December 09, 2005

Advent Calendars

Scouring the WWW for Advent Calendars, I've found 7 of varying quality, but all quite different from each other. Here they all are. Something for everyone who still enjoys the day-to-day door-opening treat that these things bring.

First up here's a Finnish gnome calendar, cute and folksy with charming pictures in the style you can see on the left. The doors only become available as the days go by, which prevents any temptation to peek early. It's from Virtual Finland.

There's a simple tree shaped calendar at with photos of traditional German Christmas tree ornaments. A bit unexciting, and the pictures are too small. But there's a bit here to read about the history of advent calendars.

This Medieval Advent Calendar is much more interesting. Each day you get a detail from a painting, and medieval Christmas stories, legends and images from the Middle Ages. A fascinating feast of art and information, you never know quite what to expect from day to day, but essentially you get to visit a diverse array of websites on Nativity and folklore themes. Recommended. Located at New York Carver.

Next, here's a wonderful jamming session of illustrating talent, put together by PenelopeIllustration, who runs the weekly participation Illustration Friday. This is a project from last year, with each day's bauble leading to a different illustrator's contribution. A great idea, and great fun. Well recommended.

This old-fashioned looking item is a bit more sedate and predictable. Jigsaw puzzles, jokes, Christmas carols and Christmas facts. Find it at, where you can email a letter to Santa too. Too mainstream and tacky looking for me.

Instead, how about this delightful wealth-of-information from the Woodlands Junior School in Kent. Each day, discover some fascinating facts about how Christmas is celebrated in countries around the World. The red flowers on the right are from a Pohutokawa, the New Zealand Christmas tree. This calendar looks quite unassuming at first, but it's another recommended.

And finally (for now anyway), here's something completely different from all the above. The story of Tate and the Dogsford Don. Penelope Schenk tells the tale with whimsical illustration and a little Flash animation. You cannot peek ahead, so there's a genuine anticipation to see just how the story will evolve. Very charming, and comes highly recommended.

If you have discovered any other noteworthy Advent eCalendars, then drop a comment, I'd love to know about it.


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