The countdown to Christmas has begun. Revel in the holiday spirit while you tick off the days with one of these Advent calendars. Each is filled with — and in one case, made entirely from — gourmet goodies. Whether you're looking for a splurge or steal, want a refillable heirloom or like to switch things up each year, here are four great Advent calendars to check out.
1. Divine Chococolate Fair Trade
Divine Chocolate's Fair Trade Advent Calendar features illustrator Stephen Waterhouse's vibrant, whimsical depiction of both the nativity story and the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process. Behind each door there's a luscious milk chocolate heart, a fitting symbol of love and goodwill. All of Divine's cocoa comes from the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana, which co-owns the company. Divine pays its farmers a Fair Trade price, along with an additional premium that goes towards community projects including schools, medical services, and clean water. It's also a total steal at $5.99, proof you can do good with even a small investment. Available at Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Independents, or buy online at Serrv.org. Price: $5.99.
2. Eleni's Cookie Advent Calendar
The cookies are the calendar in this clever — and entirely edible — rendition. The 50 cookie collection is comprised of beautifully hand-iced sugar cookies. Half are perfectly rendered calendar squares in Christmas colors, while the other half represent the little holiday trinkets that might lie behind the compartments on a real Advent calendar. The gorgeous calendar is a splurge, but it's also a great solution for two-sibling households, since you get two cookies per day. And for those with allergy concerns, Eleni's is a nut- free bakery. Buy online at elenis.com. Price: $125/50 cookies.
3. Dylan's Candy Bar Gingerbread Advent Calendar
Styled to look like a gingerbread house, this sweet little Advent calendar from Dylan's Candy Bar conceals foil-wrapped milk chocolates behind each of its 24 windows. Buy online at LordandTaylor.com. Price: $10.
4. Dylan's Candy Bar Candy House Advent Calendar
Dylan's Candy Bar has another Advent calendar that falls squarely into the splurge category: it's a cheery wooden house that looks for all the world like it was plucked off a Candy Land gameboard. There's a milk chocolate or toffee square behind each of the first 23 windows, and a deluxe S'mores square behind door number 24 to enjoy on Christmas. Though it's the priciest calendar of the bunch, it's easy to rationalize the splurge — this refillable calendar's decor isn't season-specific, so you could use it throughout the year to count down to birthdays, vacations, and other special events. Buy online at DylansCandyBar.com. Price: $150.