One of my favorite holiday traditions growing up was the new advent calendar we’d receive each year. Every year was a different theme, and each day in December we’d open the little door to reveal another element in the beautiful design.

So I was thrilled when I was asked if I’d like to take a look at a very special Advent calendar featuring pets. And behind each little door is a caramel! Yes, please!

They sent me this calendar in exchange for my honest review. The calendar comes in a sturdy box, which opens up to a really sweet holiday design featuring many different pets–dogs, cats, fish, bunnies, guinea pigs, turtles, even gerbils–all of these are pets I have or have had in my life, so I was happy to see them all. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from online retail sales of this calendar benefits NEADS World Class Service Dogs. How cool is that?

McCrea Candies‘ marketing director, Diane Parazin, explains that the theme was chosen to celebrate our bond with pets in this challenging year.  “As we considered the theme of this year’s Advent calendar, we thought about how much our beloved animals had contributed to keeping our spirits up when things felt bleak and scary. It was a small step to creating a piece of art that honors all of the pets who were there for their humans during a year like none other.” The design, ‘a joyful scene of happy animals coming together to celebrate the holidays,” was created by artist Cindy Hendricks, famous for  cards, calendars and other items featuring her lovely scenes of woodland creatures.  I especially like the golden retriever playing the banjo.

Parazin adds, “We, of course, filled it with 24 pieces of our handcrafted, award-winning caramel.” Some of the flavors include Black Lava Sea Salt, Chocolate Peppermint, Cinnamon Clove and Tapped Maple. I, of course, had to sample these caramels before December 1st–for research sake, right? The flavor I randomly chose was labeled Aniestte, which tasted like black licorice, but just the right amount added to the caramel so as not to overwhelm it and still retain the caramel texture and flavor. Well, that went so well, I decided I’d better try another. This time it was a more traditional vanilla. Delicious!

If you’re looking for a special way to count down the days this year, while celebrating the pets in your life, or a special gift for any pet lover, I highly recommend McCrea’s caramel advent calendar.

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Full Disclosure: I was provided 1 caramel advent calendar in exchange for my honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.