My kids used to get an advent calendar every year from their grandmother. Behind each “door” was a small piece of chocolate. To make it fair, I'd had one child do the even days and the other do the odd. Now kids don't have to worry about sharing and don't get the calories either, because Advent Calendars are now plentiful in iOS.
If you go to the App Store on your device and input “advent calendar,” you will find almost 100 for the iPad, and almost 150 for the iPhone. You'll need to make sure the calendars you find are for 2012 or just for any year, as some are specifically for 2010 and 2011, and you end up wasting a good download.
Most of these apps are free, but some have a price on them, but usually just $.99 or $1.99. These apps all feature some type of calendar reveal, with some even going as far as to keep you honest and not let you cheat to see what will be revealed in the days ahead. They include things behind the “doors” such as free apps, coloring pictures, holiday photographs, Bible verses, games, puzzles, etc. I downloaded many, but here are a few of my favorite ones.
This one is free … but only for the first four days. If you want to go beyond that, you'll need to pay in app $.99. Opening the “door” gives you assorted different items, such as interactive winter scenes, recipes, and short stories. It has soft Christmas music playing in the background.
This one is unbelievably fun with a group. The advent calendar portion offers free apps. There are also some Christmas tunes to listen to, a countdown to Christmas, and a talking elf and talking reindeer. They don't just talk, though. They repeat back what you say to them in a reindeer voice and elf voice. You can also tickle them and hurt them (which isn't very nice). They interact with you and talk back and forth. For a free app, it's a lot of cheap fun.
Advent 2012 gives you a free app every day. Each day you open another door, it gives you a mini-game to play while there, then allows you a preview of a free app from the App Store. By the time you're through with Advent, it's twenty-five free apps.
You might not think you know Jackquie Lawson's creations, but you do. She's behind those animated interactive Christmas cards that get passed around in emails. They're the ones with the black lab on them that allow you to make a snowman, put gifts on a sleigh, etc. She's also behind these two advent calendars. One of them has a puzzle to put together, and they have little surprises and animations when you open a door. It's just as beautiful and fun as the Christmas cards. And I'm waiting for the black lab to appear. Each of these scenes is $1.99 each.
Don't be confined to these four apps, though. Feel free to do your own searching to find the advent calendars that will work for you. Don't wait too long, though, as it will be Christmas before you know it!