At first thought, it may seem wantonly extravagant to buy a child an advent calendar that isn't a £2 option from the supermarket.
However, rather than offering an ephemeral, chocolate-based pleasure, the below advent calendars contain treasures that will be played with for months, if not years to come - many of them are reusable year on year.
Here are the most fun, most coveted children's advent calendars on the market.
Harry Potter Hogwarts Advent Calendar, £25
Harry Potter Hogwarts Advent Calendar, £25
Great for a child who loves learning as much they love Harry Potter. It's stocked with erasers, magnets, notebooks, stamps, pencils, gadget decals, a quiz - everything a creative kid needs to create their own little magical world.
LEGO® Harry Potter™ Advent Calendar, £24.99
LEGO® Harry Potter™ Advent Calendar
If you've read or watched the Harry Potter movies with your young one, you'll know how (ahem) magical the scenes set at Christmas are. This LEGO® Harry Potter™ Advent Calendar depicts the lavish gorgeousness of the Yule Ball from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Featuring beloved characters, from Hermione, Ron, Harry, the Patel twins to Cho Chang, and buildable models, so your child can create more elaborate games as the days of December go on. Buy here.
JoJo Maman Bébé Nativity Advent Calendar, £29
JoJo Maman Bébé Nativity Advent Calendar
For those who set up a nativity scene in your house ahead of Christmas, this is a lovely way of turning into an interactive activity for a child. Inside the drawers of this gorgeously decorated, reusable box are 24 figurines from the nativity: Mary, Joseph, the three wise men, shepherds, angels, barnyard animals, a manger. It's a sweet means of bringing the nativity story to life. Buy here
Lego ® Star Wars Advent Calendar, £25
LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2020
What has Star Wars to do with Christmas, you ask? To which the answer is... uh... just a minute...Regardless of the tenuousness of the connection, the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar has been a sell out for the past few years, and if you have a family member that adores the travails of the Jedi against the Dark Side (who doesn't?) this will make them beam for the lead-up to Christmas. Buy here
Jewellery Advent Calendar Made with Crystals from Swarovski ®, £18.99
Jewellery Advent Calendar
Crystals in the run-up to Christmas may seem the height of decadence... but then, the charms in this calendar can be crafted into a bracelet to last the recipient for years to come. Any child that loves creating - and a bit of glam - will be entranced. Buy here
Personalised 24 Sheeps Activity Advent Calendar, £22.95
Personalised 24 Sheeps Activity Advent
If your bub loves Shaun the Sheep, this will make for a heart-warming lead-in to Christmas. Each page of this calendar is personalised with your child's name, in a selection of sheep puns, puzzles, facts, and jokes, featuring the lovable Shaun, Bitzer the Dog and their friends. Good for a challenging, quirky calendar for young'uns who rightfully adore Aardman creations. Buy here
JoJo Maman Bébé Driving home for Christmas Advent Calendar, £25
JoJo Maman Bébé Driving home for Christmas Advent Calendar
This reusable advent calendar is ideal if you hope to establish a Christmas tradition for your wee ones. The front folds down to form a snowy road map, while within the 24 drawers 14 wooden cars and assorted Christmassy figurines (including a penguin, a snowman, and polar bear) are housed. This handsome, sturdy calendar will withstand years of use, and gives small children a scene to play with in the lead up to Christmas. Buy here
Disney Animators' Collection Advent Calendar, £30
Disney Animators' Collection Advent Calendar
Arguably more a present for a nostalgic adult than a child, this collector's edition of iconic Disney figurines will make for festive fun for an animation fan. The Christmas tree shaped calendar contains beloved Disney characters, from Moana, Alice in Wonderland, to Belle, and a handful of Christmas-y accessories. Let the multi-verse play commence! Buy here
Funko Pop! Advent Calendars 2020, prices vary
Funko Advent Calendar 2020
From Harry Potter, to Dragonball Z, to the Nightmare Before Christmas - the Funko Pop themed advent calendars have long since sold out on the high street, so desirable are the cute figurines therein.
However, if you want to achieve superhero status in your child's life, you can track down the 2020 Funko Pop Advent Calendars on eBay. They'll be playing with the toys contained for years to come (or you can resell next year on eBay for a tidy profit... ).
Personalised Treehouse Advent Calendar, £20
Personalised Treehouse Advent Calendar
This is so sweet if you have a special little one in your life you want to send a message to. It's a flat-packed treehouse. Every day your child puts together a different piece, so that by Christmas time they have a resplendent model to play with. When the final treehouse is built, a personalised message you have transcribed will be readable, so the child can see your Christmas wishes. Gorgeous. Buy here
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