Waiting and preparing for Christmas can be almost as magical and fun as the holiday itself. The Advent period or the season of preparation which was originally observed in many Western Christian churches emphasizes this tradition - even without the religious content. One of the sweetest - sometimes in the literal sense of the word, too - prop of the season is the Advent calendar. Counting down the days with suspense for the big holiday rewards you with a little surprise for each day of patience in the long, cold month of December. There are many types of advent calendars and you can read more for our break down.
Sweeten the wait
The original Advent calendars many centuries ago held little candles that could be lit for each day or religious pictures, quotes or gifts as surprises. The contemporary traditional pieces, available in every supermarket or even drug store hide delicious pieces of chocolate and other delicatessens behind the tiny windows of the calendar.
Count down, collect and play
But increasingly, the surprises of the Advent countdown come in many different forms. Some substitute little toys for candy behind a few or all of the countdown windows of the calendar. Other toy-based calendars allow children to retrieve and build up a whole thematic toy set during the Advent period: Lego City, Playmobile Post Office, Hello Kitty and more.
Home art of expectations
An Advent calendar can also be a great piece of holiday decoration in your home. As decorative home art, they can be found in a great variety, too: soft, cuddly pillows with little numbered pockets to move a pretty, tiny bell or other holiday object through as the days go by, elegant or funny felt calendars for wall art or beautiful wooden calendars.
Dream up your own Advent calendar
Having an Advent calendar - even if it does not hide expensive or maybe any surprises at all - can be fun: moving the counter from day to day, watching the holiday get closer and closer, talking about the upcoming celebrations can be a special family tradition. Dreaming up and making your very own holiday calendar together with the whole family would make the season shine even brighter.
The options are endless, anything that allows you to track those magical numbers from 1 to 25 will do and you can incorporate any material, motif or favorite holiday (or non-holiday) idea. If you need ideas or inspiration, you can check out some of the links below.
Do-It-Yourself Advent calendar ideas:
Simple Advent calendars for kids (and parents)
Advent Calendar kits for kids and grown-ups
Fabulous, but homemade calendars
Advent calendar pillows
Toy Advent calendars:
Little Pet Shop Advent Calendar (with 3 toys)
Lego Advent Calendars
Playmobil Christmas Calendar
Advent calendars for home decor:
Wooden Advent calendars
Thematic holiday calendars:
A whole list of beautiful and unique Advent calendars