Fun Facts about Advent Calendars

It is hard to believe it is time to pull out the Advent calendar. I thought I would continue our Fun Facts Series and share some fun facts about Advent calendars today since it is the first day to open a door on yours. Be sure to check out our Fun Facts about Advent

  1. The first Advent calendar dates back to the mid-19th century when German Protestants made chalk marks on the doors or lit candles to count the days leading up to Christmas.
  2. Advent candle
    Advent Candle  By Zoizit (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  3. Among the first Advent calendars were Advent candles to mark the days since paper was not as widely available. Some families even used blocks. The first Advent calendars were handmade.
  4. Gerhard Lang is widely considered the first to print an Advent calendar He used ones his mother made for him as a kid as a model but added the small doors we now see on Advent calendars. Around the same time a German newspaper inserted an Advent calendar as a gift for its readers.
  5. Richard Ernst Kepler - Im Lande des Christkinds
    Richard Ernst Kepler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  6. Production of Advent calendars stopped due to a cardboard shortage during World War II. After the war Richard Sellmar emerged as the leading production of Advent calendars.
  7. Dwight D. Eisenhower is credited for popularizing the Advent calendar tradition to the United States. He was photographed for newspapers opening the Advent calendar with his grandchildren during his presidency.
  8. Advent calendars filled with chocolate were first available in 1958.
  9. The most expensive Advent calendar cost $50,000 and was available at Harrods in 2007. It was a four-foot Christmas tree shaped structure carved burr elm and walnut wood. Each of the 24 compartments housed a piece of organic chocolate from Green & Black. The proceeds went to support cocoa farmers in Belize.
  10. The world’s smallest Advent calendar was created by a group of nanotech specialists in Germany. (At least they believe it is the smallest.) It would take about five million of these miniature calendars to cover a postage stamp.
  11. A building in Gloucester, England’s King’s Square was transformed into one of the world’s largest Advent calendar in 2009. The building looked like a giant Christmas present with a red ribbon. It was designed to promote local businesses. Each day a window was opened revealing the logo of local business and its specials that it was offering through Christmas. It became an eye sore.
  12. According to Guinnness World Records, St. Pancras Station in London in December 2007 was the largest Advent calendar at 232 ft 11 in high and 75 ft and 5 in wide was built at St. Pancras station to commemorate the station’s refurbishment in December 2007.
  13. For over 15 years in Gengenback in Baden-Wuttenberg the entire Rathaus (Town Hall) is transformed into the world’s largest Advent Calendar House. The 24 windows are each decorated with a festive Christmas scene with a new window revealed every night until Christmas.
  14. Adventskalender Rathaus Plankstadt
    Advent Calendar House in Rathaus By 4028mdk09 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

What does your Advent calendar look like? I love ours!