The tradition of the advent calendar, counting down the days to Christmas, is a cherished part of the holiday season for many. Whether it’s a simple paper calendar with windows or an elaborate set of daily gifts or activities, advent calendars can heighten the anticipation and joy leading up to Christmas Day. Here’s how to make the most of this delightful holiday tradition.
The History of Advent Calendars
Advent calendars have their roots in 19th-century Germany, where Lutherans would mark doors or walls with chalk to count down the days until Christmas. The first known printed advent calendar was created in the early 1900s. Today, these calendars have evolved into various forms, from traditional paper calendars with chocolate treats to more elaborate, themed boxes.
Choosing Your Advent Calendar
The key to enjoying an advent calendar is selecting one that suits your interests or lifestyle. Here are a few ideas:
- Traditional Chocolate Calendars: Perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
- Toy-Based Calendars: Ideal for children, with options like LEGO or Playmobil.
- Beauty Advent Calendars: Great for those who love cosmetics and skincare.
- DIY Calendars: Personalize your countdown with homemade calendars or fill-your-own calendars.
Making the Most of Your Advent Calendar
- Integrate It Into Your Routine: Make opening your advent calendar a part of your daily holiday routine. Perhaps first thing in the morning or as a sweet ending to your day.
- Create a Festive Atmosphere: When you open your calendar, take a moment to enjoy the holiday ambiance. Maybe light a candle or play some soft Christmas music.
- Involve Family and Friends: If your calendar contains items that can be shared, involve your family or housemates. This could be a communal treat, a shared activity, or a fun game.
- Pair with an Activity: For example, if you have a chocolate advent calendar, pair it with a nightly reading of a holiday story or a quick Christmas craft.
- Use as a Decorative Element: Many advent calendars are beautifully designed and can be used as part of your holiday decor. Display it in a prominent place to add to your home’s festive feel.
- Reflect on the Season: Use the daily ritual of the advent calendar to pause and reflect on the holiday season, what it means to you, and the joy of anticipation.
- Document the Countdown: Consider taking a photo each day as you open your calendar and create a mini holiday album or social media post series.
DIY Advent Calendar Ideas
If you prefer a more personalized touch, creating your own advent calendar can be a fun holiday project. Here are some ideas:
- Photo Advent Calendar: Fill each day with a family photo from past holidays.
- Activity-Based Calendar: Plan a small holiday activity for each day, like baking cookies, writing a letter to Santa, or watching a holiday movie.
- Gratitude Calendar: Write down something you’re grateful for each day as a way to reflect on the year’s blessings.
Advent calendars are more than just a countdown; they are a way to savor the anticipation of the holiday season. Whether store-bought or handmade, sophisticated or simple, they can be a source of daily joy and a wonderful way to build up to the excitement of Christmas Day. So choose a calendar that speaks to you and make each day of advent a special part of your holiday celebration.