There is definitely something exciting about Advent calendars. For me, this was the first example of a little treat. I would be done with a hard day at age 8 and come home to open a cardboard door and eat powdered chocolate. As an adult, spending just a moment each day with a small treat or special gift can help you stop feeling overwhelmed by all the tree trimming and gift wrapping, enough so that you can start to enjoy the ride.
Advent calendars are cooler now than they ever were when I was a kid, and their contents are no longer limited to novelty Santa-shaped chocolates. I painstakingly tore apart several cardboard doors to discover the best Advent calendars. My favorites are below. Even if you start looking at your calendar after December 1, don’t worry; many Advent calendars only last 12 days. Besides, who needs rules? Just double your treats if you start late!
Special offer for Gear readers: Get WIRED for Just $5 ($25 Off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com, comprehensive Gear coverage, and subscriber-only newsletters. Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.