Advent calendars branch out in many directions

Deeply rooted in Christian tradition, the period of Advent marks four weeks of spiritual preparation for the commemoration of the birth of Jesus. Centuries later, the count-down calendars have spawned a myriad of plants that wander far from those religious roots.

Since the four weeks of Advent is a long stretch of time for young children to visualize, creative parents found simple ways to help their children count off the days. Chalking marks on a door or wall was popular in nineteenth century Germany. Another homegrown method was to construct a special calendar such as the one Andrew Lang's m...


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