The Advent Calendar – a Christmas Tradition
By Lynn Blamires Content Writer for My Local Utah
No other days of the year pass as slowly as the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas for a child. Among the many Christmas traditions that exist in families to deal with children who can’t wait for that magical day is the Advent Calendar.
Advent is a Latin word that means “coming” or “arrival.” While advent can be used to anticipate the countdown to any event, Christmas is the most commonly associated event where the days leading up to it are counted.
After saying that, as a boy growing up in Oklahoma, I remember an advertising campaign on the radio that was counting down the days to “J Day.” I will admit that I was somewhat caught up in the frenzy. Nobody knew what was going to happen, but everyone knew about J Day. When I learned that it was the introduction of Jax Beer, I knew that I had been played. All that hype for a bottle of beer.
When Did It All Begin?
Going back in history, the Advent calendar had its beginning in Germany. Gerhard Lang is generally lauded as the producer of the first printed Advent calendar in the early 1900’s. His mother had made one for him as a child that had 24 colored pictures attached to a piece of cardboard. He modified his by covering each picture with a door that was opened to reveal the hidden picture. They were a huge success until World War II created a shortage of cardboard. After the war, they came back strong as a family tradition.
Coming to America
Advent calendars came to America in the 1950’s when many newspapers carried a picture of President Eisenhower opening the doors on an Advent calendar with his grandchildren. Today they are a favorite tradition in families everywhere.
The Expensive Ones
Creativity knows no bounds when it comes to Advent calendars on the market. The pricier ones include the million-dollar Porsche Design calendar that features sunglasses made of 18 carat yellow gold, writing tools, cufflinks and a 28 foot motor yacht. While the yacht won’t fit in the calendar, they will deliver it to the port of your choice.
The Chronext Watch Calendar tips the dollar scale at 3.6 million offering renowned watches – one for every day leading up to Christmas. Timepieces from the likes of Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and A. Lange & Söhne are included.
Also in the three million dollar category is a calendar that sparkles with 81 carats of diamond brilliance. Jewelry designed by famous jewelry designer Biegel Schmuck design from Frankfurt am Main.
The Biggest Ones
One of the world’s largest Advent calendars was built in London’s St. Pancras station. It was just under 233 feet high and just over 75 feet wide. Another is the Advent Calendar House in the quaint little town of Gengenbach located in the storybook Black Forest of Germany. The town hall is transformed into a giant calendar with 24 windows each decorated with a festive Christmas scene. A new window is revealed every night until Christmas.
Among the more reasonably priced calendars are a variety of fun designs that will delight people of all ages. They are all available for sale, but you can view them and come up with your own ideas. Go to www.goodhousekeeping.com and search for 45 Christmas Advent Calendars to Make Your 2021 Holiday Season Merry and Bright.
Here are some of the 45 offerings from this website:
- A cookie calendar with a variety to sample each day
- A fizzy bath bomb calendar that allows you to escape the busy season with a calming soak each night.
- Godiva has a Gourmet Chocolate calendar for your sweet tooth
- If beer is your thing, the 24 Beers of Cheer just might make your Christmas
- The Disney Storybook calendar comes with 24 quick and easy reads, intended for ages 3+, but parents will enjoy them all the same
- A jerky calendar features 24 flavors of jerky from wild to mild
- A Barbie calendar with 24 accessories to dress Barbie will delight a girl in your family
- The Charm calendar has a bracelet with a charm to add for each day
- A calendar of nail polishes will brighten a young lady for 24 days
- A dinosaur calendar will bring joy to a young boy with a different one every day
- The calendar for couples gives inspiration for different activities that you can enjoy as couple, making for a very fun and romantic December
- There is a coloring book calendar for a child to color their way to Christmas
- Not to leave out furry family members, there is a calendar for the dog with doggy treats
- To get you going in the morning, there is a coffee calendar with 24 blends
- With all the varieties of tea, a tea calendar is also in the mix
Make Your Own Advent Celebration
As November came to a close, our family gathered together to make our own Advent calendars. A cloth banner sewn with strings attached has been sewn together designed to hang with strings to tie on fun-size candy bars. We each tied our own, selecting which candy bars to attach.
All families have their own traditions. It is supposed to be a joyous season and a time for family to gather and enjoy old traditions while making new ones. Celebrating the season by counting down the days to Christmas offers a variety of choices to commemorate each day with your family in your own special way.