Mom often got one of these every Christmas. Lovely little cards with little numbered "windows" you opened up for each day leading up to Christmas.
It's been many years, but as I recall, behind each window or door was a different little picture.
Most of them seemed to be designed and manufactured in Germany, and they resemble Christmas cards of the time.
Children and animals were favored.
Here is some history on the Advent Calendar:
The origins of the Advent calendar come from German Lutherans who, at least as early as the beginning of the 19th century, would count down the 24 days of Advent physically.
The first known Advent calendar was handmade in 1851. According to the Austrian (NÖ) Landesmuseum, the first printed Advent calendar was produced in Hamburg in 1902 or 1903.
The practice disappeared during World War II, apparently to save paper. After the war, Richard Sellmer of Stuttgart resurrected the commercial Advent calendar and is responsible for its widespread popularity.
The traditional calendar consists of two pieces of cardboard on top of each other. Twenty-four doors are cut out in the top layer, with a number ranging from one to twenty-four on each. Beginning on the first day of December, one door is opened each day, counting down the days remaining until Christmas Eve, from one to twenty-four where the 24th door often holds an extra surprise like an extra large piece of chocolate.
These are very easy to find on places like Ebay, the majority under $10, and they can be very easily stored.
Children love to search for and open each little window every day, bringing the coming of Christmas closer and closer.
If you haven't already, incorporate an Advent Calendar into your vintage Christmas tradition!