Christmas Advent Calendar


“My family has a tradition where at the start of the month of december, we hang up an advent calendar. It was a physical calendar you would hang up on the wall, and each date on the calendar leading up to Christmas would have a little door that you could put treats inside. My mom would hang it up and fill each door with chocolate, or sometimes a small toy. Then, every morning my siblings and I would rush downstairs to see what was behind that day’s door. 

“Does your family still hang up the calendar every year?”

“Yeah we do, as my siblings and I got older it’s definitely not as exciting to grab the candy or toy every morning, but it’s a thing we’ve always done and it’s become more of just a special decoration for our family.”


My informant is a friend of mine who grew up in a family that cherished christmas traditions. While he is 20 years old now and says the excitement of the calendar has faded, he says the calendar is a crucial part of his family’s christmas celebration, and that when he has a family of his own he will be doing the same for his kids. 


The advent calendar is more than just a decoration or a way to give out treats to young family members. The opening of each door on the new day provides a symbolic countdown that heightens the anticipation and excitement for when Christmas finally comes, providing an aspect of daily ritual within the festive season leading up to the holiday. It’s quite interesting how the appeal of the calendar to my informant changes from being the excitement of getting a treat each day to a symbol of their family bond and celebration. This change signifies a maturing view of the holiday season, from a child’s excitement for new toys and no school to an appreciation of being together and being able to celebrate with one’s family. This also highlights why customs are passed through generations, as even though my informant doesn’t get the same excitement from the calendar as he did as a child, the impact it made on his view of Christmas makes him want to pass it on to his kids as well.