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.
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
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
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
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
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
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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