The best alternative advent calendars in the UK, and where to buy them


Every year our countdown to Christmas always begins when the first advent calendars hit the high street. These glorious rectangles of cardboard filled with chocolate have long been traditional in many families to bring a little delight to each morning of December while you count down the days to the most magical time of year. 

However in recent years, advent calendars have become more than just chocolate, meaning even adults can get in on the action of counting down through the festivities. The UK has seen its fair share of exciting alternative advent calendars pop up by different retailers and brands, and thanks to forward2me you can buy alternative advent calendars in the UK and ship them worldwide using our UK parcel forwarding service. 

If you want to find out more about how we make this possible, check out our how it works page or sign up for your personalised forward2me address.

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to alternative advent calendars for 2020 for you to get excited about, whether it's for you or for your kids. Discover the extensive collection below!

Beauty Advent Calendars 2020











For those of you who are into your beauty brands, the rise of alternative advent calendars can help you make some large savings on your most loved beauty products. With some brands stuffing their calendars with full sized products but charging a considerable less for the whole calendar, beauty advent calendars are the perfect way to get your hands on top products at a discount price or try out a new collection without needing to splash out completely.

ASOS Beauty Advent Calendar

The well loved advent calendar returns from ASOS, this time it’s even better than ever. Their 24 Day Face + Body Advent Calendar is jam packed with all of the beauty products of your hearts desires. With 13 full sized products, some from big names including Clinique, MAC and Too Faced, this beauty advent calendar is a steal at £75. 

ASOS haven’t just thought of female beauty care this year either! They’ve also released a 12 day grooming advent calendar containing eight full-sized and four travel sized products for a mix of skin, body and hair care to cover mens grooming needs. Featuring a Harry Truman Razor, Johnny's Chop Shop Wild Cat Hair Clay and L'Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Shower Gel, for £35, this advent calendar is well worth checking out. Shop the ASOS Grooming 12 Day Advent Calendar on their website.

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Advent Calendar

For those of you who like to splash out on luxury beauty products, Charlotte Tilbury's Advent Calendar Bejewelled Chest of Beauty Treasures could be the perfect advent calendar for you. This £150 advent calendar comes with the full collection of staple make-up pieces from Charlotte Tilbury’s collection, including her Magic Cream and her Pillow Talk Lipstick, to give you a complete holiday look in one fabulous case. Pick up yours from the Charlotte Tilbury website today.

Lush Beauty Advent Calendar

Looking to add an explosion of colour to your Christmas countdown? Look no further than the Lush Beauty advent calendar. The packaging was created by London based designer Sally Kelly and features a magical night time garden theme that pops with contrasting fluorescent coloured numbers. Inside you'll find a Candy Cane Bubble Bar, Coconut Snow Body lotion, Yog Nog Shower Gel, and a Snow Fairy shampoo bar, to name a few products, which all add to the magic of the calendar. Pick up yours from the Lush website today for £185.

Net-A-Porter's 2020 Beauty Advent Calendar

If you’re looking to get the most value from your Christmas countdown calendars, Net-A-Porter's 2020 Beauty Advent Calendar is certainly the one for you! Containing 13 full-size and 12 travel size products which normally retail for £1,120, this fabulous advent calendar gives you all these beauty treats for just £240. For this you’ll get cult products including a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick, Hourglass Ambient Bronzer, Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream, Dr Barbara Strum's Hyaluronic Acid and 111 Skin's Vitamin C Brightening Booster.

By using a forward2me address you could save even more! Find out how you could save 20% tax when buying from the UK and shipping outside the EU with our tax free warehouse.

Body Shop Beauty Advent Calendars 

A staple in the beauty advent calendar world, Body Shop have outdone themselves in 2020 by releasing 3 beautiful calendars to keep you pampered throughout the holiday season. Focused around giving you moments of stress relief, each calendar contains at least 24 joyful products – from bestselling minis to full-size favourites, as well as some feel good ideas and tips, to make the countdown to the big day extra special and thoughtful.

Whether you’re looking to surprise a loved one or pick up an extra special treat for yourself, be sure to check out Body Shops collection below: 

Make It Real Together Advent Calendar - £50

Make It Real Together Big Advent Calendar - £70

Make It Real Together Ultimate Advent Calendar - £130

Lego Advent Calendars 2020

Looking for an advent calendar to keep the kids creativity flowing, or maybe you’re a toy collector of famous franchises? The Lego advent calendars could be for you! The idea of opening a mini buildable toy every day for 24 days on the run up to Christmas can only bring a sense of excitement that Lego can instil in people. 

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite Lego advent calendars for the 2020 holiday season with links to where you can purchase them below.

Lego Harry Potter Advent Calendar 

Add a little extra magic to an already magical time of year with Lego’s Harry Potter Advent Calendar. Behind each of the 24 doors is a different toy or figure from the Harry Potter series, including mini figures of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. As the big day gets closer, kids can recreate increasingly larger Hogwarts holiday scenes – including the amazing Yule Ball! Let their imaginations run wild in the Wizarding World this Christmas. You can pick up the set for £24.99 from Amazon or Smyths Toys in the UK and have them delivered to your door in time for Christmas.

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 

Let your little ones explore a galaxy far far away this Christmas with the Lego Star Wars advent calendar. This 311-piece building set features some well loved characters with a little extra festive cheer, including Darth Vader in a Christmas jumper and Tauntaun with a red nose. There are also 12 mini build toys including the Millennium Falcon, an A-wing, TIE Fighter, X-wing, Droid Control Ship, Anakin’s Podracer and Darth Vader’s Castle to spark kids’ imaginations in the run-up to Christmas.

What’s more, this set comes with a code to unlock Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga game content so you are getting hours of playable content long after Christmas is over, all for £24.99. Pick up yours from the Lego store directly or Amazon today.

Lego City Advent Calendar

Create a truly festive scene and let your kids build their own Christmassy adventures with the LEGO City Advent Calendar. The set contains 24 mini festive builds inspired by other popular LEGO City sets, most notably a Christmas tree, Santa’s sleigh, and 6 LEGO City Adventures TV series minifigures, including Chief Wheeler in a Santa costume. Topped off with a snowy city playmat, this really is the festive gift that keeps on giving for imaginative kids aged 5 and up. You can purchase the Lego City Advent Calendar for £20 from Amazon in the UK.

Lego Friends Advent Calendar 

Transport your kids to a world of fun, friendship and adventures with the girls from Heartlake City in the Lego Friends Advent Calendar. The calendar is filled with super-cute Christmas characters, all of which belong to three themes: Emma’s room, Santa’s toy workshop and a winter wonderland. With a new buildable surprise behind each door, make the countdown to Christmas that little more special. Let their imaginations run wild with this festive set which you can order from Smyths Toy Store or Amazon today for £20.

To shop the full range of Lego advent calendars in the UK, there are a few places you can see the whole collection including AmazonSmyths Toy Store and The Lego Store

Playmobil Advent Calendars

For the younger creatives out there, Playmobil have released a collection of advent calendars in various themes, suitable for those 4 years and upwards. Whether your little ones are into farm life, being a princess at their own ball or battling dragons, Playmobil will have an advent calendar to suit all types of imaginative play. However, read on for our four festive favourites.

Playmobil Stunt Show Advent Calendar

Put on an epic stunt show this Christmas with the Playmobil Stunt Show advent calendar. Over 24 days reveal a complete stunt show with truck, go-kart and motorcycle for adventurous stunts. With playful details such as flaming trash cans and mechanics bench, these buildable sets will provide your little one with endless hours of fun even after Christmas has gone by. Pick up yours from the Playmobil store for £49.99 today!

Playmobil Back to the Future Advent Calendar 

Travel through time with the amazing Back to the Future Advent Calendar by Playmobil. Recreate favourite scenes from the movies with mini figures of Marty McFly, Jennifer Parker and Doc Brown with a backdrop of the iconic town square scene created by the box the toys come in. Kids and adults alike can enjoy 24 days of time travelling entertainment while waiting for the big day to arrive! Grab this 97 piece set from the Playmobil store for £29.99 today.

Playmobil Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar

If you’re looking for a truly festive countdown to Christmas, look no further than Playmobil’s Santa's Workshop advent calendar. Help the elves get all of the presents ready for Christmas with this cute Christmas scene including reindeer, Santa Claus and presents. Complete with a light up lantern, this advent calendar is sure to bring festive joy to any child's Christmas countdown. For only £19.99, the Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar can be purchased directly from the Playmobil store.

Playmobil Christmas Toy Store Advent Calendar

Alternatively, join Santa Claus and the Snowman on a festive shopping trip with the Christmas Toy Store Advent Calendar. Behind each door for 24 days, build up the festive shopping scene to provide your youngsters with hours of holiday fun. Much like Playmobil Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar, the Christmas Toy Store Advent Calendar can be purchased directly from the Playmobil store for £19.99.

If you’re looking for something a little different, it might be worth checking out Amazon’s collection of Playmobil Advent Calendars as it seems they are stocking previous years calendars on their website for various prices.

Gin Advent Calendars

Looking for something a little more ‘adult’ to get you through the 2020 Christmas season? Have no fear, we have rounded up some of the best gin advent calendars for 2020 that are sure to delight any gin lover. With the rise in popularity of gin over the last few years it's no surprise that so many brands are creating their own advent calendars, but which ones are worth it? Read on to find out our favourites. 

Add some sparkle to your festive countdown with the The Premium Pink Gin advent calendar. Packed full of quality pink gins including Beefeater Pink Strawberry Flavoured Gin, Tiptree English Raspberry Gin Liqueur and Greenall's Wild Berry Gin, this calendar is perfect for those fruity gin lovers. Retailing at £44.99, you can get yours today from The Bottle Club.

Another tantalizing selection from The Bottle Club is their 12 Gins of Christmas advent calendar. This glorious advent calendar is filled with some of the most iconic and out-of-this-world gins from some of the biggest names in the industry. Enjoy miniature favourites from Hendrick’s, Beefeater and Gordon’s for just £39.99. 

If you’re looking for more of a variety selection of gins, with everything from new discoveries to old favourites and some award-winning expressions, The Premium Gin Advent Calendar by Master of Malt should hit the spot. This really is a luxury treat for yourself or loved ones with a price tag of £84.95 but with gin names such as Moonshot, Wildcat and Scapegrace, and a year like 2020 has been, it’s definitely worth the treat.

None surprisingly, Amazon is also a great place to find a variety of gin advent calendars in time for the countdown to December. Whether you're looking for a Bauble Gift Set to hang your Lakes Distillery gin from the tree (RRP £30) or a more simple decorative advent calendar full of much-loved and reputable brands (RRP £84) you can’t go wrong with a purchase from Amazon. 

Cheese Advent Calendars 

For those of you who are lactose intolerant this might not be the advent calendar for you, however since the craze started in 2015, cheese advent calendars have become more and more popular. Filled with different tiny cheeses for you to unwrap each day, these cheese advent calendars add an explosion of flavour to your Christmas countdown.

This Ilchester Cheese Advent Calendar, stocked in Asda for £8, comes with 8 different varieties of cheeses including a Wensleydale and Gingerbread cheese and a Mexicana cheese to spice up your cheesy countdown. Perfect pairing with crackers and wine.

Another favourite is the Merry Cheesemas advent calendar sold through Amazon for £39.99. Inside you will find 24 wax truckle cheeses in 8 different speciality flavours. Have you ever tried charcoal or Sunday roast flavoured cheese? Now you can with this beautifully presented advent calendar! 

Yankee Candle Advent Calendars 

Everyone loves the sight of a beautifully burning candle, especially a Yankee Candle that often gives an extra bit of sparkle in any home. With such an extensive array of scents to choose from, you’ll be sure to find one that suits every mood. To get you in the Christmas spirit though, Yankee Candle has released a collection of advent calendars that allow you to sample a different scent every day. 

The Yankee Candle Book Advent Calendar is perfect for those bookworms in your life who like to cosy up with a scented candle and a good book. Every day reveals a Votive Candle or Scented Tea Light in a festive fragrance, including Singing Carols, Holiday Hearth and Surprise Snowfall, that burns for up to 15 hours. Also included is a Votive Holder to house all of your new candles, all for £39.99.

This simple yet elegant Yankee Candle Advent Calendar comes with 23 adorable tea lights with high quality fragrances that bring memories to life and make the perfect gift this Christmas. Pick yours up from Boots for only £24.99.

Finally, countdown to Christmas with this Classic Wreath Advent Calendar. It’s a beautiful alpine inspired design and features 24 individual doors with a Tea Light Candle behind - all of which are a selection of new and best loved festive fragrances, which include; Singing Carols, Snowflake Cookie, Christmas Magic, Christmas Cookie, Holiday Hearth, Surprise Snowfall, Cinnamon Stick and Vanilla French Toast. There’s also a Tea Light holder included too, all for £32.99 from Amazon.

Other Buying Guides 

Starting to shop for loved ones Christmas presents but not sure where to go for the best discounts or advice? We’ve put together a collection of guides to help you make your purchase decisions this Christmas that little bit easier. So whether you’re looking for the latest 2020 tech, including the latest iPhone 12 and gaming consoles, or the best places to shop online in the UK, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also done a full round up of the best sites to give you discounts and vouchers for your Christmas shopping too, to give you even more savings this year.

Check out our guide on how to get the most out of your forward2me account to ensure you aren’t missing out on these great savings!