This post appeared earlier in the year but today feels the right day to repeat it for some reason. Can't think why.
Why restrict the joy of Christmas to one solitary day when you could extend it to cover the 24 preceding ones as well? All you need to do is hang up a sheet of cardboard with little windows cut into it. Easy.
For some reason, pulling open the little hinged flaps to reveal the picture or - if you are middle-class and not related to a dentist - chocolate hidden behind is a minor miracle every December morning. Just watch as parents volunteer to help children who are having trouble getting their’s open.
The first advent calendar was made in either Austria or Germany in the early part of the 20th Century. The Austrians and Germans can’t seem to decide who got there first, while the rest of the world think of them as pretty much the same country anyway so aren’t that fussed. Before printed calendars families would light an advent candle (some still do) or mark the 24 days off with chalk marks on the fireplace (slightly less popular now).