Advent Calendar


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Advent Calendar

Advent calendars help children count the days between the beginning of Advent and Christmas. By furnishing a treat for each day of Advent, these one-page calendars help curb the impatience of countless children in many countries who long for the arrival of Christmas Day. The history of the Advent calendar is uncertain, although some writers believe that it was invented in Germany around the turn of the twentieth century.

Advent calendars may take many forms, but each offers a playful method for checking off the days between December first and twenty-fifth. In the United States one often finds the calendars printed onto double layers of paperboard (for a list of entries treating Americanhistory and customs, see United States of America, Christmas in). A Christmas scene with the numbers one through twenty-five incorporated into the design decorates the surface of the calendar. Perforations around the numbers allow children to fold back or remove a number each day, revealing the tiny images printed on the bottom layer below. These images generally depict a Christmas or Advent theme.

Some calendars attach chocolates or other sweets behind the foldback dates on the calendar. In Germany cardboard houses may serve as the basis for homemade Advent calendars. Behind doors and windows children find edible goodies. Creative German crafters may even use matchboxes or walnut shells as devices for marking off the days of Advent and delivering tiny treats to children. The less inventive may press regular wall calendars into service by gluing candy, pictures, or verses to each of the December days before Christmas. Finally, in recent years one can find a variety of interactive Advent calendars posted on the World Wide Web.

Further Reading

Del Re, Gerard, and Patricia Del Re. The Christmas Almanack. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1979. Russ, Jennifer M. German Festivals and Customs. London, England: Oswald Wolff, 1982. Thompson, Sue Ellen, ed. Holiday Symbols. Detroit, Mich.: Omnigraphics, 1998.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's still August, just, but the eco-brand has revealed its advent calendar, handmade in the UK from recycled materials.
A beer advent calendar contains a mixture of bottles and cans while the wine offering has 24 quarter-bottles of specially selected red, white and rose wines from brands including Founders Stone, Waters Edge, Orario and Quartetto.
Now, whether you're a fan of a Bounty or not - you'd be hard pushed to ignore the deal B&M have on at the moment, with the Celebrations advent calendar available in store for just 20p!
"Anyone who decides to do the advent calendar for us doesn't have to worry about getting the food to us before Christmas as it will help us to replenish our shelves after Christmas when we are running low."
You can also buy a Thorntons Snowman Advent calendar, or a Santa Claus version, for [pounds sterling]1.
Twitter user George Dredge said: "Run down the stairs to open my Celebrations advent calendar full of excitement and festive cheer.
Mars Incorporated - the company which makes Celebrations - has come under fire from Twitter users for its advent calendar after the divisive coconut chocolate (often the last to be left in the tubs of chocolates) was under the first door.
Merry Pringles 12 Days Advent Calendar, Amazon, PS19.99
GIN fans are snapping up advent calendars that give a shot a day and cost up to PS120.
Now the charity has launched its 25-day reverse advent calendar to make sure it can continue their work throughout the winter.