The Festive Apple: iPad Advent Calendars for 2011

Sections: iDevice Apps, iPad, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, Originals

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Advent marks New Years on the the historic Christian Church calendar. The first Sunday in Advent falls on November 27 this year—the beginning of the new liturgical year and the Church season leading up to Christmas Day. Advent derives from the Latin word (“adventus,” from advenire, from ad – to + venire to come) for an “arrival” or a “coming.” Traditionally known as “little Lent,” Advent, like Lent, is intended to be a time of repentance, with prayer, fasting, and Confession in preparation for commemoration of the coming of Christ at Christmas.

Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas, and varies in length from between 22 and 28 days. (In 2011, it is the maximum 28 days long.)

The Sundays and other major feast days of Advent 2011 for Catholics and Traditional Anglicans:

  • First Sunday of Advent (Sunday, November 27, 2011)
  • Second Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 4, 2011)
  • Feast of Saint Nicholas (Tuesday, December 6, 2011)
  • Feast of The Immaculate Conception (Thursday, December 8, 2011)
  • Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) (Sunday, December 11, 2011)
  • Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Monday, December 12, 2011)
  • Feast of Saint Lucy (Tuesday, December 13, 2011)
  • Fourth Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 18, 2011)
  • Christmas Eve (Saturday, December 24, 2011)
  • Christmas (Sunday, December 25, 2011)

Advent calendars are one of the more popular Advent traditions (seemingly to be more popular than ever, recently). They mark the days leading up to Christmas, and usually have twenty-four “windows.” Traditional calendar windows open up to show a picture of something pertaining to the time of year. The last window opened usually depicts the Christ Child lying in a manger.

Swiss-based developer JustKidsApps is off to an early start, having released an interactive Advent Calendar for iPad with beautiful illustrations by Swiss illustrator Viviane Dommann. With over 100 pages, the calendar features longer and shorter Christmas stories, poems, little games, recipes, poems, and ideas for handicraft behind each window to count down the days until Christmas. This calendar has something for everyone in the family.


Christmas related short stories and poems include works of the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, O. Henry, M.A. Haley, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Clement Clarke Moore, and many more.

Other Features:

  • Recipes

  • Spot the difference
  • Help Santa Claus find his hidden treasure
  • See Pinocchio’s nose grow when he lies
  • See Hansel and Gretel join Santa Claus for a hot chocolate in the gingerbread house
  • Make a gift box
  • Have you ever seen Santa on Noah’s Ark?
  • Have you ever seen Santa offer the apple to Snow White?
  • Have you ever seen the nutcracker pursuing Santa?

Zoom into the illustrations by Viviane Dommann to see all the details. Her illustrations combine Christmas characters with characters from fairy tales in a funny and whimsical way.


Find the hidden interactive audio-elements, such as Christmas tunes, animal sounds, instruments and many more.

One advantage afforded by software Advent calendars is they can be programmed so that each window can only be opened once the respective date is reached; although if you really must peek, that stricture can be disabled in the iPad settings.

The Advent calendar is also available in a German version with partially different stories.

Advent Calendar 2011 requires an iPad running iOS 4.2 or later and is 49.7MB in file size. It sells for $3.99 US (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category.

Product [Advent Calendar 2011

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