It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
December is finally here and with the beginning of Advent yesterday, it does seem like festivity is in the air already. (For those of you who aren’t aware, Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas). As Christmas draws near, advent baking is already in progress for some, and at a time like this an advent calendar is especially helpful.
Traditionally, an Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. The Advent calendar was first used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries but is now ubiquitous among adherents of many Christian denominations.
If you’re wondering what a traditional Advent calendar looks like, you could expect it to feature the manger scene, Saint Nicholas, etc. They come in a multitude of forms, from a simple paper calendar with flaps covering each of the days to fabric pockets on a background scene to painted wooden boxes with cubby holes for small items. Many Advent calendars take the form of a large rectangular card with “windows”, one for each day of December leading up to and including Christmas Eve. Consecutive doors are opened every day, beginning on the start of the Advent season for that year. The calendar windows open to reveal an image, a poem, a portion of a story (such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus), or a small gift, such as a toy or a chocolate item.
Of late, advent calendars have come to include themes that range from sports and technology to festive baking. And obviously that would be our kind of calendar! While online stores have an array of options, you could make yourself one instead.
And if you’re looking for some guidance to make your DIY Advent baking calendar, here’s how we think you could go about it.
1. List 24 items usually associated with Christmas that you could and would want to bake.
2. Start off with the simpler recipes and move on to more complex ones.
3. Bring out your stash of handmade paper, glitter pens, paints, old cookery magazines (if you’re planning to make a collage), and go crazy making your calendar exactly how you want it to look.
If a sample is what you need, how about something like this? We’ve included Indian Christmas favourites too. Tweak this calendar and turn things about in a way that works best for you!
Day 1: Hot Chocolate (and since we’re a day late, you could have that mug of hot chocolate today while you bake those sugar cookies!)
Day 2: Snowflake Cookies
Day 3: Christmas Tree Cupcakes
Day 4: Snowman Marshmallows
Day 5: Santa Hat Cupcakes
Day 6: Gingerbread man Cookies
Day 7: Christmas Tree Brownies
Day 8: Reindeer Cake Pops
Day 9: Crinkle Cookies
Day 10: Stollen
Day 11: Peppermint Macarons
Day 12: Snowman Macarons
Day 13: Rose Cookies
Day 14: Dundee Cake
Day 15: Kulkuls
Day 16: Plum Pudding
Day 17: Doughnuts
Day 18: Christmas Cake
Day 19: Murukku
Day 20: Mince Pies
Day 21: Yule Log
Day 22: Gingerbread House
With that, we hope that this Christmas season brings you love, joy, hope, peace, and of course lots of cake!