The calendar that helps you count down to Christmas with daily gifts of chocolate or other small presents. It usually has the days from December 1st to December 24th (and occasionally to December 25th) marked out with little doors or windows that can be opened. Behind these doors or windows is your daily surprise!

In Canada, cheap advent calendars can be found for about 1 or 2 dollars at your local Shoppers Drug Mart. The chocolates behind the doors are pretty small and shaped like something Christmasy (like the sun or a squirrel).

If you're not into cheap chocolate check out Laura Secord for a fancier, reusable advent calendar. That's what I have this year and today my chocolate treat is shaped like a little bear and it's very tasty.

Online Advent Calendar:
Useful device to help children and their parents gauge their level of nagging and threats regarding Christmas presents throughout the month of December. Advent calendars only very recently started to use the rather gauche method of giving you a chocolate each day. When I was a lad, you got a picture behind each window (and you were GRATEFUL for that). Advent calendars showed painted, Christmas card scenes usually liberally daubed with glitter. In my house, we seemed to accumulate many of them over the years, with the windows meticulously re-closed each time, until by my early teenage years the pictures were deeply ingrained in my memory.

Of course, in this day and age, the images are replaced with Pokemon, or whatever the latest marketable non-denominational kiddies' crazy is, there is no mention of Christmas, and the numbering system has extended in both directions to probably around mid-August to allow more chocolate-flavoured sweets to be crammed in.

Advent calendars are named after the popular early mainframe game ADVENT. Possibly.

You can probably get them with condoms in too, I'd imagine.

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