Countdown to Christmas: What's new in Advent calendars this year
WASHINGTON (AP) - For lovers of Advent calendars, there are lots of new, fun and unusual ways to count down to Christmas.
Show up for Thanksgiving dinner with one of these — ranging from the inexpensive impulse buy to the splurge — and know that the recipient will be getting daily treats all month long.
SWEETS AND TREATS
Maison Du Chocolat makes a Holiday Ornament Advent Calendar designed to hang on the tree. This stuffed ornament, made in France, is filled with 24 handmade mini-bars, fruity confections, dark chocolate pralines and other chocolate treats. It’s also eco-friendly (100% cardboard, 100% recyclable; $75).
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Bonne Maman, the French company that’s been making famous jams for 50 years, has a new edition of their Advent calendar. The box opens to a pretty winter village scene and features 24 miniature jars of fruit spreads and honey. Flavors include Plum and Pear with Star Anise, Wild Blueberry with Lemon Balm, and Cherry with Hibiscus Flower. ($34.99)
For the Star Wars fan in your life, think about the exclusive Williams-Sonoma Mandalorian candy Advent calendar with classic sweets like chocolate balls and gummy frogs ($39.95).
This holiday season, Paris-based Laduree’s Advent calendar echoes the look of a lunchbox. Each of the 24 windows is filled with a French candy surprise like nougat, chocolates and jelly fruits. Perfect for the Francophile or sophisticated sweet lover in your life. ($65)
Sugarfina’s 2021 calendar is in the guise of Santa’s workshop. It’s a candy lover’s dream, with Parisian pineapples, peach Bellini, birthday cake caramels and matcha bears. ($55)
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Sugarfina also offers a Hanukkah twist on the idea of calendars that open each day to a new treat. Each drawer in their 8 Nights of Delight- Hanukkah Candy Tasting Collection reveals a new kosher-certified candy, and a candle gets its light. Candies include Cold Brew Cordials, Champagne Bubbles and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels, among others. ($24)
Vinebox has created 12 Nights of Wine: Women Winemakers Holiday Edition Boxes. The brand chose European wines made by women, and commissioned two artists to design the 2021 boxes. The limited-edition boxes include four whites, two rosés and six reds, all handpicked by certified sommeliers. ($129)
The Spirit Company has a wide selection of boozy offerings, such as the Bourbon and American Whiskey calendar, the Premium Gin calendar and the Japanese Whiskey calendar. The tastings are bottled in adorable 30-milliliter (about 1-ounce) wax-sealed drams, and the selections range from boutique producers to world-famous brands. (Prices range from $40 to $300.)
A woman has a paper advent calendar at East Pro 2021.
Flaviar’s Whiskies of the Galaxy Advent calendar has a dramatic, cool space theme. The calendar contains a selection of 24 premium whiskies which includes an array of small-batch bourbon, rye, American single malt, as well as whiskies from Japan and Israel, plus some real stars from Scotland and Ireland. It comes with a tasting glass and a booklet with insights about each of the whiskies included. ($250)
COFFEE AND TEA
For the coffee lover, check out the new Bean Box Twelve Mornings of Coffee calendar. Bean Box selected top independent coffee roasters across the country to offer 12 limited-edition holiday blends, and you can choose between whole bean and ground coffee ($68).
Williams-Sonoma offers 24 Days of Coffee, a collection of their signature fair trade compostable coffee capsules so that each day offers the possibility for a holiday espresso. ($39.95)
Open up a new pour-over coffee and creamer every day with Copper Cow’s 12 Days of Pour Over Advent Calendar. The sleek drawers feature seasonal coffee flavors and flavored creamers (including a new mocha one). Salted Caramel, Pumpkin Spice and Cardamom are just a few of the coffee flavors found in the reusable gift box. ($69)
Tea Forte has launched a limited-edition Warming Joy Advent Calendar with 24 pyramid tea infusers, such as Spiced Ginger Plum, Sweet Orange Spiced Tea and African Solstice. A fun way for the tea drinker in your life to play around with some new blends. ($59)
The puppies and kittens can have their own little holiday countdown! There are many products out there, including Purina's two versions for dogs: 12 or 24 days of treats that include chew bones and snacks. ($24.99) For cats, they have the Feastivities Advent Calendar, which houses 24 tins in different flavors so your cat can sample her way through the month. ($24.99)
Sugarwish allows the gift recipient to choose up to 12 just-right treats for their lucky dog. The company also has versions with treats for humans, but the choice of snacks here, from cheesy goldfish to liver lover hearts is tailored for the furry crowd. ($77)
A LITTLE OF EVERYTHING
Finally, supermarket chain Aldi’s deserves a spotlight on its enormous selection of Advent calendars. Favorites from this year include the Barissimo Coffee Advent Calendar, the Beer Advent Calendar ($49.99), the Wine Advent Calendar ($59.99), the Lego Marvel Avengers Advent Calendar ($39.99) and the Warner Brothers Elf Advent Calendar. ($29.99)