Advent is the Christian liturgical season that celebrates the coming birth of Jesus Christ, on 25 December, or Christmas. The modern Advent calendar, which simply counts up from 1 December to 24 December, or Christmas Eve, has its roots in German Lutheranism of the 19th century. The Advent calendar (like its fellow German tradition adopted by Christians world-wide, the Christmas tree) has become a popular symbol of the holidays.
Playmobil has for some time now offered a variety of Advent calendars each year. These calendars are the sort that contain 24 little numbered boxes and a cardboard hanger upon which to mount them; the parent inserts a piece of Playmobil into each box prior to 1 December, and the child then opens one per day until Christmas Eve, adding each piece to the growing diorama at the base of the calendar.
We’ve just received a shipment of three different Playmobil Advent calendars — two versions from last year, and one new one. Shown at left, #4156 is “Advent Calendar Pirates,” which has no overt religious images. This joins #4153, “Advent Calendar Knight’s Duel,” and #4154, “Advent Calendar Unicorn Paradise,” which were available last year, and which are similarly non-religious.
Also on the way for this year (but not yet arrived) is #4155, “Christmas in the Forest” (see below left.) This set will contain a nice assortment of forest creatures and a Santa Claus figure of the sort familiar to North Americans, conventionalized by the poetry of Clement Moore and the advertising of Coca-Cola (see the example at right.) “Christmas in the Forest” is expected to arrive some time in October.