Home German Holidays and Festivals Advent Season in Germany Traditional German Advent Calendars- Count the Days until Christmas!
Traditional German Advent Calendars- Count the Days until Christmas!

Traditional German Advent Calendars- Count the Days until Christmas!

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traditional German Advent CalendarsHaving a Traditional German Advent Calendar to count down the days to Christmas was as normal to me as breathing or putting on House Shoes…. It is just something we had in our home. Some years they were quite simple… a double thick cardboard printed with Christmas scenes, and pictures behind each door. Other years they were more elaborate, and we had German chocolate Advent Calendars with chocolates behind the doors. We even had a wonderful fabric Advent Calendar with pockets that mom filled with treats. It didn’t matter what kind of calendar (well, not that much), it was a wonderful way to build anticipation up to the day when the biggest doors of all could be opened!

And it was also a good teaching moment when you realized that you could open extra doors… but that didn’t make Christmas come one minute sooner!

Advent Calendar Origin

advent calendar originLike most holiday traditions, I assumed that Advent Calendars had been around for hundreds of years, but actually, they are relatively recent. In the 1880’s, little Gerhard Lang, like all little boys, was very impatient for Christmas to come. His mother (the wife of a Protestant Pastor) , decided to make his waiting a little easier. She constructed a set of boxes, and filled each with a piece of Lebkuchen… Gerhard was allowed to open one box (and eat a cookie) every day leading up to Christmas. Flash forward a few years, and Gerhard Lang is now an adult working for Reichhold & Lang in Munich, and he began to print the first Advent Calendars for sale. These just had pictures, not even doors! (those came in the 1920’s), the chocolate ones didn’t arrive on the scene until 1958. And the tradition spread.

european advent calendars

Traditional German Advent Calendars

Today, Advent Calendars have swept the world, and you find them all over the US. The German chocolate Advent Calendars are most common (there are stacks and crates full of them at my Trader Joes). I know, all of my kids still get excited… even the big ones… about opening the doors and finding a shaped piece of chocolate!

Not to be outdone, Toy companies are releasing Advent Calendars that create a scene made from Legos or Playmobil. Some have a holiday or religious scene… others are just for play.

European Advent Calendars

advent calendar history traditionIn our home we have a few European Advent Calendars (but primarily German).The kids have their chocolate ones (there is no escaping it). We also have a lovely wall hanging that my aunt made. I fill it every year with mini-chocolates  (Milka Naps are best!). Then there is a Wooden Advent House, and behind each door is a forest animal. And, somewhere along the line, a Playmo Advent Calendar snuck into our home.

With all of these Advent Calendars, there is NO WAY we are ever going to miss Christmas!

Find Your Favorite Advent Calendars Here—

There are so many kinds to choose from, Traditional Paper, German Chocolate Advent Calendars, Advent Calendars for kids and Advent Calendars that can be re-used year after year.

Traditional German Advent Calendars

These Traditional German Advent Calendars are made from cardstock. Each door opens to show a small picture or verse.

When placed in front of a light, there is  a glow through the open doors. You can re-use these Advent Calendars, just close the doors…. but they aren’t really the same after use.

Still, the pictures on these Advent Calendars are quite beautiful. They even become collectors items!

Woodland Holiday Advent CalendarWoodland Holiday Advent CalendarTall Christmas House German Advent Calendar Christmas Countdown Made in GermanyTall Christmas House German Advent Calendar Christmas Countdown Made in GermanySanta in Village German Christmas Advent CalendarSanta in Village German Christmas Advent CalendarVictorian Merry-Go-Round German Advent CalendarVictorian Merry-Go-Round German Advent CalendarAngel Village German Christmas Advent CalendarAngel Village German Christmas Advent Calendar1958 Christkindlmarkt German Advent Calendar Christmas Countdown New Germany1958 Christkindlmarkt German Advent Calendar Christmas Countdown New Germany3D Christmas Nativity German Advent Calendar3D Christmas Nativity German Advent CalendarChristmas Eve Church Service German Advent CalendarChristmas Eve Church Service German Advent CalendarPanoramic Winter Village German Advent CalendarPanoramic Winter Village German Advent Calendar

German Chocolate Advent Calendars

3D House German Chocolate Advent Calendar by Windel3D House German Chocolate Advent Calendar by Windel

Open a door the door of these German Chocolate Advent Calendar, and get a super special treat, a piece of chocolate (just one per day!).

But some are more than just simple chocolates… they are filled with Kinder Schololade, Lindt, and Ritter Sport!

There are even 3 D Advent Houses filled with Chocolate! What child (or adult) wouldn’t be happy counting down the days until Christmas with such a wonderful Advent Calendar!

Most though are simple… a sort of thick cardboard that holds pockets of chocolates. Perfect to satisfy the sweet tooth just a little bit each day, until the magical time when you open the last doors and Christmas is HERE!

New - Lindt Bear Advent Calendar 250gNew – Lindt Bear Advent Calendar 250gLindt Advent Calendar 160G Case Of 2Lindt Advent Calendar 160G Case Of 2Lindt Excellence Chocolate Advent Calendar 275 gLindt Excellence Chocolate Advent Calendar 275 g

Heidel Nostalgic Advent CalendarHeidel Nostalgic Advent CalendarKinder Mini Mix Advent Calendar, 152gKinder Mini Mix Advent Calendar, 152gRitter Sport Minis Advent Calendar 400gRitter Sport Minis Advent Calendar 400g

Advent Calendars With Haribo!

Loaded with Gummis of all flavors! fruit and cola flavor chewy gummies, marshmallows, liqorice and gums.

Advent Calendar (HARIBO) 300gAdvent Calendar (HARIBO) 300g

Traditional German Advent Calendars to Use Year After Year

These are special Traditional German Advent Calendars that you can use year after year. They can even become special family heirlooms to pass down for generations. Fill them with chocolates or small trinkets.

Luxury Wooden Advent Calendar

Made in the Erzgebirge of Germany, a special luxury wooden Advent Calendar will delight anyone who sees it! This type of wooden Advent calendar will definitely become an heirloom loaded with memories.

Kurt Adler LED Wooden Advent Calendar Decoration, 13-InchKurt Adler LED Wooden Advent Calendar Decoration, 13-InchKurt Adler LED Wooden Advent Calendar Decoration, 13-InchCandle arch Advent calendar electric light arch Seiffen 48cm Ore Mountains NEWCandle arch Advent calendar electric light arch Seiffen 48cm Ore Mountains NEWCandle arch Advent calendar electric light arch Seiffen 48cm Ore Mountains NEW

 

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Villeroy & Boch Christmas Toy's Memory Advent CalendarVilleroy & Boch Christmas Toy’s Memory Advent Calendar

Wooden Christmas Advent Calendars

Sturdy enough for the Kids, but beautiful enough to display with pride!

Christmas calendar XL tree calendar Erzgebirge Seiffen Advent calendar NEWChristmas calendar XL tree calendar Erzgebirge Seiffen Advent calendar NEWChristmas calendar XL tree calendar Erzgebirge Seiffen Advent calendar NEWKurt Adler J3767 Wooden Nativity Advent Calendar with 24 Magnetic PieceKurt Adler J3767 Wooden Nativity Advent Calendar with 24 Magnetic PieceKurt Adler J3767 Wooden Nativity Advent Calendar with 24 Magnetic PieceKurt Adler C6300 Wooden Santa House Advent Calendar W/O Ornaments, 16-InchKurt Adler C6300 Wooden Santa House Advent Calendar W/O Ornaments, 16-InchKurt Adler C6300 Wooden Santa House Advent Calendar W/O Ornaments, 16-InchKurt Adler Wooden Snowman with Tree Advent CalendarKurt Adler Wooden Snowman with Tree Advent CalendarKurt Adler Wooden Snowman with Tree Advent Calendar

Fun Advent Calendars for Kids From Playmobil and Schleich

These are great because they can either be packed up again for next year… or the toys can be incorporated into the ones already in the toy box.

PLAYMOBIL Advent Calendar - Santa's WorkshopPLAYMOBIL Advent Calendar – Santa’s WorkshopPLAYMOBIL Advent Calendar - Santa's WorkshopPLAYMOBIL® Advent Calendar - Horse FarmPLAYMOBIL® Advent Calendar – Horse FarmPLAYMOBIL® Advent Calendar - Horse FarmPLAYMOBIL 1.2.3 Advent Calendar - Christmas on the FarmPLAYMOBIL 1.2.3 Advent Calendar – Christmas on the FarmPLAYMOBIL 1.2.3 Advent Calendar - Christmas on the FarmSchleich Horse Club Advent Calendar 2017 Toy FigureSchleich Horse Club Advent Calendar 2017 Toy FigureSchleich Horse Club Advent Calendar 2017 Toy FigureSchleich Christmas on The Farm Advent Calendar SetSchleich Christmas on The Farm Advent Calendar SetSchleich Christmas on The Farm Advent Calendar Set

Vintage German Advent Calendars

These old fashioned paper Advent Calendars are collectors items!

Vintage Christmas Tree Advent Calendar Made in West Germany Glitter Window FlapsVintage Christmas Tree Advent Calendar Made in West Germany Glitter Window FlapsVintage Christmas Tree Advent Calendar Made in West Germany Glitter Window FlapsVintage Kruger Advent Santa Angels Christmas Tree Calendar West GermanyVintage Kruger Advent Santa Angels Christmas Tree Calendar West GermanyVintage Kruger Advent Santa Angels Christmas Tree Calendar West Germanyimage 0 image 1 image 2 image 3 image 4 image 5 image 6 image 7 🔎zoom Set of 3 Vintage Advent Calendars Made in West Germanyimage 0 image 1 image 2 image 3 image 4 image 5 image 6 image 7 🔎zoom Set of 3 Vintage Advent Calendars Made in West Germanyimage 0 image 1 image 2 image 3 image 4 image 5 image 6 image 7 🔎zoom Set of 3 Vintage Advent Calendars Made in West GermanyPicture Advent Calendar / Vintage Calendar / made in GermanyPicture Advent Calendar / Vintage Calendar / made in GermanyPicture Advent Calendar / Vintage Calendar / made in GermanyVintage Christmas Advent Calendar Fold Out Santa Claus Angels Kruger Made in West Germany World Map Magic CarpetVintage Christmas Advent Calendar Fold Out Santa Claus Angels Kruger Made in West Germany World Map Magic CarpetVintage Christmas Advent Calendar Fold Out Santa Claus Angels Kruger Made in West Germany World Map Magic Carpet

 

 

Want to Learn More About Celebrating Advent?

Read My Book…. Advent- Celebrate German Holiday Traditions in America

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traditional german advent calendars

Comment(4)

  1. I really enjoyed your post. That first advent calendar brings back memories. In the 1980s, a woman I worked with did charity work with a local organization. Their yearly fundraiser was selling advent calendars from Germany. Though I don’t have the one you pictured, I have some in the same series (I recognize the style of the Santa). Though simple, they are quite beautiful. I still have several. I stopped opening the doors so as to preserve them, but I use them as part of my holiday displays.

  2. I am looking for a quality wooden advent calendar with doors or drawers that containe small painted wooden ornaments. I am not afraid to pay for quality. The Kurt Adler calendars are not good enough. Thanks!

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