The countdown to Christmas is upon us, and the advent calendar market is as saturated as ever, featuring licensed characters, luxe home decor, traditional treats, and even a sprinkle of controversy. Despite this abundance of options, CivicScience data show the number of Americans who are tracking the days with the help of an advent calendar could be shrinking since Christmas past. So, who’s still participating and what are they opening to get in the holiday spirit? 

When asked to look fondly at the past, over one-quarter of respondents reported that advent calendars were part of their annual holiday traditions when they were younger. 

However, there seems to be a notable drop in present interest, with just slightly more than one-fifth of respondents getting in on the action this year. There is also some close continuity between those who didn’t grow up with advent calendars and those who have never tried them at all.

When comparing past and present engagement with this activity, respondents who experienced advent calendars during childhood are more than four times as likely to be keeping the tradition alive today. One could speculate that the barrier to entry for potential advent calendar purchasers is past experience rather than selection.

For those who are participating, food and wine calendars are the preferred option, followed closely by decor. 

Will advent calendars ever gain traction with those who are new to the experience as the market expands its options to suit every type, taste, and interest? Or will those with a rich tradition of opening them annually be enough to keep the activity alive? CivicScience can only speak to Christmas past and the present, but we’ll continue to give the gift of data and insights as these trends unfold.