Christmas may be over but the European Market is definitely still open!
The Advent Calendar - Make Counting your Days Count
Counting is a beautiful way to help us be mindful of the significance of occassions and to prepare our minds and spirits to appreciate more of what that period of time could offer us.
And we tend to count through so many seasons of life: the Forty Days of Lent, the episodes of our current favorite Netflix series, the number of days till our next vacation...
Advent - the period before Christmas - has been observed for centuries and started as a Fast. Fortunately for us chocolate has been introduced into Advent! And when you find that yummy morsel behind a little cardboard door it is all the better!
For 2019 First Advent falls on December 1. So the start of an Advent Calendar coincides. For many families this is the day the Christmas Season really starts. (As opposed to my family where my Mom would start playing Christmas carols on the 8 track the day after Halloween!).
First Advent is the day to lay out the Advent Wreath and light the first of the 4 Advent Candles. It may be the day to also set up the Christmas Tree and as a family hang the collection of ornaments. Some of us take out our Nativity Scene (or scenes) and set them up on the mantle.
But some of us are already stressed out about Christmas by the beginning of Advent - living with the high expectations we feel from the Season or the high expectations we put on ourselves. Give yourself a break and read my Blog about Meaningful Christian Christmas Traditions 15 Seconds at a Time.
The Advent Calendar can be as high stress or low stress as you like. In fact the ones with chocolate are actually good for you because - as we all know - Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts!
Gingerbread World offers a large array of Advent Calendars for children and for adults - you can browse through our collection here. All of our Calendars are imported from Europe - mostly from Germany where the whole calendar concept originated. The amazing Coffee Advent Calendar is from the UK and the Dolfin Chocolate Calendar is from Belgium.
Advent Calendars Especially For Adults!:
A good boozy option: Trumpf's Edle Tropfen Calendar in a unique octagonal box showing a cozy winter scene. Dark and milk chocolate, lots of crunchy hazelnuts filled a variety of brandies and fruit liqueurs.
A caffeinated option: Imported from the UK, the Pact Coffee Advent Calendar is a really neat idea. 25 different coffees to keep you buzzing during the Holidays - a little packet with enough ground coffee for one cup. All the coffee is Direct Trade and comes in a fun orange box with a card for each day with a Christmas thought on it.
The Lebkuchen Schmidt Calendar and Bonne Maman Jam Calendar are already sold out. Join our email newsletter so we can remind you next year to order your Advent Calendars early.
Advent Calendars for Everyone:
Lots of options here for both kids and adults. The Niederegger Mini-Calendar is filled with little chocolate coated marzipans. The always popular Haribo Gummy Candy Advent Calendar - we just got some new stock so this one's still available. The Dolfin Calendar from Belgium has a particularly beautiful cover this year. And there's more...take a look.
Advent Calendar for Vegans:
A special option for our Vegan customers or those of us with Vegan children, the Divine Chocolate Vegan Calendar is classy and tasty.
Candles from Advent:
A lit candle is so symbolic during the Christmas Season - the Light of Christ coming into the darkness. We have some beautiful options for Advent - the wood and bark Advent Houses, the Countdown Candles imported from Denmark and the wreath ring and tapers.
I came across this wonderful online Advent Calendar produced by (or for?) the German Embassy in the UK. Available in a number of languages it provides an explanation of Advent and good reminders to make the best of the Season along with online games, music, recipes and beautiful photos.
Down for the count!
Owner @ Gingerbread World
(This Blog article was originally written in March 2017 (why was I thinking about Advent in March!?! It was updated November 21, 2019)