and tasting notes for everything you’ll be sipping.
Harry and David
This delightful wooden gift box looks like a stack of presents — and each of the 12 drawers contains a different candy treat such as Moose Munch, chocolate-covered cherries, truffles, mints and malt balls. And once the confections are gone, the box can be reused for years to come.
Harry and David
If all you care about is the Moose Munch — and who could blame you? — this merry, snowy-scene Advent calendar contains a dozen different flavors of the sweet gourmet popcorn mix, including dark chocolate salted caramel, white chocolate Cinnabon, dark chocolate peppermint bark and mint chocolate with candy trees.
Yet another way to treat a sweet tooth, this whimsically designed calendar hides creamy, handmade caramels in 12 amazing flavors like Tapped Maple, Cinnamon Clove, Dark Roasted Mocha, Chocolate Peppermint and Ginger Fusion — as well as classic Vanilla. The small-batch candies are slow cooked in copper kettles using the best (and fewest) ingredients possible.
Williams Sonoma is offering a lavishly illustrated chocolate Advent calendar filled with the usual milk chocolate confections, but even those of us who eagerly await each season’s hater’s guide to its Christmas catalog must admit, its peppermint bark is fire. This cute calendar contains 24 pieces of it in festive shapes. Good luck not getting ahead of yourself.
Tea lovers, look no further. In this advent calendar from Parisian tea company Palais des Thés, you get 24 different teas so you can enjoy a fresh cup every morning leading up to Christmas. Naturally, the red and gold design is très chic.
If it’s matcha that makes you merry, this calendar will have you seeing (and sipping) green. It hides a mix of high-quality green tea blends as well as green tea-infused treats like matcha honey, chocolate and even vegan matcha gummies shaped like alligators
Have a hot-head in your life? Or maybe that’s you? Then this Advent calendar packed with 25 different mini bottles of hot sauce is likely to kindle a warm glow of happiness (and capsaicin).
The Snaffling Pig
If your cravings are more carnivorous, check out this amazing pork crackling Advent calendar. It’s filled with 24 mini bags of crunchy pig skin snacks in six different flavors — Pigs in Blankets, Low and Slow BBQ, Maple, Black Pepper, Salt ‘n’ Vinegar and Perfectly Salted. It’s also available on Amazon.
There’s no reason to leave your best four-legged friend out of the Advent calendar tradition either. This one is filled with three different types of rawhide-free chews that are easy to digest and sure to delight, made with real chicken and sweet potatoes. If you want to lavish them with even more affection, get them a pet food delivery subscription for Christmas. Because even dogs don’t want another sweater.
Out of stock
There’s a wide range of chocolate Advent calendars, from the cheap (and waxy) drugstore kind to high-end luxury advent calendar versions that are way beyond any Secret Santa budget. But for a fairly priced option and solid quality too, you can’t go wrong with Godiva. Everyone knows it, everyone loves it and it’s packed into a charmingly illustrated Advent calendar that’ll make you smile even before you fetch your daily piece of creamy chocolate.
Joe & Seph’s Popcorn
The charming snowy Victorian storefront conceals 12 different flavors of popcorn, including salted caramel, toffee apple and cinnamon, banoffee pie, pumpkin spice, double chocolate, tiramisu and gingerbread. And none of them contain artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. But all of them are suitable for vegetarians. If it sells out at World Market, you can order directly from the company in the UK for shipping to the US and Canada.
Craft Advent Box/Etsy
Both Aldi and Costco are selling beer Advent calendars with brews included this year, but if you can’t shop at either store, never fear. This Santa’s Evening Craft Beer Advent calendar ships empty with slots for 24 standard 12-ounce bottles or cans so you can make your own festive DIY Advent calendar mix pack.
Harry & David
Big spenders craving a more traditional chocolate Advent calendar can opt for this one with assorted truffles in milk and dark chocolate with fillings like raspberry, espresso and hazelnut, plus Moose Munch and mini mints. The ornament-bedecked box is sturdy enough to refill next year too.
No Whey! Foods
Chocolate Advent calendars are the most prevalent of the edibles, but, sadly, most of them aren’t vegan-friendly. But this one is — and it’s also gluten-free and allergy-friendly. The vegan chocolates are each adorned with a different holiday design.
For wannabe wizards, this Harry Potter-themed calendar conceals a mix of candies that even muggles will love, including Fizzing Whizbees, Gummy Frogs, Butterscotch Drops and (of course) Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. Cast your summoning charm ASAP because we’re guessing these will sell out before you can say accio!
This bright and cheerful Advent calendar is filled with 24 different festive tea flavors to brew up fresh excitement each day this December. You’ll find blends like Winter Earl Grey, Candy Cane Crush, Gingerbread Blondie and Chocolate Chili Chai in this mix.
If you or your lucky gift recipient prefers java to tea, this compact package holds 24 different craft coffees (ground or whole bean) to jolt you into a jolly mood — but the brand also offers a tea Advent calendar of its own, as well as a hot cocoa advent calendar for those who want to wind down with a cozy cup of chocolate.
So Wrong It’s Nom
Savory advent calendars are fairly rare but this one would be special even if they weren’t — because it’s full of nine varieties of fine cheese (like smoky Applewood British cheddar and herbal Ilchester Derby with sage), all suitable for vegetarians. It will be available at select Target stores, as well as Supervalu, Sprouts, Schnucks, Meijer, Jewel, Lidl and Publix locations starting in November. Prices may vary, but it was $20 last year and should be about the same in 2020. Check back on Oct. 27 for more details.
If you’re a fan of this British brand, it also offers a cozy calendar with 24 different rare teas inside, including classic options like Earl Grey and more unusual offerings such as gin and tonic green tea and apricot, honey and lavender infusion.
If you’re near an Aldi, it’s also bringing back its cult-favorite wine advent calendar for 2020, in stores on Nov. 4. It features a mix of red, white and bubbly in 24 mini bottles. Look out for several other Advent calendars in store this holiday season too, including ones for beer, hard seltzer, chocolate, cheese and both cat and dog treats — you can pretty much check off everyone on your list.
This adorably festive calendar houses 24 different candies (four pieces of each), from apple frogs and pink flamingos to gingerbread cookie bites and edible Christmas trees, and is perfect for the person with a sweet tooth in your life who’s tired of the usual chocolate — if such people actually exist.
This year, wine subscription service Vinebox is offering a Home for the Holidays version of its popular wine advent calendar. It contains 12 glasses of wine (a mix of red and white — and potentially a surprise winter rosé) expertly curated from all over Europe, in a sleek, sophisticated package to boot. Drink one every night (or day) to wind down 2020, or give it as a sure-to-be-appreciated gift this Christmas season.
With 24 adorably petite jars of different limited-edition jams and jellies (plus honey), all of which are free of high fructose corn syrup and totally all-natural, this is perfect for any toast lover on your list this holiday season (or, you know, yourself). There’s a mix of both new and classic flavors, including fig with cardamom, cherry with Christmas spice, lemon and yuzu, and apricot with lavender. This sold out fast last Christmas season, so don’t hesitate if preserves are your jam! It’s also available at World Market right now.
Sur La Table
Open the double doors of this theater-inspired advent calendar to reveal a grand assortment of rich truffles and bonbons from the English chocolatier Charbonnel et Walker, known for their couverture dark chocolate since 1875.
A version of this story originally posted last year, but it’s been updated with new picks for 2020.
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