Advent Calendars

December has arrived once more and it brings with it the holiday tradition of advent calendars. Most people are familiar with, and have fond memories of, the “real world” calendars in which a hyperactive child (this is the usual use-case, but your mileage may vary) opens one panel a day to reveal a piece of chocolate, further perpetuating the hyperactivity, up until Christmas day where the chocolate is substituted by presents (or in some rare cases, coal) and the excitable child reaches fever pitch!

Many of us have unfortunately grown out of this tradition, but the web has enabled more useful advent calendars for the older population. It seems the web community is pretty good at this kind of thing and every year brings more resources online - along with successful advents from years past - giving you new and exciting content every day in the run up to Christmas – hey, even web developers need one day off…

24 ways

The first website of this nature, that I remember, is Drew McLellan’s 24 ways which is “the advent calendar for web geeks. Each day throughout December we publish a daily dose of web design and development goodness to bring you all a little Christmas cheer”, which has been going strong since 2005. In 2009 I had the opportunity to write for the site in an article titled “Front-End Code Reusability with CSS and JavaScript”.

This year it has partnered with publishing company Five Simple Steps to produce a physical annual which will only be on sale throughout December 2010 and all proceeds are going to UNICEF.

Other Advents

PHP Advent, which has been going since 2008, has great articles, tips, tricks, & tidbits about PHP and is curated by Chris Shiflett and Sean Coates.

HTML5 Adventure Calendar is a new website on the scene, showcasing “24 days of killer demos, tutorials, community buzz, and other stuff that Steve Jobs would love”!

Adfont Calendar is another website new this year, made by the people over at Clearleft, you can get a free webfonts from their Fontdeck service every day.

Performance Calendar has a full year behind it already and back for another year. Featuring indepth articles related to the whole web developement stack, including JavaScript optimisation, CSS performancing, caching.

Advent Calendar is a beautifully designed Tumblr theme by Sam Rayner, which allows you to easily create your own online advent calendar.

Freelancember gives you some useful tips to become a better freelancer.

If you know of any other advent calendar websites which are interesting, please add them in the comments and I will update the post with their information.