A recent trip to the grocery store, in my car, turned up a bumper crop of ways to count down the days until Christmas.  This is by no means the complete inventory, just those calendars I could inconspicuously snap with my iPhone.

A Viennese classic.

Over the fall break we paid a visit to the Manner Factory Store and pretty much overloaded our shopping basket with wafers, mints, caramels, and chocolates. It was an awesome good time.

In the chocolate category, another classic. Even at their ages, our children have yet to tire of the simple pleasure of a Kinder Egg.

Another Manner entry. There’s a lot to digest on this calendar, isn’t there?
You can never go wrong with Swiss chocolate.
Or Swiss-Austrian Milka, conveniently sized as a tabletop calendar. Notice how pretty it looks on my tabletop?
And, for the homesick Americans.

There were calendars for those who prefer to play as they count down the days until Christmas, as well.

“Bob the Baumeister”

 A certain daughter in our house has been eyeing this calendar for the last couple of weeks.
Until this one came along.
Nothing like a few mini-explosions to help you count down the days until Christmas.

PlayMobil has a big presence here, no surprise.

This one gets my vote for Most Original. Lancome helps you count down the days until Christmas with a daily dose of your favorite lotion, potion, or notion.

And finally, this has nothing at all to do with Advent. Austrians love their hedgehogs (who doesn’t?)  The Igel population is becoming endangered by development in Austria, however, so an ingenious entrepreneur devised the “Igelhaus”as a way to help nurture the population of Austria’s natural regulator of lower life forms.  There are even hedgehog rescue stations where you can take a weak or sick foundling, and most veterinarians will treat a hedgehog in need for free. Of course I want to put a bunch of these houses in our backyard, but Cletus would probably consider the little Igel to be a chewie, and that would not exactly help the Igel population thrive.