Courtesy of Rocky Luten/Food52
Courtesy of Vosges Chocolate
The advent calendar from Chicago-based Vosges is an homage to the Place des Vosges in Paris.
Countdown the days to Christmas with these Advent calendars filled with chocolate, tea, even beauty products from around the world.
Every year as a kid, I looked forward to my annual chocolate Advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas. Starting December 1, I’d peel back a paper door each day to pop out miniature milk chocolates in the shape of Santa’s face or a tiny bell. (Well, except for the year I was five, when I ate all 24 chocolates in one sitting, unbeknownst to my mom.)
Not only have I grown up—so have my beloved Advent calendars. Today you can mark the days to December 25 with ones filled with high-end chocolate from Paris, beauty products from artisanal skincare brands in upstate New York, and sustainably sourced loose leaf tea from India. I’ve scoured the internet to find something for everyone, including Francophiles, whiskey drinkers, and even lovers of Danish licorice (I know you’re out there).
Best of all, each one can be ordered online and shipped to the United States. Just be sure to place your order ASAP, so it arrives in time to start the countdown on December 1.
Good & Plenty this is not. Inside this Advent calendar by Danish brand Lakrids by Bülow, you’ll find 48 pieces of gourmet candy-coated licorice—two per day—in a variety of flavors like salted caramel, passion fruit, and milk chocolate.
Opened in 1903 in Paris, this popular teahouse brought its famous hot chocolate to the United States when it debuted its first location in New York in late 2020. Now it also offers nationwide shipping of packaged items like its annual Advent calendar, which is illustrated to look like the exterior of its original Rue de Rivoli location. Inside you’ll find 24 chocolates—hazelnut giandujas, dark chocolate pralines, and almonds coated with milk chocolate among them.
Meticulously hand-assembled, this beauty Advent calendar filled with goat milk–based skincare products doubles as a shadow box. With the flick of its on/off switch, you can illuminate the paper cutout silhouette of the Beekman 1802 Mercantile in upstate New York (plus a few of the company’s beloved goats). Inside, you’ll find 24 drawers filled with mini hand creams, lip balms, and soaps.
Founded in 1827 in Paris, Maison Boissier is famous for its classic French confections and its iconic art nouveau packaging. Available exclusively in the U.S. at Food52.com, this Advent calendar takes its design inspiration from those beautiful tins of candy. Behind the daily doors, you’ll reveal treats like dark chocolate pearls, raspberry fruit jellies, caramels, and honey-flavored hard candies.
Pop open each of the 24 boxes in this Advent calendar to find a metal tin filled with enough loose leaf tea for two cuppas. Handpicked in India, the tea varieties include earl grey citrus black tea, turmeric pepper herbal tea, and ginger masala chai tea, to name a few. Beloved by Oprah, Vahdam Teas works directly with tea estates in India to eliminate middlemen and ensure farmers get a fair price. Additionally, Vahdam Teas gives 1 percent of its revenue to the education of its farmers’ children.
Prefer your beverages harder? This whisky Advent calendar from the online spirits club Flaviar will take you on a tour of the world with vials of Limavady Irish Whiskey and Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky, as well as premium whiskies from makers in Japan, Scotland, and Israel. (Despite its name, there are no interstellar distilleries . . . yet.) A Glencairn tasting glass, concrete coaster, and a tasting booklet with details about each whiskey are also included with the Advent calendar.
Though the chocolates are made in the south of France by Le Chocolat des Français, this MoMA-exclusive Advent calendar is all about NYC. British artist Jenny Bowers illustrated the colorful calendar with iconic New York landmarks like the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge all decked out for the holiday season. The 24 chocolates feature 14 different flavors including a praline and a caramelized hazelnut.
Ubiquitous in Denmark, Advent calendar candles are just now starting to catch on and be sold in the United States. Here’s how they work: Each morning leading up to Christmas, Danes light these candles marked with the numbers 1 to 24 and burn off one number each day. This cone-shaped version from Danish brand Erik and Ester comes in red, blue, green, or coral and takes approximately one hour to burn through each number.
Chicago-based Vosges Haut-Chocolat’s tagline is “travel the world through chocolate.” Its 2021 Advent calendar takes you to the woman-owned company’s namesake: the Place des Vosges in Paris. Outside, you’ll find an illustration of one of the beautiful brick buildings on the famed Parisian square. Inside, you’ll open 24 boxes to reveal everything from a peppermint gnome made with fresh peppermint leaves and 72 percent dark chocolate to a Sicilian blood orange truffle and an alderwood smoked salt caramel marshmallow.
If you’re going to treat yourself this holiday season, this Advent calendar filled with 25 scented goodies from French luxury brand Diptyque is a worthy splurge. Behind some of the doors, you’ll find 11 miniature candles in classic Diptyque scents like Feu de Bois (wood fire) and Baies (berries) as well as limited edition holiday scents like Flocon (snowflake). You’ll also discover a selection of eaux de toilettes, a solid perfume, body butter, and three limited-edition metal ornaments. The geode-inspired design of this calendar is so beautiful you’ll want to reuse it after the holidays to store your jewelry and other valuables.
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