We love advent calendars! It doesn’t even matter to us if we open them during the month of December.  In this list you will find our favorite advent calendars and ideas on how to make your own!

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Book Advent Calendars

The following Advent Calendares are large “books” with 24 pockets on the inside.  In each pocket, there is a small book wrapped in festive paper.  We like to guess which story will be next. Although these are technically “Advent Calendars”, they can be enjoyed year-round.  You may want to use it as a countdown to another big day or give the books randomly as little “prizes” or special treats.

Marvel Advent Calendar

We are loving our Marvel Advent Calendar. We read books EVERY night and it gets harder and harder to find books that don’t cost a fortune and that you won’t mind reading over and over.  In this Advent Calendar, you’ll find many of the original stories of Marvel characters.  You’ll also enjoy brand new adventures from your favorite characters, like Hulk, Spiderman, and Captain America.  This calendar is by far Bud’s favorite.


Disney Storybook Collection Advent Calendar

We gave Bud this Disney Storybook Collection Advent Calendar last year for Christmas.  In it you’ll find 24 classic stories.  These are not new, original stories, but they are still fun to read. Just think of all of your favorite Disney stories and it will most likely be represented in this collection.


Disney Storybook Collection Advent Calendar 2020 Edition

This year’s Disney Storybook Collection Advent Calendar brings new stories from your favorite characters.  These original stories are more winter/holiday themed.  We are having fun guessing who will star in the next book we open and reading brand new stories.

Advent Calendars to Enjoy Year-Round

Funko Pop Advent Calendars

Who doesn’t love a Funko Pop of their favorite character?  These Advent Calendars have 24 doors to open with a mini Funko Pop character behind each door.  We all love to guess which character will be next.  We also love playins g with them once we’ve opened them all!

Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar 2019

The Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar from 2019 was our first Funko Pop Advent Calendar.  I am a huge Harry Potter fan (Proud Hufflepuff)! Bud is still a little too young to enjoy all things Harry Potter, but this was a great introduction to some of the characters.  The characters featured are from the Goblet of Fire and are dressed in their Yule Ball atire.  After Christmas, we had many adventures with the mini characters.  We’ve built Mega Block castles and sent our characters to Hogwarts.  We’ve put them on the Hogwart’s Express (anyone else have trains all over your house?).  They have been played with time and time again.  Now, for the serious collectors out there, I know it makes you cringe just thinking about taking the mini figures out of their protective plastic covering…..but we didn’t get these to sit on a shelf 🙂


Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar 2018

We did things a little backwards (which isn’t unusual in our house), and got the 2018 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar this year.  So far, we haven’t been disappointed by the characters we’ve opened!  Doby is my absolute favorite 🙂 There is a good mix of characters, so they don’t seem to be from one particular movie.  I can only imagine the adventures we are going to have this year!


Marvel Funko Pop Advent Calendar

As with the Advent books, the Marvel Funko Pop Advent Calendar is Bud’s favorite.  We didn’t use this as an Advent Calendar at all!  I purchased two of these after Christmas last year with plans to give one to my brother-in-law and one to Bud for Christmas this year.  When the lockdown happened, we were pretty isolated from all of our family.  Bud missed his uncle and we decided we needed a way for them to stay connected.  We gave them both their “Advent” calendars.  Each day they talked on FaceTime and opened their characters together.  It was a great way for them to bond during the craziness of the pandemic.

We have since sent our super heros on many missions!  They are actually in a massive battle as I type this! This is an 80 Year Anniversary Edition and contains some lesser-known characters, but it doesn’t dissapoint in delivering your favorites.

The Best Advent Calendars to Enjoy Year-Round

Next On Our List

I’ve found that the closer it gets to Christmas, the more expensive the Advent Calendars become.  If you don’t want to miss out on an older version of a calendar, then you may want to purchase it when you find it.  However, if you want to take your chances and try to wait out the holiday, then many times you can find better deals after Christmas.  Around September, you will begin seeing the newest versions of Advent Calendars.  Many of them can be pre-ordered.  This is a good time to lock in a price and guarantee you’ll get the one you want.  Here are a few Advent Calendars that I’m watching for next year!



Make Your Own Advent Calendars

I had a hard time finding an Advent Calendar that Goose would like.  There aren’t as many “fun” options for teenage girls.  Last year we gave her a Beauty Advent Calendar from Target.  It was OK, but just nothing she got very excited about.

There are many options to make your own Advent Calendar so you can include whatever you want!  I haven’t made one myself (yet), but there are many examples out there with instructions and suggestions for what to include for each day.  Here is a rundown of my favorites that I’ve pinned for later:

DIY Punch-Out Advent Calendar

DIY Christmas Advent Calendar with paper bags and printable tags

12 DIY Advent Calendars

28 DIY Calendars — Including a history lesson 🙂

DIY Advent Calendar from a Shoe Organizer

DIY Magnetic Advent Calendar with Printables

101 Unique Ideas for Advent Calendar Fillers

After Christmas Sales

Ah!  My favorite time to shop for Christmas!  Just about any store out there has a clearnace event after Christmas.  You have to watch for them, however, because once items are selling for 90% off, then they fly off the shelves and out the doors.  Want to know the best way to keep up with when the best sales begin?  Here is a list of my favorite influencers to follow:

The Krazy Coupon Lady: With her own app and instant, customizable push notifications, you’ll never miss a deal!

One Cute Couponer: Erika is AMAZING! She brings you the best deals as soon as they are available.  Her YouTube videos have taught me so much about couponing and how to find the best bargains. She is present on social media, but my favorite is her Instagram.  She recently began a text messaging community.  When you join, you get the quickest notifications and some of the deals are time sensitive!

The Freebie Guy: If you haven’t heard of The Freebie Guy, you need to follow him immediately.  He has great YouTube videos and Instagram posts showing your the best deals out there!  He also has a lot of great giveaways and shows you how to get tons of freebies! I won a Nintendo Switch after learning from him the best tips for entering instant giveaways.

I am not affiliated with any of these influencers, I just love their commitment to their audiences!


UPDATE: This is my DIY Advent Calendar!  The Advent Calendar box and the scrapbook paper were bought from Hobby Lobby after Christmas for 90% off! So, all together, this project cost about $2.50 and only took about an hour to put together 🙂

DIY Advent Calendar carboard boxes and scrapbook paper

DIY Advent Calendar Supplies

DIY Advent Calendar

DIY Advent Calendar

Now that you have so many options, what are you waiting for?  Get to shopping or DIY-ing or planning for next year!  Make sure you comment below and let me know what your favorite Advent Calendars are and if there are any I need to add to my list!  Merry Christmas!

The Best Advent Calendars to Enjoy Year-Round


  1. Lifebetweenthedishes

    🙂 The Chocolate Advent Calendars are a lot of fun and very tasty. I hope you find some good ones this year!

  2. Adriane

    My kids look forward to their advent calendars with chocolate each December almost as much as they look forward to Christmas.

  3. Lifebetweenthedishes

    You’re welcome, Crystal! I’m glad you enjoyed seeing these Advent Calendars! 🙂

  4. Crystal @ Simply Full of Delight

    Cool! There are so many amazing advent calendars out there! Thanks for the fantastic ideas!

  5. Lifebetweenthedishes

    I love that they can keep being used! Now is the time to look for the sales!

  6. Aparna

    Very nice options and the best part is they can be used all the year round.

  7. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! There are so many varieties to choose from 🙂

  8. Diane Hagerty

    Nice! I didn’t realize Advent calendars had gifts! I only ever had ones with devotions. I love the ones with the little characters!

  9. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! We never knew they existed until a couple of years ago, but we have been hooked on them ever since! I hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas as well 🙂

  10. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Absolutely! I love that they can be used year-round!

  11. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! They are a lot of fun and come in so many different options 🙂 We’ve definitely started a new tradition in our house!

  12. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! My son is just now starting to get into Pokemon, so it is definitely on our list for next year!

  13. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! There are so many to choose from! I never knew there were so many 🙂

  14. Dane Asmone

    This is the first time I am coming across these advent calenders..from where I come from we rarely find products like these..however they seem like an excellent idea for a gift to present for the holidays! Seems fun too…The Harry potter and the Disney series look so cool!
    Thanks for sharing ! and have a safe Christmas!

  15. John

    Great idea! You can use an advent calendar to count down to any holiday or special day.

  16. Ashley

    I love this idea! We just bought our first advent calendar this year! 🙂

  17. Marina Voronkov

    This is awesome! I love all of them. My son wants Pokémon for next year!

  18. Ann Syson

    My husband was just talking about how he has not seen advent calendars in the stores this year. This list is great!! I was wondering if they even existed anymore!

  19. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Len! Happy Holidays and I hope you find great deals after Christmas this year 🙂

  20. Len

    I do the same thing… I buy advent calendar after Christmas at discounted prices. Awesome post. Thanks for sharing!

    Len | http://www.happilythrivingafter.com

  21. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! No sugar rush, too 🙂

  22. Lifebetweenthedishes

    The books are our favorite! I love that we can read them all year 🙂 Definitely lasts longer than candy and without the sugar rush!

  23. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! We love seeing the new ones that come out each year 🙂

  24. Carrie Pankratz

    I love the idea of an advent calendar with books. I have always just done candy.

  25. Kimberly

    Oh wow, I never knew there were so many! I love this.

  26. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! Keep an eye out for the after Christmas sales and you may find one at a really good price!

  27. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! There are so many options, even many for adults…it’s an ageless tradition!

  28. Lifebetweenthedishes

    They are so much fun and there are so many options!

  29. Gabrielle

    These were so cute. I will have to look into for next year

  30. Giangi Townsend

    Wonderful ideas! love the advent calendar even though I have a teenager, he so looks forward to it. Love that we can keep the tradition all year long

  31. Pam

    I have never used one before. But this sounds like so much!!!

  32. Lifebetweenthedishes

    The book ones are a lot of fun and can be used forever! They do have adult-ish calendars with things like coffee, food, and wine!

  33. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Lani! I didn’t realize there were so many options either!

  34. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Katie! There is still time to get an Advent Calendar 🙂 Maybe use one to count down to a birthday or a special event! Watch for those after Christmas sales!!!

  35. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks April! I love the DIY ones, too, especially ones you can reuse every year!

  36. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Megan! There are so many options to choose from!

  37. Vinn

    We haven’t use advent calendars. The book advent calendar sounds good to me. I think it can be fun with colleagues and friends. I definitely agree getting good purchases after Christmas!

  38. Lani

    There are some great suggestions here! Didn’t know so many different ones were available!

  39. Katie

    Love these ideas! I regretted not getting an advent calendar this year for our daughter, I’ll have to get one next year. Thanks!

  40. April

    My favorite is the one that have a DIY. Great ideas and lists! We love to do advent calendar too! This year we bought a Woden house that they can put some candies or thing each day! Thanks for sharing!

  41. Megan

    Brilliant ideas! I’m going to keep these in mind for my girls and nieces.

  42. Lifebetweenthedishes

    I love Disney, too! It’s great buying stuff for my kids that I like as well 😉

  43. Patrice

    The Disney calendar is really cute! Disney characters in general give me a warm feeling. It would be great to have this for myself.

  44. Lifebetweenthedishes

    I love chocolates, too 🙂 But I really like the ones that last a little longer. Keep an eye out for after Christmas clearance sales on the candy ones!

  45. Lifebetweenthedishes

    That sounds like a great family tradition!

  46. Lifebetweenthedishes

    I will have to look for a Halloween one next year! They are so much fun!

  47. Offbeat Escapades

    I love advent calendars! And the ones with chocolates are the best. Thanks for the tips!!

  48. Kat @The Hobbit Hold

    My family never really purchased chocolate advent calendars. My mum got some cute cloth ones to hang up each year. One was a teddy bear that got moved to a new pocket each day, and the other was the story of a mouse looking for Christmas around a room. Each day we moved the mouse pin to a new part of the picture. Somehow, he always found Christmas!

  49. Kimberly

    I absolutely love advent calendars with pops! I’m such a huge collector my husband and I did a Halloween one this year. I didn’t know Harry Potter existed though!! I must have

  50. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks 🙂 We have a lot of fun with them!

  51. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks 🙂 I would like to do one with activities next year!

  52. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Those are fun! Watch for those to go on clearance after Christmas to get a good deal!

  53. Naomi

    We did lots of Advent calendars growing up and I always looked forward to them! Thanks for sharing this roundup.

  54. Stephanie

    Advent calendars are so fun! My kids love the chocolate ones from the store. I really want a tea one!

  55. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Me neither! We’ve gotten hooked 🙂 Happy Counting Down!

  56. Sandra

    Our family loves to do advent calendars. We have done the Harry Potter one and have a Disney one.
    I had no idea there were so many options.


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