CIJ - Day 30 Put It on the Calendar

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missjane

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Today, we'll look at Advent Calendars, rather than the Advent Wreath. Whereas the Advent Wreath focuses on the birth of Christ, Advent Calendars can be fun, whimsical, simple, elaborate, religious, related to one of your favorite hobbies or collections...the sky is the limit! Wherever your imagination takes you is what can be used to count the days from December 1st until Christmas.

For many, the celebration and anticipation of Christmas doesn’t start until after the Thanksgiving leftovers are eaten and the frenzy of Black Friday is a memory. Once that happens, the attention turns to getting ready for Christmas - starting the first day of December which ceremoniously includes - an ADVENT CALENDAR. Of course, there are some (like us) who make this preparation all year, but still, who can resist the magic of counting the days until Christmas starting December 1st using an Advent calendar?!

Like many other aspects of modern Christmas practices, the Advent calendar is of German origin. German Protestants marked the days of Advent either by burning a candle for the day or, more simply, marking walls or doors with a line of chalk each day. This practice began during the nineteenth century. Then, a new practice of hanging a devotional image every day led to the creation of the first known handmade, wooden, Advent calendar in 1851. Sometime in the early twentieth century (either 1902 or 1908 depending on who you believe) the first printed calendars appeared, followed by Gerhard Lang’s innovation of adding small doors in the 1920s. Others added short bible verses behind the doors alongside the traditional picture from the 1930s. Cardboard was rationed and with a Nazi ban on printing calendars with images, the calendars disappeared. After the war ended Richard Sellmar of Stuttgart almost miraculously (considering the paper shortages) obtained a permit from the US officials to begin printing and selling them again. His company Sellmar-Verlag, this year celebrating its 70th anniversary, remains one of the most important producers of such calendars.[1] Calendars filled with chocolate began to appear from the late 1950s around the time that they also began to spread around the world. President Eisenhower is sometimes credited with the American popularisation of them having been photographed while opening them with his grandchildren.[2] Today they are a global phenomenon, even seeing a boost in popularity in recent years[3] but at their heart they retain the essence of counting down the days to Weihnachten that began with those simple chalk scratches.

By Alex Wakelam

Edited by: Jane Ellerbe


[1] http://www.sellmer-verlag.de/shop2/index.php

[2] http://www.sellmer-verlag.de/shop2/images/eisenhower.jpg

[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/8173180/Advent-calendar-sales-boom.html

An advent calendar has always been one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I can remember my parents getting my two sisters and myself one with the chocolates. I purchased various chocolate ones for my own children when they were little and now purchase them for my grandsons.

However, the one that takes center stage at our house portrays the progression toward the birth of Christ. I don’t remember where I purchased it, but I’ve had it for many years. Along with the advent ornaments, is a booklet that is read from each day about how that ornament relates to Christmas and the birth of Christ.

An Advent Calendar can be as simple or as elaborate (and expensive) as one wants it to be.

This link has many that can be fun with children:

https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/homemade-advent-calendar-christmas-countdown/

If you’re more into experiences for Advent, here are some ideas that could be fun and simple.

https://www.mothermag.com/experience-advent-calendar/#:~:text=*Make holiday cookies or a,to watch with the kiddos).

Maybe you’re looking for something that isn’t candy…for someone who has a medical condition or allergy that keeps them from eating those candy-laden Advent Calendars.

https://www.roseclearfield.com/non-candy-stocking-stuffers/

If you’re never tried an Advent Calendar, maybe this is the year you'd like to give it a try. It’s one of the best ways to celebrate the anticipation of Christmas each day in December.

Leave your best ideas for an Advent Calendar below – what to put in them, ways to present each “treat,” ideas you've seen and used or just ones you've seen that you really liked.
 

Miss JoDee

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I use a stocking I made each dgd and put in an ornament for them to make. I just started this last year. This year the ornaments are are made from craft sticks. I have been working on the supply list and shopping at home first before going to the store. I was surprised by how much I had here already. I will kit up the ornaments for each stocking and then give a box with supplies like paint, brushes, markers, and glue.

I will have to make sure that I prepare as much as I can for the girls because I found last year Ddil did not assist the girls as much as I thought she would. How I wished they were lived closer so we could do them together.

When my oldest was a toddler I made a printed fabric advent calendar for him. It was a house with various rooms and had a bear that was looking all through the house for Christmas. I would make up stories about what the Bear was saying as we moved it each day. One day while at a yard sale I found a duplicate. When I went to sew and embellish it I found a second one. So all three girls have their dad's plus the 2 I found. Made me happy.
 

Lori K

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I have a chef-friend whose birthday is during the first week of Advent. His wife threw him a surprise birthday party for his 60th last year, and my DD got him a spice and seasoning Advent calendar (on clearance at Williams & Sonoma, since it was a few days after Advent had started; he could play catch-up). Each day included an herb/spice/seasoning mix and recommendation on its use. He absolutely loved it. DD has also gotten an Advent calendar for use in her home, themed for dogs, with a treat behind each door. I may need to get one for my pup, to help him with preparing for the Christmas season.
 
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AnnieClaus

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I love advent calendars!!!!!

Two years ago, I gave my niece, nephews and my best friend's daughter Advent calendars that were little books. Every day they read a little book that all had a Christmas story theme to them. Each book was wrapped so they got to "open it" like a present every day.
One thing I liked about it, it can be used for multiple years and even passed on to another family once the children outgrow them.

I have been noticing all new themes of advent calendars.
A spice theme? That sounds fun!

Annie
 
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halimer

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A woman I knew from the knitting store in Tampa started her own yarn business. Each year she does an advent calendar of yarn and one for the eight nights of Hanukkah, which I always buy.

If you have a fiber person on your list, check out thefiberseed.com.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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I do chocolate advent calendars for the kids. I get them form the supermarket and they have the little window that reveals a little piece of chocolate. Not sure if the kids will ever not want one.

I also do a Countdown to Christmas which are more activity based. I have 25 oval cards attached to a string with little pegs and every day we do the activity. Takes a little planning but we enjoy it. Below is what I am planning for this year.


1 Start advent calendar
2 Donate to a charity
3 Cheese and crackers for dinner
4 Family movie night
5 Decorate the tree
6 Send Christmas cards
7 Sing a carol or two
8 Write to Santa
9 Read a book
10 Bake cookies
11 Homemade pizza night (try a dessert pizza)
12 Nibble on a candy cane
13 Cuddle on the couch
14 Milkshakes for dinner
15 Play a game
16 Drive and see the lights
17 Wrap presents
18 Dinner outside (it's warm here)
19 Listen to music
20 Sit and watch the lights
21 Open Christmas cards
22 Drink hot chocolate
23 Family photo in front of the tree
24 Christmas Eve basket
25 Merry Christmas.
 

jampss

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Well, for years I have a little calendar I hang on the frig ... but I just did a search after reading about spices, dog treats, and yarn ... AND WOW ... we have been boring in this area! LOL I think I have been inspired to get one this year of something new and fun! I even saw one of Five Nights of Freddie ... DS19's video game.
 

missjane

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I have a chef-friend whose birthday is during the first week of Advent. His wife threw him a surprise birthday party for his 60th last year, and my DD got him a spice and seasoning Advent calendar (on clearance at Williams & Sonoma, since it was a few days after Advent had started; he could play catch-up). Each day included an herb/spice/seasoning mix and recommendation on its use. He absolutely loved it. DD has also gotten an Advent calendar for use in her home, themed for dogs, with a treat behind each door. I may need to get one for my pup, to help him with preparing for the Christmas season.
Well, I'm definitely going to have to look for the spice one now! Lol
 

GrammaDeb

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This thread made me smile. I bought those grocery store window advent calendars with chocolates for our kids every year, and then all their kids, and dh & I have one every year too. I think we will never outgrow them. My Dd #1 buys legos advent calendars for her family.