The Advent calendar was first used by German Lutherans in the 19th century. It was mainly used for counting the days in anticipation of Christmas. It now is used in Germany mainly by Children but traditions brought forward many versions for adults as well. Nowadays it is used around the world by many Christian denominations, and also non-religious world views.

There are paper calendars with 24 small doors to open, one for every day, with pictures behind, little sweet treats, quotes, and prayers. There are calendars created from windows on a building, where windows lit up on their designated days, communities are involved in lively calendars where you can go for stories to the house of the specific day. There are home-made calendars of endless possibilities, and today, of course, virtual calendars.

The 24 windows of the front of Hellbrunn Palace used as an Advent calendar during the town's Christmas market

The 24 windows of the front of Hellbrunn Palace used as an Advent calendar during the town’s Christmas market; Credit: Matthias Kabel

You really can get creative with your own community – local or virtual – and make the days to Christmas, to your particular holiday celebration or the days of December in general, exciting for your customers and guests. Following are Ideas three ideas

  • Each opening of a window could be daily drawings for prices from your store or lodging amenities
  • With a Christmas tree at your property or location, or the market square, little gift boxes could hang on it, one for each day to win by your customers.
  • A daily window depicting free sample presentation of your products (to taste, to hear, to see, to touch – depending the business)
  • Join forces as a business community: each store can present a day of the calendar and be designated to a holiday open house, a treat, an international holiday story time or crafting, depending on the business.
  • Provide tips and tricks and secrets for each window of the calendar
  • You could include a charity drive (donations or percentage of sales, could run weekly per charity)
  • The calendar could be turned into a contest or scavenger hunt within the community

Using these and other activities can help you grow your email list and audience at the same time.

There is no end to possibilities in using the international language of the Christmas season.