Holiday countdown with advent calendars
December 2, 2002 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Advent Calendars are those paper cards with 25 doors that you open for each day leading up to Christmas. Though they began as a religious custom, many today are just for fun, and they've made their way online. They can be created by web designers, design firms or illustrators to display their talent, by newspapers or hand-drawn by a 7 year old Norwegian kid. They can have a theme like a holiday cookie recipe, a Bengal cat, a perl script, an international custom, a charity or a not safe for work nude babe of the day. They can even tell a story as in the charming Tate the Cat. Download a template to modify your own. Have you spotted any good ones in your web travels?
posted by madamjujujive (25 comments total)
not on the web, but I was just in a pet-shop and found advent calenders for your cat or dog, filled with kitty-candy and dog bisquits behind each door. funny.
posted by dabitch at 9:51 AM on December 2, 2002

we have a couple of these at home. i was just telling my girlfriend about this the other day. we've got one where you open the doors, one for every day. there's another we have, and i think i like this more, where you have 25 figures with velcro upon their backs stuck to a felt calendar. for every day, you take the figure of that day and place him on a felt tree. when christmas day comes, all of the figures will be as ornaments on the tree.
posted by moz at 10:01 AM on December 2, 2002

Can't find a link (as I'm at work and shouldn't really visit certain sites), but I was in London a few weeks ago and the British edition of Maxim had an Advent calendar included with the December issue; scratch off the silver stuff to reveal a different babe each day.
posted by Vidiot at 10:02 AM on December 2, 2002

I used to have one as a kid - it was basically just a long ribbon of white felt with red yarn bows on it - Mom would tie little candy-canes with the bows so I got to have one each day leading up to Christmas. I've been asking her to dig it out of her closet and mail it to me cuz I want to put it up in my apartment but she keeps forgetting.
posted by dnash at 10:07 AM on December 2, 2002

I love the online versions. Thanks for the link madamjujujive.
posted by ginz at 10:30 AM on December 2, 2002

That "nude babe of the day" one is gonna get yanked (no pun intended) faster than anyone can say, eh, nude babe of the day. has pretty clear guidelines. Just sayin'.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:45 AM on December 2, 2002

I was clicking on all the wrong numbers there for
a second, thinking 'nude babe, what nude babe'?
And then--snowflakes keep fallin' on my babe...
Makes me glad I'm not working.
posted by y2karl at 10:50 AM on December 2, 2002

My grandmother made one for me that was a picture of a house where you can see into all of the rooms, like in a dollhouse. At the bottom, it tells where the child looks for her Christmas presents each day, and you're supposed to pin a little fabric mouse girl to that spot, and then move her to the next place the next day. On the 25th, she gets a clue and actually looks under the Christmas tree.

I took serious issue with the fact that this mouse girl was too stupid to look under the frickin' tree in the first place.

I had more fun pinning the rest of her family in silly poses.
posted by katieinshoes at 11:09 AM on December 2, 2002

i always liked this flash one.

i believe it was posted here a year or 2 ago.
posted by goddam at 11:16 AM on December 2, 2002

I would like to remind everyone that it's very poor form to open the doors before their dates, ok?
posted by gravelshoes at 11:37 AM on December 2, 2002

Okay, here's one: KiSS Doll Advent Calendar.

KiSS dolls are generally dolls that you can drag and drop clothes onto, although today's is a very cool build-your-own-snowman.

You have to download a free KiSS viewer from Otakuworld in order to see it - don't try opening it up with WinZip or nothing will happen.

I feel compelled to add for purposes of non-self-linking that of the 3000+ dolls available (by subscription) on Otakuworld that I have contributed two. I don't have any connection at all with the advent calendar.
posted by kate_fairfax at 12:24 PM on December 2, 2002

No online versions, but as a kid I had ones with tasty chocolate treats behind the doors. Used to run upstairs and wake my baby sister and we'd race to the calendars hanging in the kitchen. Sadly, chocolate does not have the same electrifying effect on me as an adult.

If I remember correctly, we'd also remove these little barbs of spice (which?) from an orange. Scandinavian custom only? Dunno.
posted by kahboom at 1:10 PM on December 2, 2002

No, kahboom. It's not Scandanavian only. However, in my neck of the woods, it's a grown-up's game, and it involves kissing. I'm not an SCA type, but I think that must be where we got it from... we usually play this game around Beltane, rather than Christmas.

Sorry to get off topic. I LOVE online advent calendars, but madamjujujive already mentioned most of the good ones!
posted by Fenriss at 1:53 PM on December 2, 2002

Cloves! Thank you, Fenriss!
posted by kahboom at 2:24 PM on December 2, 2002

great link as always ma'am! I particularly love the perl one.
posted by condour75 at 2:48 PM on December 2, 2002

Offline calendars seem to have taken a turn for the greedy this year. One of the guys I work with has a 'Spider-Man Countdown Calendar' with chocolate behind each of the 32 doors. That's right - 32. This calendar counts through to New Years's Day! They'd never have got away with that when I was a nipper....
posted by jonpollard at 3:34 PM on December 2, 2002

Mosey on over and check out the Framley Examiner's Advent Calendar, where "Every day, for the twenty-five days of Christmas, you'll get a chance to see another product from the exciting range of gifts available from Newby's of Molford."

You'll be glad you did.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:15 PM on December 2, 2002

The 2002 Perl advent calendar was released a couple of days ago. Always good for some great insight into the language and some of the neat modules that are available.
posted by garth at 4:31 PM on December 2, 2002

I made one on my web site (I'm not linking it since that's a bit skeezy). It's my first attempt, since I only found out what an advent calendar was last Christmas.

Erm, advent calendars are only for 24 days, aren't they?
posted by jetgrrl at 7:37 PM on December 2, 2002

jetgrrl. I am posting your calendar - it's pretty cool. It's my understanding that a self link can be used in comments if if it relates to the topic. Any other mefiosos in the crowd with an advent calendar on your site?

As to 24 or 25 days, seems to vary. Some folks apparently like a big payoff on the 25th.

Thanks to everyone who posted links or shared childhood memories....that's what I like about these calendars...they help to recreate a tiny bit of the wonder and awe that simple holiday pleasures held when you were a kid - a calendar with a lot of little doors on it, an orange studded with cloves, or special ornament wrapped in tissue paper. Fanny & Alexander by Bergman is a film that captures some wonderful and sensuous bygone holiday images - along with all the family dramas too (aren't family dynamics par for the course?)

Our world today is so fast paced, it's hard not to get jaded. It takes some effort to focus on the small things and try to rekindle that sense of awe. e e cummings has a few lines in a poem that I think relate to this:

children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew)
posted by madamjujujive at 10:11 PM on December 2, 2002

Thnaks for linking mine in the initial post - my whole relationship to advent calendars is pretty strong - I always had one every year as a child, and every morning I was totally out of my skin waiting to open it. I really enjoyed the slow reveal, and wondering what would be behind the doors. The best oen ever, was a Dutch one my parents bought in Frankenmuth, this little town in Michigan where it's cloyingly "always Christmas." Each day when you opened the little door, there was a tiny little wooden toy inside -- so tiny they'd not get away with selling them today. But it was so charming and cute! I also remember being totally bummed the first year I didn't get one, even though I was 15. I felt robbed. At work this year, one of my coworkers bought us all advent calendars, and we come in every morning and open the next day, which has become the best two minutes of our day. I am such a geek.
posted by leslie at 9:54 AM on December 3, 2002 [1 favorite]

last year i had a Lego advent calendar. haven't looked to see if they are still available.
posted by o2b at 1:02 PM on December 3, 2002

M.jujujive strikes gold again! Splendid post.
posted by hama7 at 2:34 AM on December 4, 2002

It's my favorite post and thread of the year.
posted by y2karl at 10:15 AM on December 4, 2002

Mine, too.
posted by Fenriss at 12:25 PM on December 4, 2002

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