For those who celebrate, the only thing better than Christmas is, perhaps, the lead up to Christmas. The decorating, the bûches de Noël, the vin chaud and chocolat chaud. And, for children, one of the best parts of this grand procession leading up to the big day is the Advent calendar, which, if one is lucky, might be filled with little pieces of cheap, chalky chocolate that taste enthralling because of the day-by-day excitement of it all. Well, you don’t have to settle for that cheap stuff anymore. Instead, this year, get one of these very adult Advent calendars, all filled with French goodies to make you or a loved one feel pampered while battling through holiday shopping madness and dinner prep with the inlaws.
Buying beauty products for someone else can be a sensitive subject, since you can never know another’s skin as well as they do. But a little sampler can be just the solution for when you want to make someone feel completely spoiled without investing in something they won’t use. (Even if that someone is you!) That’s why L’Occitane offers a selection of Advent calendars filled with their famous French beauty products, like hand creams, body lotions, soaps, serums, and creams. There are three options: The Classic Advent Calendar for $80, The Premium Advent Calendar for $140, and The Conscious Selection Advent Calendar for $92.
For more makeup options, check out the Lancome Beauty Advent Calendar at $92. Designed to open up to reveal a miniature Eiffel Tower, the beauty products are tucked away in little houses meant to be Parisian apartment buildings. Lipsticks, blushes, mascara, primer, and more will help you count down the days to Christmas Eve.
For a mixture of beauty and makeup products, the Clarins 24-Day Advent Calendar is a treasure trove of high-end beauty products for $121. Mascara, lip oil, and hand and nail cream are just a few of the items you’ll uncover in this modest box set.
Can you imagine anything cuter than waking up every morning to a tiny jar of Bonne Maman jam, like you’re staying at a tiny mouse’s bed & breakfast in a Christmas Hallmark movie? I thought not. Order the Bonne Maman Advent Calendar for $39.99 to try 23 kinds of limited edition jams (and 1 honey) like Chestnut & Orange with Spices, Pear with Cocoa Nibs, Strawberry with Star Anise, and Apple with Caramel & Cinnamon.
Some people call it soup season, but others prefer a different form of life-giving liquid coziness: tea. If you have a friend who starts every day with a warm cuppa, get them a Kusmi Tea Organic Advent Calendar for $52.10. Designed to look like a Grand Hotel, this calendar contains 20 tea bags and 2 miniature tea tins of various flavors of white, green, and black tea, as well as a tea spoon and infuser.
Looking for a more luxe tea experience? Get the Noël Over the Rainbow Advent Calendar from Mariage Frères, the authority on high-quality, high-class French tea. Each of the twenty-five muslin bags of fresh tea varieties will be sure to add a little spark of comfort and joy for $85.
Palais des Thés
For a slightly more affordable tea option, you can turn to the Palais des Thés’ 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar for $36. A combination of caffeinated and herbal teas awaits, including a limited edition holiday tea called Le Thé Féerique.
Angelina, the Parisian teahouse famous for its decadent hot chocolate, will, of course, be offering a stunning Advent Calendar designed to look like its iconic rue de Rivoli location. Behind each window you’ll find a delicious chocolate from their confectionary collection, for $59 per calendar.
La Maison du Chocolat
Everyone knows that unwrapping presents is half the fun of getting them, the anticipation of what a bow or a charming wrapping paper might conceal. Such is the charm of the La Maison du Chocolat Advent Calendar at $72, whose daily surprises are tucked away in miniature gift boxes. Enjoy the surprise of finding out whether the day brings a chocolate praliné or a fruit-filled chocolate treat.
Ladurée might be best known for their macarons, but there’s not a macaron in existence that would still taste good after 24 days. Luckily, the French pastry house is very, very good at making a lot of other treats. For $90, their Céleste Advent Calendar contains delicacies like calissons in unusual flavors (rose and pistachio), Pyrenean flower honey, chocolate fritures, and black nougat, all set against a background of snow and stars.
Catherine Rickman is a writer and professional francophile who has lived in Paris, New York, and Berlin. She is currently somewhere in Brooklyn with a fork in one hand and a pen in the other, and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @catrickman.