When I was a kid, you could buy Advent Calendars that counted down each day of December until you reached Christmas. The delightful part, however, was that behind each ‘day’ on the calendar was a small chocolate. I can’t remember the taste of the chocolate, but I can remember the sense of anticipation that went with each one.
Can you still buy those Advent Calendars? No idea, but this year I have another reason to look forward to Christmas, and it’s far kinder to my waistline! A dear friend gave me a digital Advent Calendar, and I literally start each day looking to see what new delight will be revealed.
As I received the Edwardian Advent Calendar at the end of November, I was only allowed to visit the Pavillion, a cosy room that looks like this :
The two dogs, and the two small kittens on the chaise, are animated. Each time you do something in the Pavillion they run through a series of very cute little routines. So far I’ve only seen one routine repeated!
But the Pavillion provides more than just a seemingly never-ending series of animations. All the jigsaw and box puzzles can be played, as can this game :
And then, finally, December 1 arrives and you get to explore the Edwardian part of the calendar. For those unfamiliar with the Edwardian period in England, it was a time of gracious living [for the well-to-do] in beautiful mansions with a small army of servants to cook, clean and generally make life easy.
Each day, the Advent Calendar provides a sneak peak into this period via simple but very effective animations. Sometimes this sneak peak is interactive. For example, on Day 3 you get to do flower arranging. You are provided with six different ‘vases’ and masses of period flowers and greenery to arrange as you will.
All the controls are simple point and click affairs, very easy to do, yet the programming behind them is powerful. Every flower can be resized, flipped and rotated, allowing you to create some very unique ‘arrangements’.
Once you’re done you’re prompted to select the room of the mansion in which to display your creations.
The flower arrangement on the left is the first one I created, and as you can see, it is destined for the ‘hall’.
To my huge surprise, my creation actually became a part of the ‘scene’ :
Can you see it?
I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun. Not only is the concept brilliant, the execution is superb. Everything from the animations to the interactive games and music are just perfect.
I know I’m sounding like an info-mercial but … if you want to send someone a digital gift for Christmas, this just has to be it!