CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN ADVENT BLOG Tuesday 1st December 2020
12 RAMBLINGS OF CHRISTMAS
ONLY 24 SLEEPS TO CHRISTMAS
1. A CHRISTMAS QUOTE
”I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” — Maya Angelou
2. CHRISTMAS FEATURE – The Advent Calendars by Scott Allen
You don’t need an Advent calendar to know that Christmas is coming, but opening a little numbered door to reveal a prize is an idea that everyone—religious or not—can get behind. Here’s a brief history of Advent calendars and a few non-traditional designs of this popular tradition.
WHAT IS ADVENT?
Advent is the four-week period beginning on the Sunday nearest the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30) through the following three Sundays. Historians estimate that Advent, which derives from the Latin word for coming, has been celebrated since the 4th century. Originally, the period was a time for converts to Christianity to prepare for baptism, but it’s now more commonly associated with the anticipation of the anniversary of Christ’s birth on December 25.
ADVENT CALENDAR ORIGINS
Advent calendars typically don’t follow the period of Advent described above. Instead, they begin on December 1 and mark the 24 days before Christmas. Today, most Advent calendars include paper doors that open to reveal an image, Bible verse, or piece of chocolate. The tradition dates to the mid-19th century, when German Protestants made chalk marks on doors or lit candles to count the days leading up to Christmas.
THE FIRST PRINTED ADVENT CALENDARS
Gerhard Lang is widely considered the producer of the first printed Advent calendar in the early 1900s.
Around the same time, a German newspaper included an Advent calendar insert as a gift to its readers. Lang’s calendar was inspired by one that his mother had made for him and featured 24 coloured pictures that attached to a piece of cardboard. Lang modified his calendars to include the little doors that are a staple of most Advent calendars today and they became a commercial success in Germany. Production stopped due to a cardboard shortage during World War II, but resumed soon after, with Richard Sellmer emerging as the leading producer of commercial Advent calendars.
I LIKE IKE AND IKE LIKES ADVENT CALENDARS
Dwight D. Eisenhower is often credited for the proliferation of the Advent calendar tradition in the United States. During his presidency, Eisenhower was photographed opening an Advent calendar with his grandchildren and the photo ran in several national newspapers.
THE $50,000 ADVENT CALENDAR
One of the most expensive Advent calendars to ever hit the shelves was a 4-foot, Christmas-tree shaped structure carved from burr elm and walnut wood available through Harrods in 2007. Each of the $50,000 calendar’s 24 compartments housed a piece of organic chocolate from Green & Black, with proceeds going to support cocoa farmers in Belize.
THE WORLD’S LARGEST ADVENT CALENDAR
According to Guinness World Records, the world’s largest advent calendar was built in 2007 at the St. Pancras train station in London. The massive calendar, which measured 232 feet and 11 inches tall, and 75 feet and 5 inches wide, celebrated the reopening of the station following a renovation.
THE ADVENT CALENDAR FOR WEB GEEKS
The self-proclaimed Advent calendar for web geeks has provided a daily dose of web design and development tips during the Advent season since 2005. Last year’s collection included an article about designing for mobile performance and another titled “Is Your Website Accidentally Sexist?”
THE LEGO ADVENT CALENDAR
For several years, LEGO has produced an Advent calendar set, featuring figures or constructible accessories behind every numbered door. This year, the company is offering a City version and a Star Wars Advent calendar.
HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE
Since 2008, the Big Picture photo blog has featured an Advent calendar of daily images from the Hubble Space Telescope. The spectacular photos are chosen by Alan Taylor, The Atlantic’s senior photo editor.
3. CHRISTMAS MOVIE
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000 film) Budget $123 million Box office $345.1 million
4. CHRISTMAS SONG
The Little Drummer Boy
- 21 Bob Sege - Little Drummer Boy
5. CHRISTMAS CHILDREN’S BOOK
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Dr. Seuss) by Dr. Seuss (Author, Illustrator)
Paperback : 64 pages
Publisher : HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks (25 Aug. 2016)
Reading level : 4 – 9 years
The timeless Christmas classic from the iconic Dr. Seuss! Read this favourite story of joy, love and acceptance anytime, anywhere! First published 1957.
“The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason…”
With a heart two sizes too small, the Grinch is the meanest creature you’ll ever meet. He hates Christmas and the whole festive season. But when he hatches a dastardly plot to steal Christmas, he’s in for a big surprise!
With hilarious rhymes and beautiful illustrations, this classic seasonal story has become a favourite for good reason and teaches readers the true meaning of Christmas.
6. CHRISTMAS CAROL
7. IT’S A CRACKER (CHRISTMAS CRACKER JOKE)
Q; How is Drake like an elf? A: He spends all his time wrapping
8. EVERY CHRISTMAS TV TIMES COVER
9. A FAMOUS SCROOGE
10. SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT – A TOP TV CHRISTMAS SPECIAL FROM THE PAST
Steptoe and Son – The Party
UK/Special/1973Aired on BBC
“The Party” Producer Graeme Muir writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson 24 December 1973Harold books a Christmas holiday in Majorca, but when it’s cancelled, he decides to have a Christmas party instead. The guests all refuse to come in because Harold and Albert both have chickenpox. Featuring Frank Thornton. Originally transmitted in a 46 minute cut.
Steptoe and Son is a British sitcom written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about a father-and-son rag-and-bone business. They live at Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherd’s Bush, London. Four series were broadcast by the BBC from 1962 to 1965, followed by a second run from 1970 to 1974.
11. NICE LITTLE CHRISTMAS NUMBER
1 1647 – The year in which Oliver Cromwell banned celebrating Christmas because he believed it was immoral to feast and drink on such a holy day
2 364 – The total number of gifts listed in “The 12 days of Christmas”
3 £18,000,000,000 – Will be withdrawn from UK cash machines over Christmas
4 822 – The number of houses Santa would need to visit every second if he were to make all his deliveries
5 20 Metres – The height of the Christmas tree in Trafalgar square
6 13 – The number of Santa’s in Iceland
7 25 Million – The number of Christmas puddings we eat in the UK every year
8 57 – The number of Olympic sized swimming pools that could be filled with the beer consumed in the UK over Xmas
9 3 Billion – The number of Christmas cards sent in the USA every year
10 221 Feet – The height of the tallest ever Christmas tree which was displayed in Northgate Shopping Centre, Seattle, Washington
12. CHRISTMAS TV AD.
©2020 Phil M Robinson