What is Advent?
The four Sundays and Weeks before Christmas is the period that Christians observe as Advent. It is a period of spiritual preparation to mark the birth of Jesus and is also the beginning of a new Christian year. Sometimes it is observed from the 1st day of December until Christmas Eve - 24th December or Christmas day - 25th of December. This year 2022, the start of Advent is November 27th.
What is an Advent Calendar?
A card or poster with 24 small ‘doors’ - one to be opened each day, right up until Christmas eve. Traditionally each ‘door’ of the Advent Calendars concealed a symbol, picture, or text from the scriptures (Bible). Doing so each day is a fun way for the family to get together and build up the excitement and fervour for Christmas Day. Advent Calendars varies and there are several types used in different countries. The best part of advent calendars is that they are reusable and each year the ‘doors’ can be filled with different surprises and goodies.
- The largest advent calendar in the world was put up at the St Pancras train station, in London, in the year 2007. It was part of the renovation and reopening of the station and was a magnificent piece - 71meters (232.94 feet) tall and 23meters (75.46 feet) in width!
- The most exorbitant advent calendar ever was made in 2010 in Belgium by some jewellers. It contained 24 glass tubes filled with diamonds and silver - the estimated value of this calendar was about USD3.3 million.
Advent Calendar Types
There is a range of advent calendars available in the market - to suit customer preferences. There are ones with Santa, other Christmas themes, devotional ones with text from the Bible, fun ones aimed at kids, and some aimed at adults, there are also food and drink specific, tea advent calendars and candy-filled ones, and there are even advent calendars for pets. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of advent calendars:
- Devotions for Everyday
These advent calendars contain verses from the Bible, prayers and hymns - to be read and sung each day. They could also contain sermons from Jesus or versions of the Christmas story in parts to last over the four weeks of advent.
- Chocolaty Goodness and Candy Fun
These are favourites with kids and adults - the excitement of revealing a different and delicious treat each day is definitely something that all age groups enjoy. Is it your turn yet?
- Tea Lovers Delight
If you are a tea lover (or not), the exotic and exquisite blends of tea bags you find each day behind each door are a one-of-a-kind treat! High-quality teas that are designed to tingle the palate and offer a range of health benefits are a great way to kick-start the holiday season. They feel like a warm hug that soothes the inside too! These tea advent calendars make truly exotic gifts too - load up for yourself and for those you love.
- For the Love of Liqueur
This one is for adults and those adults who love ‘spirits. From small-sized bottles of wine and beer to chocolates filled with liqueur - these advent calendars are sure to excite and raise ‘spirits. Each night would bring a different surprise and end the day on a ‘high’ note.
- Toys Are the Best
Kids (and some adults who are kids at heart!) love toys, and the market is flooded with all kinds of toys that kids hanker after. Legos, petite dolls, action figures, toy cars, and other such popular toys make for great insertions into advent calendars. Gift one each to kids in the home and to kids of your friends and relatives - you sure will be the popular adult this year!
- Games and Puzzles
Add learning and fun to advent, with these activity-based fun items. Word search puzzles, mad libs, games, brainteasers, and other fun but challenging games and puzzles. These make great gifts too and are fun things to do for the entire day - race to finish each one the same day, to start a fresh one the next day.
- For the Family’s Furry Babies
Yes, most pet owners call their pets their babies and would hate to leave them out during this happy and fun time. Advent calendars specially for pets therefore are a great way to give your pet a new toy or treat every day and include them in all the fun.
There are several more types of advent calendars such as those that are chosen for their aesthetic appeal and the innovative surprise behind each door. Some calendars also include scenes of the nativity or the arrival of the three wise men to greet baby Jesus - take your pick from the many types in the market. Whatever you choose, advent calendars are an inextricable part of the build-up to Christmas, and will surely put you in a festive spirit and mood. Advent calendars make great yet inexpensive gifts for Christmas. Have you bought yours yet? Happy Advent and Holiday Season to you!
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