The production of Advent calendars was halted by wartime shortages.
Christopher Hitchens is dead and suddenly the world is a much more gloomy place. But life continues and it’s that time of the week again. We must carry on as best we can. We’re looking at a Christmassy one today, it being the season and all that.
It’s a haunting image, isn’t it? The Advent calendars I mean. All those long dark days of despair. But war is tragedy, my friends, and tragedy comes in many guises.
The Advent calendar is a German invention that began in 1851 with a Mr. Gerhard Lang, whose festive mother used to mark for her son each day of Advent by attaching little candles to pieces of cardboard. In an effort to cling on to this childish high, or at least to profit from it, a now adult Mr. Lang created a calendar of his own.
After the war, the production of (German) Advent calendars (as I understand it the only serious kind of Advent calendar around at the time) resumed in 1946. Eisenhower is generally credited with the popular spread of the tradition across the United States, although it is safe to say that the calendars we enjoy today probably bear little resemblance to their more stoic German predecessors