Advent Calendars!!! 10:32 a.m. 2003-12-02

Current Listening: Seeing A Large Cat by Elizabeth Peters
Current Reading: The Devil's Cup by Stewart Lee Allen (just finished!)
Recipe of the Day: Ghormeh Sabzi, Makaroni, Cocada, Brigadeiros, Beijinho De Coco, Passionfruit Mousse, Pav Bhaji, Peruvian Chicken Soup (Recipes from my ESOL students
Advent Calendar of the Day: Dec. 2 : Castle - See note below.

Advent Calendars sent! I love Advent Calendars, and I was very disappointed to go to Blue Mountain, only to find that they no longer have Advent Calendars to send for Christmas. This led me to do a search on them, hoping to have something to send out (it's not too late: it is the first of December as I write this!). I found lots. I would love to do one for next year.

Here are some of the best - or most unusual. And, wouldn't you know it? There's one for each day of ADVENT! This will be my Calendar for this year! I will also feature each days calendar in my entries! Yahoo! Could I be having any more fun now?

Dec. 1 : Hoopla Presents - This one is cute - it looks pretty basic, but it has some nice flash animation. It says on the site that "each day contains - a happy Christmas memory, a holiday link, something special..."

Dec. 2 : Castle - When I first tried it out, I didn't like this one. The first links went nowhere. When I finally clicked on "If you're a Windows user with Internet Explorer 5.5, please click here to access the calendar" - I got it. Still, you have to re-start at times, because simply mousing over the windows opens them. Then, you can click on the picture to get the story or recipe! Oh, and there are really cool animated cards to send - I may use those next year!

Dec. 3 : Advent - this was one of my favorites. It is an illustrated story about a cat named Tate, who lives in France with his owner. This one won't let you "cheat" but looking at the next day's entry, but there are past calendars with complete stories to bide your time! I sent this one to my friends with children, as well as "cat people."

Dec. 4 : Papa Bear's Advent Calendar is by the people who brought you Tate, the French cat. Before there was Tate the French cat, there were bears!

Dec. 5 : The Vette Saga- I wasn't sure about that one, but it's a story with pictures, and when you click on the book, it is supposed to give you a Christmas fact. Cute - in Swedish and in English!

Dec. 6 : Santa Claus of Greenland! - I love it! There's a countdown to Christmas, and a flash animation for each day. I didn't have sound last night, but it looks like a "saga" of a snowball fight right now!

Dec. 7 : Online Comics - Here is the site description: "Commissioned by BBCi, this interactive Advent Calendar gave daily access to web competitions and games. It was fronted by a series of 26 cartoons of 2 mins displayed on the home page, as well as online games and design-your-own ecards. The films scored a stunning 5 millions visits over a period of 26 days." It looked cool, but before I sent it to a nephew, I felt I needed to check this one out - I saw a butt crack on Santa in the Dec. 8 thumbnail- Those Brits!). It's cute, but there is a drunk Santa and reindeer...May be good for all of those "Bad Santa" fans!

Dec. 8 : Woodlands Calendar - From the site: "Here is a fun Advent Calendar for you to countdown to Christmas with fascinating questions about Christmas celebrations around the world" The first two are about trees - I like it!

Dec. 9 : There are two computer-centric calendars that I found. The first is very technical it is called The Perl Calendar.Perl is a programming language - this is for the Uber-Computer Nerd! Personally, being married to a computer guy, I appreciated the Computer Hunks calendar. It takes a little while to load at times, but it's worth it. Those guys are HOT! Might I be so bold to suggest it as a fun send-along for your gay friends? That's who I'm sending it to!

Dec. 10 : Electric December - This one needs to go to an adult or teenager. There is nothing "naughty" about it, but some of the "games" are hard to understand... It has a very modern look with flash attachment art and games - very well done!

Dec. 11 : Here's one for someone who appreciates the 3 C's (Cute, Christian, Country): Annie's Advent Calendar Page - from the website: " For each day of the month until Christmas you will find 3 different links. The topics for each day are: A Craft, a FUN Link and a Devotional link."

Dec. 12 : For Homeschoolers (or anyone who needs to occupy kids!) - The Homeschooling Advent Calendar - each day has a link to a recipe, a game, a coloring page, a craft, an e-card, and an activity page. Keep those young 'uns busy!

Dec. 13 : Newby's of Molford advertisement calendar - This is a very funny spoof calendar - either made by an advertising firm, or maybe there really is a store called Newby's... I assume that it is British in origin, because the prices are in pounds. This one is very funny, but some of them may offend - for example, Dec. 22 is a set of books on depression and suicide...There are also spoof Catalog Spreads (Now that I have had a chance to read all of the ads I have a warning - adults only!)

Dec. 14 : I also managed to find a Nudie Calendar! - in the interest of keeping this a family friendly site, however, I don't think I'll link to this. The first two photos seem pretty "tame" for nudies, but I don't want to promote porn! If you absolutely have to know, send me an e-mail and I'll think about it!

Dec. 14A : A more Family Friendly option is and it's page on Family Crafts. If you can dodge the pop-up adds, and scroll beyond the ad in the center of the page, there are all sorts of great ideas for making your own advent calendars! I love the Advent Collage, and the Advent Christmas tree - there are templates to print out! The Good Deed Jar and Advent TP (toilet paper roll) Tree also look fun! PG only means that kids will need their parents' help!

Dec. 15 : When I came across this cute animated calendar from Rooney Designs, I thought that was all there was too it. Then, I clicked on the Flash Games link, to find such treasures as Breakdown at Santa Land, Pick My Nose, and Zoom! There is also a fascinating link to The Goose Gallery - LOVE IT! Here is the description from the site: "There are reasons behind those rhymes. You’ve probably recited the Mother Goose nursery rhymes dozens of times. But do you know what they mean? Now you can get the surprising, grown-up stories behind these childhood rhymes in the Gallery exhibition, A Visual Goose. The truth will shake your tailfeathers. And if you’re really sharp, or really bored with a lot of time on your hands, you might spot the goose in each illustration." Go there!

Dec. 16 : Santa's Internet Advent Calendar has lots of cool games and links. On Dec. 2, there was a template to send an e-mail to Santa! On the sidebar there are links to more games and jokes - even one to Get Santa's Autograph! (Okay, it's not really his handwriting, but it is a picture of Santa with your name and his on it!)

Dec. 17 : Advent Calendar of the Damned - now, who could resist that? This is a black and white cartoon published by the City Paper Forum, and is available in two PDF files for you to print out. Which is exactly what I will do - as soon as the main office provides me with another black ink cartridge!

Dec. 18 : Here is another calendar to print out - it is a two layer affair by Jan Brett. You just lay one page over the other (I guess you have to make slits for the doors, though!). This site is loaded with things to download and print out - Cute!

Dec. 19 : Here is one with lovely inspirational quotes provided by the Saint Margaret Mary Parish Homepage!

Dec. 20 : If only my Dad had e-mail (he's a vintage postcard dealer!), I would send him thisAntique Postcard Advent Calendar. The guy who made it posts a different Christmas postcard from his collection for each day.

Dec. 21 : This Artcyclopedia Advent Calendar is gorgeous and perfect for the high-minded art lover. There are still some nude women, but - hey, it's ART!

Dec. 22 : The World Wide Calendar made by the Bernadot school in Sweden has really nice graphics, but for a site that says it illustrates "world" traditions, it's got some repeats. And, of course, it is Nordic-centric!

Dec. 23 : Here's another risquee one from They must be British or Irish, from the dialects of one of the jokes I read. First, there is a severely "double-entendre" cartoon, then a story (the second day had a card trick, too.). For adults only! Also, it's fun to click on days ahead, so that a circle pops up to scold you!

Dec. 24 : Finally, this North (another British site) calendar is very well done. Beautiful painting of a family around a Christmas tree and puzzles, jokes, and carols when you click on the boxes.

Dec. 25 : A program (I think it is British) called REEP (Religious Education and Environment Programme) has an educational Advent Calendar - this year's follows the three Kings (and Queens...) on a journey. There are trivia questions about Epiphany and Magi, and the game can be played at an adult or junior level. There is also the Culham College Institute Advent Calendar, called "Bethlehem Street." It is full of Christmas lore - as well as environmental awareness tips.

Just for the record - here is my final disclaimer: I do not promote or sponsor any of the institutions listed above. I am also not aware of everything hidden in these calendars! On the one hand, althought I obviously have plenty of time to waste typing this up, I don't have time to look at 25 x 28 or more little boxes! Also, some of the boxes are inaccessible before the appointed days! So, please do not get mad at me if you see something that offends you - I have warned you of most!

Merry Christmas!

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