For many years we created an advent calendar on our website. As the website moved the Advent Calendars stayed behind. So if you want to see the previous calendars, check out these links.
Advent 2013: http://www.backyardpatch2.mysite.com/custom3_2.html
Advent 2014: http://www.backyardpatch2.mysite.com/custom_17.html
Beginning tomorrow, November 29, we will be posting each day a recipe, gift idea, craft activity or or other idea for the holidays. You can make gifts at home, try out some decorating tips and more as the days progress to the holiday. We will sometimes also guide you to our regular blog site or other places were we are sharing even more Holiday ideas.
The History of Advent Calendars
There are many types of calendars used in different countries. The most common ones in the UK and USA are made of paper or card with 24 or 25 little windows on. A window is opened on every day in December and a Christmas picture is displayed underneath.
In the 19th Century, German protestant Christians counted down to Christmas by marking 24 chalk lines on a door and rubbing one off every day in December.
Paper calendars were first popular in Germany in the early 1900s, although people made their own from the 1850s. There's a debate about exactly where and when the first mass produced calendar was printed but it was in the first decade of the 1900s. The most famous and popular early maker of printed Advent calendars was a German printer called Gerhard Lang. His first calendars consisted of two sheets, a 'back' piece of card with the numbers 1 to 24 printed on it and a separate sheet of pictures which you could cut out and stick onto the numbers each day. The first calendars with 'doors' were made in Germany in the 1920s. During World War II, the production of Advent calendars in Europe stopped due to a shortage of cardboard.
When they were first made, scenes from the Christmas Story and other Christmas images were used, such as snowmen and robins, but now many calendars are made in the themes of toys, television programs and sports clubs. The first record of an Advent calendar, in the UK, was in 1956.
The first calendar with chocolate in it was made in 1958; and in the UK Cadbury's made their first chocolate calendar in 1971. However, they didn't sell very many to start with. Chocolate calendars really only became popular in the 1980s.
Some European countries such as Germany use a wreath of fir with 24 bags or boxes hanging from it. In each box or bag there is a little present for each day. Pinterest is covered with great ideas for making Advent countdown decorations. So if you like this idea of celebrating each day as Christmas approaches, please come back each day for new items.