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Top 10 Best Christmas Advent Calendars for 2016

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Advent means coming, or arrival, and the Advent season celebrates the birth of Jesus, the arrival of Christmas and the season of love, compassion and caring. An Advent calendar is filled with surprise and adventure, where each day reveals a little bit of magic. Whether you’re looking for one for your toddler or older children or you’re buying one to reignite your own excitement for Christmas, Advent calendars will quickly become one of your favorite Christmas decorations to be treasured along with those precious “first Christmas” ornaments. With 24 hidden doors or pockets for chocolates or treats, small notes or other Christmas gifts, an Advent calendar is a wonderful way to create Christmas traditions that you can keep, year after year.

Because Advent is higlighted by anticipation, expectation and longing, an Advent calendar is the perfect way to share so many important stories, memories and lessons that make the Christmas season real for you and your family. If you choose an Advent calendar filled with crayons, you can inspire your kids’ creativity and thoughtfulness about the holidays. If you choose a Santa-themed Advent calendar, it’s a great opportunity to reinforce lessons of kindness toward others. Globally themed Advent calendars highlight peace on Earth and goodwill toward all people. Nativity Advent calendars tell of the miracle of Christ’s birth.

Advent calendars are also wonderful, and often affordable, Christmas gift ideas for friends and family. And whether you choose a paper Advent calendar that’s only good for this year, or a wooden or fabric Advent calendar that can come out for all the Christmas seasons to come, each offers a fun way to countdown those days leading up to Christmas. They create a journey that makes the season real. So slip on your best ugly Christmas sweater to get into the spirit of the season, and get shopping for the Top 10 Best Christmas Advent Calendars for 2016, because Advent is almost here.


Best Advent Calendars for Little Kids


1. Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar

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(Melissa & Doug)

Melissa & Doug wooden creations are a worldwide favorite of kids and kids at heart. Their festive, Christmas tree-shaped, wooden Advent calendar is an extra special creation because it becomes part of a beloved holiday tradition with your kids. The painted tree with sparkling accents stands in a sturdy wooden base that doubles as a box to hold the adorable ornament decorations. Each ornament is decorated differently in holiday patterns and Christmas themes. Your kids can take turns choosing a special one each day leading up to Christmas morning. This cool art piece helps to promote and reinforce many developmental skills as children grow from year to year. You can use the numbers on the tree to help young children learn to count both forwards and backwards. You can also play games with your kids using the ornaments to help develop color recognition and memory skills. This special Advent calendar helps kids build both patience and anticipation for the upcoming holiday celebration. On Christmas morning, treat your younger kids to a Melissa & Doug Santa’s Sleigh Chunky Puzzle. If you’ve got a toddler, the Melissa & Doug Snowman Stacker would be a wonderful gift.

If you’re interested in more of the wonderful Melissa & Doug wooden toys, you’ll find many right here.

Price: $17.33 (13 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar here.

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2. Fisher-Price Thomas the Train Minis Advent Calendar

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(Fisher Price)

Christmas on the Island of Sodor is the most festive time of all, and now children can celebrate the holiday with this special Thomas the Train Minis-themed Advent Calendar. There’s a different “minis gift” inside every door, including six exclusive minis with holiday-themed decorations. Your kids will love counting the days to Christmas and receiving a special gift for each day. This fun Advent calendar features 24 Thomas & Friends adorable minis characters in brilliantly colored designs to cherish and enjoy in the days leading up to Christmas, and all the days afterward. Fisher Price has also has a Little People Advent Calendar if your tots are into those.

Fisher Price toys are cherished by kids of all ages. To find more Fisher Price Christmas gift ideas, look here.

Price: $32.28 (19 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Fisher-Price Thomas the Train Minis Advent Calendar here.

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3. Crayola Christmas Countdown Activity Advent Calendar

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(Crayola)

There’s no better way to keep the kids from going a little bit Christmas crazy than to keep their minds and hands busy. You can help them celebrate the holiday season creatively with the Crayola Christmas Countdown Activity Advent Calendar. Inspired by traditional Advent calendars, this 24-day calendar is filled with surprises. It offers kids a unique, artistic way to prepare for Christmas. Each day on the calendar features a different craft or coloring project, giving kids a positive way to channel their abundant holiday enthusiasm. With tree ornaments, finger puppets, handmade gifts, and more, this kit also helps kids create their own lasting keepsakes that they can display on the tree or in their room for many Christmases to come. Keep the artistic inspiration going during the rest of the year with a Crayola Inspiration Art Case filled with crayons, pencils, washable markers and more. If you’ve got littler kids this Christmas, you can keep their small hands busy with the Crayola My First Finger Painting Kit.

Crayola is the first name in artistic expression for kids. Find more fun Crayola kits and art supplies here.

Price: $21.99

Buy the Crayola Christmas Countdown Activity Advent Calendar here.

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Best Wooden Advent Calendars


4. Byers’ Choice Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

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(Byers’ Choice)

Kids of all ages will love this beautifully made wooden Christmas tree Advent calendar. It is thoughtfully designed with 24 numbered doors, behind which many delightful small surprises can be hidden. Each day leading up to Christmas becomes a treasure hunt for tiny toys, treats and other delights that you can change from year to year. This beautiful Christmas keepsake comes in sturdy box for storage after the holidays. It’s made of high quality wood which makes this Advent calendar durable enough to last for many Christmases to come. Because this does contain many small pieces, it isn’t suitable for children under three years of age. There are many more styles of wooden Advent calendars from Christmas houses to Santa’s house.

Price: $77.35

Buy the Byers’ Choice Christmas Tree Advent Calendar here.

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5. Kurt Adler Wooden Nativity Advent Calendar

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(Kurt Adler)

The nativity is a precious scene at the holidays, and this beautiful wooden Advent calendar by Kurt Adler allows children to design their own nativity during the 24 days leading up to Christmas. Kids can be creative and use their imaginations with this beautiful set that includes magnetic animals and people that can be hidden behind each of the nativity’s 24 doors. In addition, there is room to hide some small candy coins, notes from Santa and other surprises of your choice. Made out of natural wood, this nativity is painted in the beautiful color of the nighttime sky. Kurt Adler has designed lots of beautiful Christmas decorations for your tree and every room in your home.

If you’re specifically in search of nativity themed Advent calendars, you’ll find lots of options here.

Price: $69.99

Buy the Kurt Adler Wooden Nativity Advent Calendar here.

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6. Green Wooden Advent Calendar from Primitives by Kathy

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(Primitives by Kathy)

This adorable wooden box style Advent calendar from Primitives by Kathy gives you the opportunity to build years of Christmas memories for your family. Made of sturdy wood, with a beautiful primitive green paint finish, this Advent calendar perfectly captures the spirit of the season. The vintage theme means it will match perfectly with all different kinds of holiday decor. Your kids will love all the individual compartments with doors, which are big enough to hold candy, small ornaments, tiny toys or other special treasures. You can count on watching their faces light up as they count down the days until Christmas. This sweet Advent calendar features two wall mounting hooks enabling you to hang it on a wall or door, or you can stand it upright on any flat surface.

Find more fun Advent calendars and Christmas decor from Primitives by Kathy right here.

Price: $69.95

Buy the Green Wooden Advent Calendar from Primitives by Kathy here.

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7. Lighted Santa’s Wooden Workshop Advent Calendar

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(Amazon)

This adorable wooden Advent calendar is a piece destined to become an enchanting family heirloom that you’ll be excited to bring out every Christmas. Inside the workshop are Santa, his sleigh, elves, a fireplace, furniture, presents and more. Beneath Santa’s workshop are 24 numbered drawers for the 24 days before Christmas. You might fill them with small gifts, or more untraditional surprises each year. As your kids grow, the selection can evolve to suit their ages. Just flip the switch on the back and the workshop lights up with LED lights. For a different take on Santa’s workshop, check out this animated advent calendar.

Price: $74.99

Buy the Lighted Santa’s Wooden Workshop Advent Calendar here.

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Best Fabric Advent Calendars


8. Tidings of Joy Fabric Advent Calendar

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(Vermont Christmas Company)

This beautifully crafted fabric advent calendar comes with velcro-affixed stuffed figures that are removed from the pockets each day leading up to Christmas and added to the nativity scene. The final Nativity beautifully depicts the birth of Jesus as the Star of Bethlehem guides your family closer to the holy day. You might also choose to include a piece of Christmas candy or tiny tree ornament in each pocket for twice the enjoyment. The high quality craftsmanship of this holiday treasure ensures this calendar can be used year after year.

Price: $36.94

Buy the Tidings of Joy Fabric Advent Calendar here.

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9. Peace on Earth Fabric Advent Calendar

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(Kubla Crafts)

This beautifully crafted advent calendar brings with it the message of love and acceptance of all the peoples of the world. Little angels from all over the planet are used to celebrate and count down the days toward Christmas. Each day becomes and adventure of acceptance, an opportunity for learning and a way to build conversation about our global community and love of others. The velcro-affixed stuffed figures are removed from the pockets and added to the scene each day of advent, promoting peace on earth and good will towards all people. Add to your family conversation about diversity with some toys and games that promote understanding at this wonderful time of year.

Price: $31.19 (29 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Peace on Earth Fabric Advent Calendar here.

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10. Noah’s Ark Fabric Advent Calendar

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(Kubla Crafts)

Add to your Christmas story telling time with this fun Noah’s Ark advent calendar. As you count down to Christmas, the animals, two by two, are revealed hiding in the fabric pockets. It’s a fun way to share another bible story with your children, and a great way to talk about all the different animals and trees on the earth. Each velcro-backed animal fits on the ark, and as the days move closer to Christmas, Noah and his wife save the animals from the floods. There are many books about Noah’s Ark that are age appropriate so it’s easy to pick one to share with your kids through the season, or could create the advent calendar and reading time as a nightly ritual throughout the month. This advent calendar would be a super sweet Christmas gift for a family with a new baby, especially if you included a soft Noah’s Ark baby blanket.

Price: $29.95

Buy the Noah’s Ark Fabric Advent Calendar here.

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Looking for more great holiday gifts? We can help you find an awesome Christmas present for your husband, or the most perfect first Christmas ornament. Visit our Gifts page for thoughtfully curated gift guides, or check out our Toys page for gift ideas for your kids.”


Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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