Advent calendars build the anticipation of Christmas by counting down each day with small gift.
For centuries, people have counted down the days leading up to Christmas. Often in Churches, large wax candles would tell how close the celebration of Christ's birth was. In Germany it became common to create wooden calendars for the same practice. Representing each day from the 1st to the 25th, a box would be opened to reveal a new small gift.
That tradition continues, often in the form of a paper box with Christmas themed artwork. Each has a little window filled with chocolate or a small toy. This tradition has spread all over but a connection to Germany can still be seen.
Did you know that every year, one German town convert's their council-house ("Rathaus") into the world's largest advent calendar?!