Advent, which began on November 27th this year, marks New Years on the the historic Christian Church calendar—the beginning of the new liturgical year and the Church season leading up to Christmas Day. Advent calendars seem more popular than ever recently, possibly due to the variety available for use on computers, smartphones and tablets.
According to the Blogging Thomas Website, the first advent calendars appeared in 19th-Century Germany when various methods of counting the days between the start of Advent and Christmas Day were used. Advent calendars were introduced to the USA with the assistance of U.S. president Dwight ‘Ike’ Eisenhower, whose grandchildren took a shine to the idea. The calendar was soon adopted in other countries too, and in the U.K., chocolates began to appear behind the little doors as soon as rationing would allow. By the end of the 1950s, chocolate advent calendars had appeared, and by the following decade they had become widespread. They still exist today, with hundreds of different varieties appearing across the globe.
Advent Calendars for iOS
Gourmet Pixel Ltd. have made this one the biggest and best Christmas apps for iOS devices. Packed full of features, the app features a helpful countdown, letting you know exactly how many more days you have to get all those presents for loved ones.
The app is available all year long, yet before the 1st December each year all of the extra features, jokes, songs, toys etc are locked. Once the 1st December arrives, the fun really starts.
You will then be able to start opening the windows within the Advent calendar, with each window unlocking a new feature within the app. This will happen every day right through December until Christmas arrives. The developers have added some great hidden treats this year, wallpapers, jokes, festive songs, games, facts and many many more. – the only one you ever need. Xmas Fun 2.1 includes:
- Christmas Day Countdown clock
- Advent Calendar With Surprises/li>
- Make a Christmas Gift List/li>
- Virtual Toys & Gifts/li>
- Create fun festive photos/li>
- Festive Jokes/li>
- Christmas songs and jokes/li>
- Find Christmas Facts/li>
- Play Festive Games/li>
- A gift list, so you can keep track of all your present ideas. You can store the name of the person, and the gift idea, then take it off the list when you’ve bought it./li>
This app works every Christmas, year after year.
Christmas Clock: Deluxe Edition (Free)
Scottish-based software developers Vasoware offer Christmas Clock: Deluxe Edition for iOS. It’s not exactly an Advent calendar, but something analogicsally similar, featuring a suite of tools to use in the run up to the holidays. Count down the days and hours to Christmas, listen to classic Christmas songs, and track Santa’s every move, all while enjoying fluid animations and dynamic weather effects. In keeping with the Christmas spirit, all users get the Christmas Deluxe version for free. This app is a big hit with young children and anyone who eagerly anticipates the holidays, and has already been downloaded thousands of times.
“We wanted Christmas Clock: Deluxe Edition to be a high-quality, cheery application that our customers can enjoy for free,” said Christopher Saunders of the Vasoware Development Team. “People everywhere love the magic and innocence of Christmas, and we’re looking forward to our customers enjoying this mobile application with their whole family this holiday.”
Christmas Clock: Deluxe Edition is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category.
Product [Christmas Clock: Deluxe Edition 1.0.1: ]
Children’s Christmas (Free)
BCNmultimedia, the creator of Children’s Bible app, the world’s most downloaded children’s e-book, has announced the release of Children’s Christmas 1.0, an Advent Calendar free app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. If you like Advent calendars, this is the app for you: an Advent calendar for children of all ages.
Starting on the 1st of December, kids will be able to open the corresponding window every day until Christmas day. In every window you will find an illustration about a moment in the gospels on the Annunciation and the Birth of Jesus, together with a text and a quotation from the Bible.
Main features of Children’s Christmas:
- A different illustration every day, from December 1st to Christmas day
- A complete teaching resource for Advent and Christmas in 25 illustrations
- For every window, a matching illustration and the corresponding biblical text
- Parents, catechists and teachers can open the windows before the date in order to prepare their comments
- Wish your friends and relatives a Merry Christmas sharing these illustrations via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook
- When all of the windows in the calendar are open, you will see a beautiful Christmas tree with images of the Birth of Jesus (iPad version)
- Those who get ready for Christmas with the movies and comic books from Children’s Bible will find new drawings and texts in Children’s Christmas
Children’s Christmas 1.0 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Books category.
Product [Children’s Christmas]
Wait for Christmas with the alarm clock and the calendar of Advent! Wonderful Christmas music, performed and interpreted by Trio Monte for the alarm clock every day of the week. In addition, the postcard of the day to greet whoever you want.
- Set the alarm time (also works in the background)
- The alarm clock has new music every day of the week
- Every day you can also mail the postcard
- Christmas time is over? A special track for the alarm throughout the year!
Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!
Adventskranz Dashboard Wreath Widget 1.1 (Free)
This widget decorates your Dashboard at Christmastime. Light a candle on your virtual Advent wreath each Sunday in Advent season.
Requires Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later.
Product [Adventskranz Dashboard Wreath Widget]
Christmas Calendar 1.0 (Free)
This is a Christmas Calendar widget for Mac OS X 10.4. (Tiger). It contains 24 “Windows jokes”—one behind every door—until Christmas Eve! In other words: ’24 Reasons why you are glad you’ve got a Mac’!
If you try to open a door too early you’ll see the cat image and the number of days you still have to wait. There is a “Show Anyway” button, but I trust you not to use it.
BBC Bach Christmas Calendar (Free)
If you love the music of J.S. Bach as I do, this Christmas calendar from the BBC is sublime. It hasn’t been updated for a while, but no matter. A visit will be self-explanatory.
Product [A Bach Christmas Calendar]
Full Homely Divinity Advent Calendar (Free)
The Traditional Anglican Organization Full Homely Divinity says, “Finding ourselves a bit frustrated by Advent Calendars that are more about Christmas than Advent, we decided to try our hand at creating our own online Advent Calendar. The background for our calendar is a Jesse Tree on an ivory panel from Bavaria, c. 1200, which is now at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Paris.
“As is the case with most Advent calendars, ours begins on December 1st, rather than the First Sunday of Advent. That simply means that in some years you will have to start the calendar a day or two before Advent begins, while in other years, it will not have enough days. Click on the numbers to follow a link for each day of December leading up to Christmas. The numbers beyond the current day are not yet linked to the page of the day. You can look back at days you have missed, but you will have to come back for the days that are still ahead. The Jesse Tree provides one of the themes of the project: the ancient faith history of the people of God as the forebears of the Messiah lived it. The calendar also looks forward to the culmination of God’s plan at the end of time, linking the faith history of the past with John’s grand apocalyptic vision in the Book of Revelation.
“The Jesse Tree provides one of the themes of the project: the ancient faith history of the people of God as the forebears of the Messiah lived it. The calendar also looks forward to the culmination of God’s plan at the end of time, linking the faith history of the past with John’s grand apocalyptic vision in the Book of Revelation.”
Product [Full Homely Divinity Advent Calendar]