Advent Calendars

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For those who are not familiar with this tradition, the Advent calendar was made with doors that opened – one for each day of December until the 24th – and behind each one was either a picture or a poem or even part of a story that would continue such as the birth of Jesus. The first Advent calendar that was known to exist was made by hand in 1851. Although the Advent calendar is typically in the shape of a large greeting card, there are others such as ones shaped like churches or houses. The city of Dresden in Germany has a huge Advent calendar that is built into a fairytale castle. It is located on the Striezelmarket, the oldest Christmas market documented with the first mention of this market being in 1434. This was such a special memory of my childhood that I wanted to share it with my own children. In 1969 when my first child was born I searched everywhere in the U.S. for an Advent Calendar. Not one was to be found. Until 1985 when I finally found one in the U.S., my mother mailed an Advent Calendar every year so my children could enjoy this wonderful memory and open the doors on their own Advent Calendars. Today they are plentiful and come in every shape and size imaginable. Many people make their own Advent calendars and they are created from various materials such as paper, fabric, chipboard and felt. I would like to share a few of my favorites with you.

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