Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent Calendars

An advent calendar is a card or poster with twenty-four small doors, one to be opened each day from December 1 until Christmas Eve. Each door conceals a picture. This popular tradition arose in Germany in the late 1800s and soon spread throughout Europe and North America. Originally, the images in Advent calendars were derived from the Hebrew Bible.

Considered a fun way of counting down the days until Christmas, many Advent calendars today have no religious content.

Read more: Advent: Dates, Traditions, and History —

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My Advent calendar is a little cupboard full of drawers. I know you are probably getting tired of hearing this after all my recycled furniture stories that I have been telling you, but this little cupboard also came from the much-loved Swap Shop in our old New Hampshire town. It has brought delight to many, many children, as I used to take it to school with me every year so the kids could take out one ornament a day and place them on our little library tree. There were always plenty of helpers available to take the tree down, carefully wrap each tiny ornament in bubble wrap, and find the right drawer to place it in. 

The cupboard with the doors closed

With the cupboard doors open, the 24 little drawers are revealed.
Here are the ornaments for the first three days of December, ready to hang on a little tree

Detail of the drawers
The Advent tradition continues each year at our adobe house here in southern New Mexico. I've always wished that I could thank the person who left this little cupboard at the Swap Shop (where the sign over the door says "Take It or Leave It") with all the ornaments wrapped so carefully. It has brought joy to many.

If you would like to see a very different sort of Advent calendar, you can bookmark the site for the 2011 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar, which features beautiful (beyond beautiful, actually) photo stories of Hubble images of the wonders of our universe; one for each day of December. 

For a traditional religious Advent calendar, with daily "reading, meditation and prayers based around Mary's journey to Bethlehem, from her meeting with the Angel to the first Christmas in Bethlehem," see Advent 2011, with an introduction to the calendar here.


Ms. Becky said...

I've never had an advent calendar but I feel now that for the first time I do. thanks for sharing this Clair. what a treasure to have found that and share it with so many. happy weekend to you.

Sage said...

I like recyled furniture and anything else that is recyled. I have lots. So glad you told me Sarah was busy the other day. She needs the sales. And thanks for being one of her best customers.

Anonymous said...

Ah - what a delightful calendar!

Linda said...

The best kind of Advent calendar. Next best is wee traditional images. Chocolate calendars are banned in our house!