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Advent Calendars… In February?

Happy 2023 fellow puzzlers! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I don’t know about you, but I find December to be such a busy month with so many holidays to celebrate, parties to attend, and if you’re lucky like me, your birthday would also land in this magically wonderful yet busy month (I’m a Christmas Eve baby). Finding time in-between the celebrations to do your daily advent puzzles can pose a challenge for some of us. I know I fall behind every December despite how hard I try to carve advent time. I find myself ending up doing 3-4 days at a time just to catch up. But where’s the fun in that?

Here’s what I’m proposing… Advent Calendars, but in February! Before you dismiss this total anarchy on my part, follow me on my train of many thoughts, and let’s see if I can make you a believer by the end of this blog.

Yes, advent calendars are a tradition that can be traced back to the 19th century when families would mark every day in December until Christmas Eve with a chalk line. But like everything else, advent calendars evolved and are now puzzles! My proposal is, let us evolve as well and do winter advents all season long. It would be more relaxing and enjoyable because it’ll be calm after the whirlwind holiday season.

Eurographics has a fun one called Advent Christmas Sweets and its 1200 pieces broken up into 50 pieces for 24 days. 

I love this one because it's dessert focused, has a winter vibe to it, and doesn’t carry the heavy traditional Christmas feel to it. It’s fun, cute, and I feel it can be carried over to January and February very easily without it feeling way too Christmas-y. 

If you are someone who really isn’t into Christmas at all, then you can have even more fun by creating your own advent calendar ahead of time! I created two advent calendars for a friend who doesn’t celebrate any holidays, and it was so much fun. I started the process in November and had it delivered by December 1st. This would be a great way to make homemade gifts for friends to enjoy. One of the puzzles I used to make her advent was a 1,000 piece by Galison called City Lights

I separated the puzzle into 31 days instead of 24 so the fun can last longer! I did the math and it came down to about 33 pieces per day.

 The last step, I had fun with the packaging and made it all pretty for her to enjoy daily!

One of my favorite artists, who I think would work beautifully for winter calendar creations is Michael Storrings. He magically captures the beauty of winter without it feeling like any holiday at all. One of my favorite images of his is the 500 piece Bow Bridge In Central Park

If 1,000 pieces is too much, you can always do 500 pieces and split it into 12, 24 or 31 days. It's your project, anything goes! I’m already asking you to break all the rules by doing advents outside of December with me, so why stop there? The puzzling world is your oyster! You do what works for you, and brings you the most joy. I’ll leave you with my final reason why countdowns any time should be a go… they go on sale after Christmas! That’s extra money you’ll be saving to put towards more puzzles. If that’s not the ultimate incentive then I don’t know what is. So tell me, have I convinced you to be a rebel and start doing advent calendars with me in other months? 

- Marwa

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