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As soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are eaten, the holiday preparations begin in earnest. From Black Friday shopping and baking Christmas cookies to putting up the Christmas tree and holiday decorating, late November and early December are filled with a frenzy of activity to get ready for Christmas. For Christians around the world, this preparation includes Advent during the four weeks before the coming of Christ. In addition to setting up a nativity scene, churches, and many families, celebrate by attending Advent services, saying prayers and lighting a pink or purple Advent candle in the Advent wreath or candle holder.
Many other families use an Advent calendar to count down the days until Jesus' birth. Hallmark offers numerous Advent calendars in many styles and price ranges. With a traditional paper countdown calendar featuring the manger scene, your family may share a short prayer each day as you open a numbered door. More elaborate Advent calendars can make up part of your holiday decorations—or treats! Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy a gingerbread house countdown calendar or chocolate Advent calendar. A wooden Advent calendar will become a family heirloom, with 24 openings to hold small treats during the countdown to Christmas. Other children may enjoy moving a cuddly itty bittys® to the corresponding countdown spot each day, or a stuffed Santa that lets them see how many days until Santa arrives. Whichever Christmas countdown style your family prefers, you'll be creating holiday traditions that your children will remember for a lifetime.