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Best advent calendars 2023


Written byAmy Talbot

H&B Recommends Advent Calendars
Whether you're choosing for yourself or a loved one, or seeking inspiration for homemade calendars, find our best advent calendars for 2023 from this guide.
It’s a cold, dark, December morning and you’ve just stumbled out of bed… then you remember you’ve got a little gift waiting for you in your advent calendar!

We can’t think of a better way to start the run-up to the big day.

Whether you’re a beauty guru, a gym worshipper, or a hot drinks enthusiast – discover our favourite advent calendars, plus 6 of the best advent calendar ideas to treat yourself or a loved one to this Christmas.

The history of advent calendars

Advent calendars first came about in the 19th century - but they weren’t filled with chocolates back then!

People originally marked the days with a chalk line on a wall or door.¹

Then, at the beginning of the 20th century, German-born Gerhard Lang produced a calendar closer to one we’d recognise. His original design had the festive scenes and paper doors we still use today. But – after rationing during WWII – he was forced to close his business.²

After the war, we began to see advent calendars en masse. It wasn’t until 1958 that chocolate first appeared in our calendars – and it didn’t take off as quickly as you’d think!

Cadbury produced chocolate calendars on and off during the 1970s and 1980s, but it wasn’t until 1993 that they became the yearly tradition they are today.

4 of the best vegan advent calendars

1. Nomo Creamy Chocolate Advent Calendar

Gone are the days when vegans had to go without an advent calendar.

This chocolate advent calendar from Nomo contains 24 creamy chocolate drops for a luxurious addition to your day.

The best accompaniment to a Christmas cuppa or a festive-flavoured coffee, you can start your day off with a slice of luxury with this advent calendar.

Key features: 
  • Suitable for people with milk, egg, gluten and nut allergies 
  • 24 delicious chocolate treats
How much does the Nomo Choc Advent Calendar cost? 

This deluxe vegan chocolate advent calendar costs £5

2. Wizards Vegan Magic Chocolate Advent Calendar

The Wizards Magic Chocolate is for those of you who want to be astonished by the chocolate you eat. This is why they've created a sugar-free, plant-based, dairy-free chocolate advent! Whether you're seeking a delightful gift for a loved one or a personal treat for a moment of indulgence, Wizard's Chocolate is the ultimate choice. 

You’ll find 24 chocolates to get you in the Christmas mood.

Key features: 
  • 0% Sugar 
  • 2p per calendar is donated to Merlin's Magic Wand Children's Charity

How much does the Wizards Vegan Magic Advent Calendar cost?

You’ll get 24 days of chocolates for £7.50

3. 25 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar

Worth over £175, this is a fabulously decadent way to countdown to Christmas! Whether you are looking to spoil the beauty lover in your life, or are on the hunt for a little treat for yourself, you can’t go wrong with this advent calendar. Stuffed with skin, body, and self-care products to get you prepped for whatever the festive season throws at you!

25 windows, for a surprise every day, including Christmas morning.

Key features: 
  • 16 full-sized beauty products, and 9 minis 

  • Products worth over £179 – that’s over 75% off!

How much does the 25 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar cost?

You’ll get £179 worth of products for the bargain price of £45 – don’t mind if I do!

Best homemade advent calendar ideas 2023

We all love to start a cold December day with chocolate, but many people are turning to advent calendars as a more personal affair – or even a substitute for one big present on Christmas Day.

The great news is that you can make an advent calendar as personal as you like, as well as stick to your own budget. 

There’s so much fun you can have with a homemade advent calendar! Here are a few ideas to get you thinking: 

Homemade self-care advent calendar

For a beauty lover, there’d be nothing more exciting than revealing a new beauty product to try out each morning This could make a wonderfully creative main present for someone who’s too eager to wait for the big day!

Self-care is so personal, so make sure you know exactly what they’d like. You could mix some of the following to make a personalised advent calendar that suits them: 
  • Nail polishes 
  • Mini perfumes 
  • Lipsticks or lip balms 
  • Travel-sized skincare products (serums & moisturisers) 
  • Individual eyeshadows

Homemade food and drink advent calendar

Chocolate advent calendars have stuck around for a reason! But there’s no reason you can’t use your favourite chocs instead.

Try choosing a few packs of individually wrapped sweets and save one for each day in December. And who knows – you might even allow yourself a bigger treat on Christmas Eve.

Or maybe you’d prefer to switch things up? Satisfy the savoury fan in your life with crisps and nuts or pop an assorted flavoured teabag behind each door.

Homemade advent calendar for men

Want to surprise a man in your life with an advent calendar?

Maybe they’ve got some favourites: 
  • Drinks 
  • Grooming products 
  • Mini colognes 
  • Collectors’ items (like cards or minifigures) 
  • Gym snacks or energy boosters

that are small enough to go behind each door.

Homemade advent calendar for kids

It’s a pretty safe bet that your child will enjoy a chocolate advent calendar.

But if you’re looking to do something a little different this year, there are all kinds of fun themes to follow.

Could you base your kids’ advent calendar on their favourite film, book, or animal? • Small toys (like cars, figurines, sensory toys, or toy animals) 
  • Stickers 
  • Snacks 
  • Accessories (like hairbands, earrings, or socks) 
  • Stationery
If you’d prefer not to accumulate “stuff” (or you’d rather spend your money on a main Christmas present), you could fill their advent calendar with notes containing jokes, challenges, or “IOUs” of fun family activities.

The final say

It goes without saying that advent calendars are such a fun part of the run-up to Christmas.

So, make sure that you and your loved ones don’t miss out this year - pick them up the perfect festive treat or make your own today!

Looking for more gift ideas? Have a read of these articles for some more inspo: 

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