Gift Guide

Eight Advent Calendars for Southerners

Treat yourself or a loved one to a gift that keeps on giving

A gold advent calendar stands on a wood table in a dark room; it has whiskey samples, Glencairn glass, leather coaster, and a tasting journal.

Photo: courtesy of Flaviar

A twenty-four-day advent calendar from Flaviar.

Some people are natural-born gift givers. They know exactly what their loved ones want, down to the last detail. For the rest of us, there’s a century-old tradition that’s picked up steam on social media in recent years: the advent calendar.

The beauty of gifting an advent calendar is that everything in it is a surprise; since no one knows exactly what’s included, there’s really no harm done if not every unboxing is a hit. Plus, the receiver gets to enjoy opening a new little surprise every day (which, let’s be honest, is half the fun). And though they were once limited to chocolate treats for children, advent calendars are now available for pretty much every theme you can think of—including hot sauce, whiskey, farm finds, and other items made by Southerners (or sure to delight one). Here are some of our favorites.

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A pearl necklace, gold hoops, gold hoops with green jewels, gold hoops with pink jewels, and a blue heart-shaped pendant on a light peach background beneath a purple advent calendar box.

Holiday sparkle

Mignonne Gavigan is a jewelry designer based in Charlotte, North Carolina (and a former judge of G&G’s annual Made in the South Awards). Her namesake company’s twelve-day advent calendar features some of her best-selling pieces, plus exclusive new styles. $395

A man pulls out a bourbon sample from an advent calendar box; a journal and a glass are to his right on a wood table.

Christmas spirits

This twenty-four-day advent calendar from Flaviar offers up a new whiskey sample each day—plus a collectible Glencairn glass, leather coaster, and tasting journal with information about each award-winning maker, including Arkansas-based Brother’s Bond Bourbon. $220

An advent calendar in two black boxes with a fan-shaped top numbered 13 to 24; two cups of coffee are under the box. The boxes are black with gold detailing.

Pick a pick-me-up

Another Arkansas company, Onyx Coffee Lab, offers an advent calendar featuring twenty-four bags of twenty-four-ounce coffees, each from a different producer and ranging in flavor and processing methods—perfect for all levels of caffeine connoisseurship. $189

A red box with orange and darker red flames, snowflakes, peppers, and snowmen pictured on it. It has two opened panels and a third revealing a tiny bottle of hot sauce; two other bottles sit on the left.

Feeling hot, hot, hot 

Any flavor fanatic will find use for this twelve-day hot sauce calendar. Blends such as “Zombie Apocalypse” and “Garlic Reaper” (featuring the infamous Carolina Reaper pepper) wait behind closed doors, as do sauces infused with barbecue, horseradish, and curry. $50

A black box with brown detailing, a whiskey sour bottle pops out of one panel and a bottle of aromatic bitters lays on one of the four bottom panels. An orange drink and old-fashioned mixer bottle lay to the left

Perfect pairings

Kentucky distiller Woodford Reserve’s eight-day advent calendar will enhance any bourbon enthusiast’s collection. From chocolate bitters to a spiced cherry old-fashioned cocktail mix, the flavor profiles hidden behind these doors are designed to inspire an array of drinks. $146

A square of chocolates (shaped into smaller squares, numbered 1-25) on a black plate. The plate lays on a red plaid background with greenery.

Truffle shuffle

Chocolate is the classic advent calendar treat, and we’re a fan of this sleek offering from Austin-based Delysia Chocolatier, which features twenty-five days of chocolate truffles. Each piece is created by award-winning chocolatier Nicole Patel and accompanied by online pairing suggestions. $80

A wooden advent box with numbers; some are open to reveal jars of jam and sauces. Various jars of sauce, pickled veggies, and jams lay in the bottom left corner

Farm-fresh favorites

Blackberry Farm’s twenty-four-day advent calendar is filled with some of its most classic farmstead products, including apple butter, smoked onion jam, vinaigrettes, cheeses, and baking mixes. But act fast—this taste of a Smoky Mountains favorite is in limited supply. $395

Barrels of fun

Calling all bourbon enthusiasts—this twelve-day advent calendar offers selections from Kentucky brands like Bulleit and Elijah Craig. Encased in a sturdy wooden box, the mini bottles are a fine addition to any bar cart. $100

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