Saturday, December 1, 2007

Countdown to Christmas...Day 1

Welcome to my first annual countdown to Christmas! Every day from December 1st - December 24th I will be posting about the Christmas holiday. Look for Christmas recipes, pictures, indie gift ideas, contests, and much more!

Advent is known as the season of Christmas. Many people countdown the days to Christmas using an Advent calendar. The origins of the Advent calendar come from German Lutherans who would count the days leading to Christmas physically, usually by drawing a line of chalk on the door each day. Some families had more elaborate rituals that would entail lighting a candle or hanging a religious figure each day. The first known Advent calendar was handmade in 1851. Gerhard Lang, a Swabian parishioner, is known for commercializing the tradition of the Advent calendar. Lang was a printer in Munich who in 1908 made 24 colored pictures that could be affixed to a piece of cardboard. He eventually introduced the well known 24 day calendar with little doors. Over the years he designed over 30 different calendars before going out of business in the 1930's. During World War II the practice of Advent calendars disappeared in an effort to conserve paper. After the war, Richard Sellmer of Stuttgart resurrected the calendars and is responsible for its popularity today. His company, Richard Sellmer Verlag, is still producing calendars today. Today's calendar is made up of two pieces of cardboard on top of each other. The calendar contains 24 doors. A door is opened each day from December 1st - December 24th. Each compartment can show a part of the Nativity story or some can be filled with a piece of chocolate or sweet behind each door. There are several variations of the Advent calendar available. The German city of Dresden has a giant calendar built into a castle at it's Christmas market, Streizelmarkt. Check out some of these unique Advent calendars from Etsy crafters:

This Advent calendar by greatcraftdisaster is made of fabric shoes using vintage style fabrics, very cute and unique!!

I love this Advent calendar stocking design by ohsosassy. It contains 24 pockets for candy or other little gifts and is a great way to count down the holiday. I love the colorful Christmas fabrics!

This Advent calendar by millyandeve features 24 tiny handmade gift boxes. Each box is unique and different!

1 comment:

Mimi said...

I love the Advent calendar stocking!