Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, many are breaking out the Christmas decorations. The first item we always had to find so we could appropriately countdown to Christmas, was our Advent Calendar. We were at my daughter’s home yesterday and she had hers out and ready for the children. A little cousin saw it and asked what was in the drawers of a wooden one she had sitting on the counter. “Nothing yet, on December 1, there will be something to find in there.” she told him. But waiting is so hard.
So where do we get this tradition of the Advent calendar? The German Adventskalender date back to Lutherans in the early 1800s. The early ones kept track of the days by making chalk marks on the door. Run the mark off and make a new number as each day gets closer to Christmas. Some added candles each day to count down the days.
The first commercially produced Advent calendars were available in the early 1900s. Gerhard Lang mass-produced calendars in 1908 as part of the Reichold & Lang printing office in Munich. By the 1930s, they produced over thirty different calendar patterns. https://www.thefactsite.com/history-of-advent-calendars/
The Advent calendar is made so a child can open a window (or drawer or pocket) everyday for the four weeks preceding Christmas to reveal a small prize. It may be a symbol of the Christmas story, candy, or a message. The actual calendar can be made in many styles as long as there are 24 openings to keep the treasures.
I made Christmas Advent Calendars for my children when they were young and now they are grown, I have made them each one to keep for their own families. This one is accompanied with a devotion book that builds to the Christmas story on December 25.
The largest Advent Calendar I found was Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg, Austria. The 24 windows on the front of the palace operate as the Advent countdown during the town’s Christmas market.
As you prepare for the Christmas season, enjoy the blessings along the way.