This illustration below is from the internet and shows a German Advent Calendar from the early 1900's
The tradition of opening the doors on an Advent Calendar is thought to have begun in Germany in the late C19............so many of our popular Christmas traditions started there...........and one story tells of a boy called Gerhard Lang who, as an adult, remembered his mother making 24 biscuits for him to have one each day through December and that gave him the idea. He started the mass manufacturing of calendars in 1908.
I seem to remember Advent Calendars becoming popular here in the 1960s but just for children and definitely NO chocolate. It's thought that Cadburys produced the first chocolate one in the early 1970s but they took a while to catch on. In the 80's I was the mean Mum who still didn't allow chocolate or Disney type ones into the house. I didn't want the children eating chocolate before breakfast!
We only ever had traditional ones.......... but I've not bothered at all since 2019, because when I did have one I often forgot to open it, so now prefer to spend my money elsewhere. It's one of my small money choices.
Now of course there are Advent calendars with everything you can think of behind the doors and many people enjoy them whatever age they are.
You can have tealight candles, nail varnish, cheese, Lego, make up and many others - in fact you name it and it's there behind a door from 1 to 24. (Even Gin at £73) or for those who have everything what about a Porsche calendar with gifts like gold watches and cufflinks for 1 million dollars!
I used to have a calendar I made when the boys were young. It was just pockets with the date, and I would put two candies in each pocket and that was our Advent Calendar for years.ReplyDelete
The only ones I've had have been gifts, online ones. They tend to break down a bit though, very hard to design I expect. It's still December 1 here, as I write. You must be after midnight by now.ReplyDelete
I schedule my post to publish after midnight sometimes just for funDelete
I never remember a advent calender but my daughter has had a cloth one with pockets. That my grand has now. And I was the mom who let her have a piece of candy before breakfast. As candy was never in our house other than the holidaysReplyDelete
They had chocolate calendars bought with their pocket money as soon as they had some!Delete
We, as a family first saw Advent calendars in Germany when Dad was posted there in 1954. To me they will always be made from cardboard sprinkled with glitter, with little doors opening to a ‘picture’ leading up to the Nativity scene in the last one.ReplyDelete
I can’t imagine buying one filled with all those other things.
That was the sort we had in my childhood too - always a Nativity picture on Christmas DayDelete
What good memories - haven't a clue what ours were like when I was smallDelete
That is the Advent calendar we had too.Delete
As a child, I always had a cardboard one with 24 little windows with pictures behind it. Then, after a long pause, I embroidered on for my husband who´s birthday is on November 29. It shows a house with 24 rooms and has 24 little rings to hang a tiny parcel. It takes a long time to wrap 24 sweets so that they can be hanged on the rings! This year, our sons also gave him advent calenders, on with different coffees and on with all kinds of muesli.ReplyDelete
Advent calendars used to be for children, but now you can really get ones with literally all kinds of things.
Hilde in Germany
They are now just a money making opportunity I thinkDelete
I agree, I preferred to spend my money elsewhere, though I think when the kids were young they each had one. As for mean mummies, I was the mummy who told them instead of paying £2 each for ice creams at the seaside, we would get a tub in Tesco for the same money and it would last all week!! Oh, and who told them they could have two Easter Eggs each if they waited until after Easter when they were half price! I know . . . total Meanie!!ReplyDelete
You were even meaner than me!Delete
As a child, me and my Sister had a traditional one with pictures which we took in turns to open and a few years ago I decided I would like one again so I buy myself one of these now much to my girls amusement! They each have a chocolate one and then my Husbands Aunt, about 15 years ago, made them a fabric one with numbered pockets which we put chocolate coins in.ReplyDelete
We didn't have one for years then I found some lovely ones online but kept forgetting to open it!Delete
At the convent I attended which was Catholic we celebrated Advent by lighting candles to mark each week with appropriate extra prayers which I cannot remember now. I had never heard of an Advent calendar until years after I left school. I have never been able to get my head around chocolate and a religious time and have never bought an Advent calendar for myself.ReplyDelete
I'm not so sure about the really expensive ones - seems all wrongDelete
As a child we shared a traditional one with windows taking it in turns to reveal the picture of the day. As a Mum I didn't really approve of chocolate so I knitted 24 numbered little socks (Jean Greenhow pattern) fastening them to curtain hooks sewn onto a plain green background. I still have the socks, but the background was uravelled and made into a draught excluder when we were in Wales.ReplyDelete
Forgot to say that in the socks there were novelty erasers, pencils and other little gifts that I could find., like a birthday party bag.ReplyDelete
That sounds fun for your children. My lot had to wait for their Christmas stockings for pencils etcDelete
I haven't had one for yearsReplyDelete
I haven't missed having one since 2019Delete
I love the pic of the traditional advent calendar. Like a lot of things the modern approach to advent calendars seems a bit OTT now - spoils it a bit in my humble opinion! But - confession time , I often eye up the chocolate ones in the supermarkets with a little envy!ReplyDelete
Alison in Wales x
There was a frugal tip on TV to wait for after the 1st and they will all be reduced!Delete
I've never bought an advent calendar. The pictures on the German calendar in your post are lovely little illustrations. I guess they have never become part of my Christmas tradition.ReplyDelete
Interesting how different traditions happen in different householdsDelete
I never had one with gifts - just little doors with a picture in each - and that was a long time ago.ReplyDelete
There are dozens out there now with everything you can think ofDelete
This morning the presenter on Smooth Radio was complaining that 'someone' had raided & stolen five chocs from their office Advent Calendar!ReplyDelete
I gave advent calendars to my daughters' families that have little jars of jam or jelly for each day.ReplyDelete
They are available here tooDelete
I remember beautiful colored pictures with silver sparkles behind the doors in the '50s when I was a little girl. Perhaps brought home to the US from business trips to Europe, of which there seemed to be many. Flash forward to the '80s and my kids had them with chocolate, to open after dinner. Most recently there was a super expensive one with woodworking tools from Germany that was a group gift to a retiring colleague with aspirations to expand a wood working hobby. Marketing!ReplyDelete
I'm loving mine already, both the two physical ones with jam and seeds and the online one, with games and things to watch. Growing up we used the same ones year after year, my dad would press the doors shut and put them at the bottom of the Christmas decorations box for the following year which meant the doors were completely flat again. The chocolate ones started being popular when my boys were quite young, and eventually I relented and let them have one each.ReplyDelete
I once took two ordinary buckets and filled them with small wrapped toys, 24 each and gave them to my sister for her sons. They loved them and they spent a great deal of time laying the gifts out to determine what they would open next day. I'd forgotten it. I will do it for my oldest grand daughter next year. I think my grandson is almost too old for it.ReplyDelete
I remember the chocolate ones - sometimes! It was a treat and I think (?) that we had to take turns opening the doors. I splurged and bought a chocolate one. Yum.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure what is happening to my comments! I never had an advent calendar as a child, but you know, I'm going to make a couple next year.ReplyDelete