Skip to content

12 Days Of Christmas Advent Calendar

History and Origins of the Advent Calendar

The tradition of the Advent calendar can be traced back to the early 19th century in Germany. Its origins are rooted in the Christian tradition of counting down the days until Christmas. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus,” meaning “coming,” referring to the anticipation and preparation for the birth of Jesus.

Early Customs and the Advent Wreath

Before the advent of the Advent calendar as we know it today, early Christians celebrated Advent with various customs. One such custom was the Advent wreath, which originated in Germany in the 16th century. The wreath consisted of a circular arrangement of evergreen branches and four candles, representing the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Each week, a new candle would be lit to symbolize the increasing light and hope of the season.

The First Advent Calendar

The first known precursor to the Advent calendar was created in the early 19th century by Gerhard Lang, a German printer. Lang’s calendar consisted of 24 small religious pictures that were attached to a piece of cardboard. Each day leading up to Christmas, a picture would be revealed by opening a little door, covering the corresponding image. This simple calendar was intended to help children count down the days until Christmas and learn about the biblical story.

Evolution and Cultural Significance

Over time, the Advent calendar evolved into different forms and gained popularity worldwide. In the early 20th century, companies began producing Advent calendars with chocolate-filled windows, adding an element of surprise and delight to the daily countdown. The tradition spread throughout Europe and eventually reached North America.

In addition to its Christian significance, the Advent calendar has also become a cherished cultural tradition beyond religious boundaries. Many people, regardless of their faith, enjoy the anticipation and excitement of opening a door or revealing a hidden treat each day during the holiday season.

Variations in Different Cultures

The way Advent is celebrated varies across cultures. In some countries, such as Germany and Austria, it is common to find Advent calendars with small gifts or sweets behind each door. In Sweden, families often light Advent candles and gather for special meals. In Mexico, people participate in the tradition of Las Posadas, reenacting Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay.

Regardless of the cultural differences, the Advent calendar serves as a marker for the journey toward Christmas, reminding people to slow down, reflect, and appreciate the joyous anticipation of the holiday season.

The Advent calendar has a rich history and cultural significance. From its beginnings as a simple cardboard calendar with religious imagery to the wide variety of calendars available today, it continues to be cherished by people around the world. Whether it is a traditional paper calendar, a digital version, or a unique twist on the concept, the Advent calendar remains a cherished tradition that helps us count down the days and embrace the spirit of Christmas.

Types of Advent Calendars

Traditional Paper Calendars

Traditional paper Advent calendars have been a popular choice for many years. These calendars typically consist of a holiday-themed design with numbered doors or windows that can be opened each day leading up to Christmas. Behind each door, there is a small image, verse, or piece of chocolate, building anticipation for the big day. Traditional paper Advent calendars are loved for their nostalgic charm and simplicity.

One of the advantages of traditional paper calendars is that they provide a tactile experience for children and adults alike. The act of opening each door and revealing a surprise adds a sense of excitement and magic to the holiday season. However, it is worth noting that traditional paper calendars offer limited options for customization and may not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions or specific preferences.

Digital Calendars

In the digital age, technology has given rise to digital Advent calendars that can be accessed on smartphones, tablets, or computers. Digital calendars offer a modern twist on this cherished tradition, allowing users to open virtual doors to reveal a variety of surprises. These surprises can include interactive games, animated stories, festive recipes, or even exclusive discounts for holiday shopping.

One major advantage of digital calendars is their versatility and convenience. They can be easily accessed and shared with family and friends, regardless of their location. Additionally, digital calendars often offer a wider range of content options, making them suitable for different age groups and interests. However, some may argue that the digital experience cannot fully replace the tangible and tactile nature of traditional Advent calendars.

Unique Advent Calendar Ideas

In recent years, there has been a surge in unique Advent calendar ideas that go beyond the traditional paper and digital formats. These innovative calendars cater to various interests, hobbies, and tastes, making the countdown to Christmas even more exciting and personalized.

For beauty enthusiasts, beauty Advent calendars have become increasingly popular. These calendars provide a daily dose of skincare, makeup, or hair care products, allowing individuals to pamper themselves throughout the holiday season. Likewise, toy Advent calendars offer a surprise toy or collectible each day, appealing to both children and collectors alike.

Other unique Advent calendar ideas include calendars filled with craft supplies, gourmet chocolates, or even mini bottles of wine or craft beer. These unconventional calendars allow individuals to indulge in their passions and enjoy a new surprise each day leading up to Christmas.

Advent calendars have evolved over the years to include a wide range of options. From traditional paper calendars that offer simplicity and nostalgia to digital calendars that provide versatility and convenience, there is an Advent calendar to suit every individual’s preferences and interests. Furthermore, the emergence of unique Advent calendar ideas has allowed individuals to personalize their countdown to Christmas with surprises that align with their hobbies, passions, and tastes.

DIY Advent Calendar Ideas

Are you looking for a fun and creative way to countdown the days until Christmas? Look no further than DIY Advent calendars! Creating your own Advent calendar adds a personal touch to the holiday season and allows you to customize the experience to fit your family’s traditions and interests. Here are some budget-friendly DIY Advent calendar ideas that you can try at home:

Materials for DIY Advent Calendars

Before diving into the ideas, it’s important to gather your materials. You’ll need various supplies, such as:

  • Cardboard or paperboard
  • Wrapping paper or decorative craft paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Number stickers or markers
  • Small envelopes, bags, or boxes
  • Ribbon or string
  • Small trinkets, treats, or notes for each day
  • Optional: decorations like stickers, washi tape, or glitter

Themes for DIY Advent Calendars

To add a special touch to your DIY Advent calendar, consider choosing a theme. This can help guide your selection of trinkets or treats for each day. Here are a few theme ideas to get you started:

1. Homemade Treats

If you love baking or cooking, why not surprise your loved ones with a different homemade treat each day? Include cookies, chocolates, or even little jars of flavored salts or hot cocoa mix. Not only will this make your Advent calendar unique, but it will also fill your home with delicious scents during the holiday season.

2. Family Activities

Make the countdown to Christmas a time for quality family experiences. Plan a different activity for each day, such as watching a holiday movie, making ornaments, or going on a winter hike. Write each activity on a slip of paper and place it in the corresponding Advent calendar pocket.

3. Random Acts of Kindness

Spread some holiday cheer and teach your family about giving back by filling your Advent calendar with random acts of kindness. Examples include leaving anonymous notes of encouragement, donating food to a local food bank, or performing small acts of service for friends and neighbors.

Creating the DIY Advent Calendar

Now that you have your materials and theme in mind, it’s time to put everything together. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating your DIY Advent calendar:

1. Design and Construction

Start by creating a base for your Advent calendar using cardboard or paperboard. Cut out squares or rectangles to form pockets or boxes for each day.

2. Decorate the Pockets or Boxes

Cover each pocket or box with wrapping paper or decorative craft paper. This adds a festive touch and makes opening each day even more exciting.

3. Add Numbers

Label each pocket or box with numbers to represent the days leading up to Christmas. You can use number stickers, write them with markers, or get creative with different fonts or designs.

4. Fill the Pockets or Boxes

Fill each pocket or box with the corresponding treat, activity slip, or note. Remember to keep them hidden until the assigned day to maintain the element of surprise.

A DIY Advent calendar is a wonderful way to make the countdown to Christmas even more special. Whether you choose a homemade treats theme, family activities, or random acts of kindness, creating your own Advent calendar allows you to personalize the experience and create lasting memories. So gather your supplies and get ready to embark on a fun and festive DIY project this holiday season.

The Benefits of Using an Advent Calendar

Enhancing Anticipation and Excitement

The use of an Advent calendar can greatly enhance the anticipation and excitement leading up to Christmas. From a young age, children are taught to count down the days until Christmas, and an Advent calendar offers a tangible way to do just that. Each day, they open a door or reveal a new surprise, building anticipation for the big day. As adults, we may also find ourselves eagerly looking forward to uncovering the daily surprise, whether it’s a small gift, a treat, or a thoughtful message.

Fostering Gratitude and Mindfulness

Another benefit of using an Advent calendar is the opportunity it provides for fostering gratitude and mindfulness. Each day, as we open a new door or reveal a surprise, we are reminded to pause and appreciate the present moment. It encourages us to reflect on the things we are grateful for and to express gratitude for the simple joys in life. This practice of mindfulness can help to cultivate a positive mindset and a deeper appreciation for the holiday season.

Creating Opportunities for Family Bonding and Reflection

An Advent calendar can also serve as a catalyst for family bonding and reflection. When families gather each day to open a door or reveal a surprise together, they create precious moments of shared experience and connection. It becomes a daily ritual that brings everyone together, fostering a sense of closeness and unity. Additionally, some Advent calendars incorporate activities or questions that encourage deeper conversations, allowing families to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and the values they hold dear.

Cultivating Patience and Delayed Gratification

One often overlooked benefit of using an Advent calendar is its potential to cultivate patience and delayed gratification. In a world filled with instant gratification, the practice of waiting for each new surprise can teach us the value of patience. By embracing delayed gratification, we learn the joy of anticipation and the satisfaction of savoring something special. This important life skill can have a far-reaching impact beyond the holiday season, helping individuals develop resilience and perseverance in the face of challenges.

Nurturing Traditions and Building Memories

Advent calendars help to nurture traditions and build lasting memories. As families engage in the daily ritual of opening doors or revealing surprises, they create traditions that can be passed down from generation to generation. These traditions become cherished memories that evoke a sense of nostalgia and warmth. Children who grow up with Advent calendars often continue the tradition with their own families, creating a beautiful thread that connects past, present, and future.

Using an Advent calendar offers a multitude of benefits that go beyond simply counting down the days until Christmas. It enhances anticipation, fosters gratitude and mindfulness, creates opportunities for family bonding and reflection, cultivates patience and delayed gratification, and nurtures traditions and memories. Whether traditional or unique, Advent calendars provide a tangible and meaningful way to celebrate the holiday season and make it truly special.

Popular 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendars

The holiday season is the perfect time to indulge in the joyous tradition of counting down to Christmas with an Advent calendar. While the traditional Advent calendar follows a 24-day countdown, the concept of the “12 Days of Christmas” is equally enchanting. Celebrating the twelve days of Christmas from December 25th to January 5th, these unique advent calendars provide a delightful experience for both children and adults. Let’s explore some popular 12 Days of Christmas Advent calendars available on the market:

1. Festive Home Decor Calendar

Designed for those who want to infuse their homes with festive cheer, this advent calendar offers a magical experience over the twelve days of Christmas. Each day reveals a small piece of holiday-themed decor, such as miniature ornaments, festive candles, or even beautifully crafted nativity scenes. The calendar brings a touch of Christmas spirit to any living space and allows individuals to slowly decorate their homes during the holiday season.

2. Gourmet Treats Calendar

If you have a penchant for delectable treats, a gourmet advent calendar is the perfect indulgence for the 12 Days of Christmas. From artisanal chocolates to gourmet cookies and other confections, each day offers a delightful surprise for your taste buds. It’s an excellent option for those who appreciate the finer things in life or for gifting to a loved one who adores luxurious treats.

3. Beauty and Skincare Countdown

For beauty enthusiasts, a beauty advent calendar that celebrates the 12 Days of Christmas is a must-have. Packed full of skincare, makeup, and beauty products, each day reveals a new item to pamper yourself with. From luxurious creams and serums to makeup essentials and bath bombs, this advent calendar allows you to treat yourself to a little self-care every day during the festive season.

4. Book Lover’s Advent Calendar

Immerse yourself in the joy of reading with a book lover’s advent calendar. Each day, unwrap a carefully selected book from various genres to enjoy during the 12 days of Christmas. This calendar is perfect for both adults and children, and it offers a wonderful opportunity to discover new authors, explore different genres, and escape into captivating stories.

5. Crafts and DIY Inspiration Calendar

Inject creativity into the 12 Days of Christmas with a crafts and DIY advent calendar. Every day, you’ll find a new craft project, DIY kit, or art supplies to spark your imagination. From knitting patterns and cross-stitch kits to origami paper and paint sets, this calendar is perfect for both beginners and advanced crafters, providing inspiration and entertainment throughout the holiday season.

6. Wine and Spirits Countdown

For those who enjoy a little indulgence during the festive season, a wine and spirits advent calendar is a delightful choice. Each day reveals a new miniature bottle of wine, craft beer, or spirits. It’s an excellent way to explore different flavors, try new beverages, and add a touch of elegance to your holiday celebrations.

7. Toy and Game Surprise

Make the 12 Days of Christmas even more exciting for children with a toy and game advent calendar. From small toys and puzzles to family-friendly games, each day brings a new surprise to keep the little ones entertained. With a mix of educational and fun toys, this advent calendar ensures that the holiday season is filled with laughter and joyful moments.

These popular 12 Days of Christmas Advent calendars offer a diverse range of experiences, making the countdown to Christmas even more memorable. Whether you prefer home decor, indulgent treats, skincare products, books, crafts, fine beverages, or toys and games, there’s an advent calendar out there to suit your every interest and bring joy to your holiday season. Embrace the festivities and create lasting memories with these enchanting calendars.


In conclusion, the Advent calendar has a rich history and significant meaning in the Christian tradition of counting down the days until Christmas. It has evolved over time to become a popular and cherished tradition celebrated by people from various cultures around the world.

There are different types of Advent calendars available, catering to different preferences and interests. Traditional paper calendars, digital calendars, and unique advent calendar ideas such as beauty products, chocolates, or toys offer a wide range of options for individuals to choose from. Each type has its pros and cons, but they all serve the purpose of building anticipation and excitement during the holiday season.

For those who prefer a more personalized touch, DIY Advent calendars are a great option. These creative and budget-friendly ideas allow individuals to incorporate their own materials, themes, and personal touches. Whether it’s homemade treats, small gifts, or motivational quotes, these DIY calendars add a special touch to the countdown to Christmas.

Using an Advent calendar has numerous benefits. It enhances the anticipation and excitement leading up to Christmas, fostering a sense of gratitude and mindfulness. By opening a door or getting a surprise each day, individuals can reflect on the true meaning of the season and create opportunities for family bonding and reflection.

When it comes to the popular 12 Days of Christmas Advent calendars on the market, there are plenty of options that cater to different interests and budgets. Each calendar has its own unique theme, contents, and price range. Some may offer collectible items or limited editions that appeal to collectors and enthusiasts. It’s important to research and read reviews to find the calendar that best suits individual preferences.

In conclusion, the 12 Days of Christmas Advent calendar offers a fun and exciting way to count down to Christmas. Whether it’s a traditional paper calendar, a digital calendar, or a unique advent calendar filled with special surprises, the countdown to Christmas becomes a memorable experience. The Advent calendar tradition connects us to the past while adding joy and anticipation to the present. So, embrace the spirit of the season, and let the 12 Days of Christmas Advent calendar enhance your holiday celebrations.