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What is an Advent Calendar?

Counting is a beautiful way to help us be mindful of the significance of occasions and to prepare our minds and spirits to appreciate more of what that period of time could offer us.
Gingerbread World Lebkuchen Schmidt Canada: Christmas Blog - Christmas Advent Calendars from Europe

"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." Albert Einstein

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!

Gingerbread World Lebkuchen Schmidt Canada: Christmas Blog - Advent Calendars from EuropeFor 2017 First Advent falls on December 3. 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 - all  from Germany where the whole calendar concept originated.

Advent Calendars Especially For Adults!:

Two boozy options: Asbach's Calendar with a jolly Santa on the cover - open the little windows to find dark chocolates filled with their premium Brandy. And Trumpf's Edle Tropfen Calendar in a unique octagonal box showing a cozy cabin in winter. Dark and milk chocolate, lots of crunchy hazelnuts filled a variety of brandies and fruit liqueurs.

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 Ritter Sport Calendar has a fabulous illustration on the cover and is filled guessed it: Ritter Minis. Riegelein's offering this year is a box with windows all round the sides filled with Fair Trade milk chocolates and a big chocolate Angel to open on December 24. And there's more...take a look.

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