The Best Advent Calendars of 2020

It’s November already—and in a few short weeks the Christmas countdown will truly begin. Advent calendars are a tradition in many UK homes, and the big brands have already launched their 2020 offerings, so now is the time to grab yours before they sell out.

We’ve rounded up the best advent calendars of 2020—of the chocolate and non-chocolate variety—so you can enjoy a treat-filled countdown to Christmas.  If there is any year when we all deserve a daily treat to look forward to – it’s certainly been this one!

Classic chocolate calendars

If you are a chocoholic, then this is the advent calendar for you. Created by the chocolatiers at Hotel Chocolat, the doors open to reveal Christmas Eton Mess, double truffles or a caramel supernova star-shaped treat.

You may even discover a sachet of luxury hot chocolate behind one door, so you can curl up with a steaming mug of liquid indulgence and enjoy a festive film.

For youngsters, Hotel Chocolate also has as £12.50 milk chocolate calendar containing delicious sculptures of Rudolf, penguins and snowmen.  Just try not to open all the doors at once!

Lovers of dark chocolate need look no further than the Divine dark chocolate advent calendar. Its design is a festive riot of gold and red and the little chocolate treats are made with 70% cocoa solids, fairly traded from farmers in Ghana. It’s also suitable for vegans and is palm oil free.

For an extra special Christmas countdown for the little ones of the family, Thorntons have produced a milk chocolate Santa calendar which can be personalised with your child’s name.  The calendar can be purchased online, so if you are currently in an area where there are lockdown restrictions or are shielding, then you can order from your armchair.

Credit: Smyths Toys

Toys galore!

If you’d rather steer away from chocolate, there are a host of advent calendars that contain other treats for your children.  From Harry Potter to Paw Patrol, there is something for all ages.

Teenagers will love this officially licensed Fortnite inspired calendar, containing 24 mini-figures from the smash-hit online video game.

If your child loves arts and crafts, the Christmas Around The World calendar includes 22 mini jigsaws showing how communities across the globe celebrate Christmas. There are also two doors which open to reveal puzzle glue and ribbon, allowing you to stick your completed puzzles together for festive decorations you can hang on the tree year after year!

Abracadabra! This magic-inspired advent calendar conjures up 24 magic tricks that will keep older children entertained—and away from their screens— for hours. With a little practice (step-by-step instructions are included) children will be able to perform an awesome magic show for the family on Christmas day.

Have a beautiful countdown to Christmas

After a difficult year, why not treat yourself to a luxurious advent calendar packed with beauty goodies designed to give you the festive feel-good factor.

The Body Shop has a choice of three advent calendars, starting from £50.  The products behind the doors in the ‘Make It Real’ calendar are worth £79, so it’s a great way to grab some bargain beauty treats as well. The goodies include Strawberry Lip Balm and the fabulous-smelling coconut shower cream—but order yours quickly—last year The Body Shop sold an advent calendar every thirty seconds!

For manicure fans, essie has released their nail polish filled advent calendar which contains a mix of full-sized and mini nail varnishes, cuticle oil and a range of other surprises. As an added bonus, if you purchase the £99 calendar online, you’ll also receive a free essie Mini Bordeaux Dark Red nail varnish, a base coat and gel setting gift set.  It would make a lovely gift for a friend (or you could just keep it for yourself!)

Lush’s 2020 advent calendar contains some amazingly scented products including their famous Dream Cream, plus fizzy bath bombs and shampoo bars. There are also some special seasonal treats which are only available behind the doors of their calendar. All the goodies are 100% vegan and are contained in a recycled chest which you’ll want to keep long after the festive season is over.

For a truly indulgent Christmas countdown, the Harrods Beauty Calendar brings together luxury treats from their Beauty Halls in an elegant grey box.  The contents include fragrances, make-up and skincare products from brands such as Augustinus Bader, Dr Barbara Sturm and Darphin. At £250 it’s the most expensive advent calendar we’ve seen—but it’s worth adding to your Christmas list in case Santa is feeling generous!

Eat, drink and be merry…

We’re looking forward to a season of (responsible) indulgence—and Virgin Wines have come up trumps with a wine-themed advent calendar for a very merry December! There is a choice of red or white wine calendars which contain wines from around the world, including The Black Pig McLaren Vale Shiraz from Australia, and a crisp, citrus inspired Italian Pinot Grigio.

Marks & Spencers are proof that advent calendars are not just for kids! Their 2020 gin advent calendar contains different daily tipples of gin, including sloe, clementine and a seasonal-sounding Edinburgh apple and spice gin liqueur. It’s the perfect way to warm up as the winter nights draw in.

If you’d prefer a non-alcoholic calendar, then Holland and Barrett are stocking a tea-themed alternative. It contains 12 unique flavours of tea with twists on classics and new contemporary flavours—and is a great way to discover a new favourite blend of tea.

Fans of savoury snacks are in for a treat with the Munchkings advent calendar. Packed with 24 foil bags containing smoked almonds, wasabi peanuts and a corn combo mix, this giant A3 sized calendar allows you to indulge in some snacking heaven on the countdown to the Big Day!