Dale Yu – Review of My First Advent Calendar

My First Advent Calendar

  • Publisher: Haba
  • Players: N/A
  • Age; 2+
  • Time: 3-5 minutes/day

haba advent calendar

So, I grew up as a Catholic in the Midwest, so I’m quite familiar with Advent Calendars.  As it turns out, it might not be as common a phenomenon in other parts of the country.  As my travels thru Germany have shown, Advent Calendars are a big part of the holiday season, and most of my trips through toy stores and department stores provide me plemty of choices for my Advent Calendar. enjoyment.

From http://www.german-way.com: “The Advent tradition is a religious celebration in preparation for the arrival, or “advent” of the Christ Child (das Christkind) on his “official” birthday, the 25th day of December. The Advent season and its celebration have changed over the years from a more serious, somber character (including giving up things, as for Lent) to one of a more joyous nature — including such treats as chocolate-filled Advent calendars. ‘

HABA has their own entry this year, but instead of chocolates, they have 24 wooden figures!  Now, I’d defintely not recommend you eat them, but as you discover each one, you can place it one the winter scene on the box flap.


From the publisher: “The farmyard animals are very excited. All of a sudden, a few days before Christmas, lots of beautifully wrapped gifts appear. Maybe Santa accidentally lost them? Theo the raven is determined to find out. The animals also need Theo’s help with all the preparations that need to be done before Christmas. So the little raven has plenty to do – the children learn what he needs to do every day when they open a calendar door. Lovingly designed play material lets them actively experience and recreate the story.”


As you open the calendar, there is a flap that comes down that shows a winter scene with all the animals on it.  You look up to the top section and find the numbered door.  It is traditional to start an Advent calendar on December 1, so it’s easy to remember which door to open – just check your phone for the date and fine the matching door.


Once you open the door and pull out the wooden piece, you can then turn to the included booklet and read the story.  Over the course of the month, you’ll meet Theo the Raven and learn all about his adventures which echo the Christmas story.


When you’re done, you’ll have a bunch of cool wooden figures that your child can use for free play.  Or, if you want to make this a regular tradition, the box is well constructed to allow you to replace the wooden figures in their boxes and pack it up to use again next year.


In our game group, we decided to start by opening up a door prior to each game.  Yeah, we started super early this year – but we wanted to be able to get a review done in time for everyone to make a decision if they wanted one in thir home by December 1!  We’ve decided to keep the wooden guys on the game table, and whenever possible, we’ve been exchanging our game pawns/meeples for these wonderful Christmas animals… 

Here, the meeples take the places of the figures in Geisha’s Road:


This should be available online, and it appears that Target might be stocking it as well. MSRP looks to be $35.  The story would be great from kids from 2 to 6, and the wooden toys are a nice chance from the chocolates that normally come in Advent calendars.

Until your next appointment,

The Gaming Doctor


About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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