It’s Nearly Advent Calendar Season, So It’s Probably About Time You Learnt How They Worked

Advent calendar

Research has long shown that anticipation for an event may in fact be better than the event itself. But you don’t need research to prove that — just look at the popularity of advent calendars.

Originating in Germany in the 19th century (yep, they’ve been around for ages), advent calendars help you count down the days until Christmas, with a surprise gift to open each day leading up to it in December.

But while most of us know the basics on advent calendars, we may not know anything else about them. And so, for that reason, not to mention it now being the season for advent calendars, we thought we’d share everything else about them you might want to know.

Related: Stocking Stuffers, Secret Santa and Sneaky Self-Gifts — Our $50 and Under Xmas Gift Guide

Related: Ditch the Candles and Prove You’re a Thoughtful Friend With These Personalised Gifts

How Do Advent Calendars Work?

While the original advent calendars saw German Lutherans marking off days using chalk on their doors to celebrate Advent, a reminder of Jesus’ birth and second coming, nowadays you can find all different kinds of advent calendars on the market, from boozy advent calendars (and non-alcoholic calendars, too) and kids’ advent calendars, to a calendar stocked with Thomas Dux cheeses you can buy for $20 from Woollies. You name your indulgence, there’s likely an advent calendar for it.

No matter which type of advent calendar you have, however, the main idea of how it works is that each day in December (or as is the case for some calendars, every few days), you’ll open a window, drawer or pocket on the calendar and be treated to a little (or big, again depending on the calendar) present.

How to Open an Advent Calendar

The internet has had much debate on the correct way to open an advent calendar. Do you start at one or 24? Well, historically, it seems the correct way to start is with one. This means you’re not technically counting down until Christmas, you’re counting up.

It does make sense that that’s the historical way — if you were doing your advent calendar the old-fashioned way with chalk marks or even lit candles, you’d be adding to them so you have 24 at the end, not taking chalk marks or candles away.

In saying that, though, some articles online argue that the correct way to open an advent calendar these days is to start at 24 and count down. So, it seems there is in fact no correct way and that it’s simply a matter of choice.

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