On Day 10 of our Facebook Advent Calendar, we’re opening the window (see what I did there?) on our Top 10 Festive Facts.  A Christmas quiz has become a fun tradition for many people, so I hope these will help you out!

1. Advent Calendars – the first ones appeared in Germany. The BBC History channel refers to printers in Munich being the first to produce them in 1908. Paper and cardboard rationing during the Second World War put an end to them until 1946. Chocolate advent calendars appeared in the UK in the 1950’s after food rationing ended and they soon spread across the globe, with something for everyone – here’s a trendy one and here’s a classical musical one.

The World’s Most Expensive Advent Calendar was a $1m version by Porsche Design in 2010 – there may have been others, but this one is pretty impressive!

Porsche Design's Advent Calendar








2. Coins – did you know if you’re giving a gift of a purse/wallet or clothes with pockets you should always put a coin inside to bring luck and prosperity?  The Royal Mint’s Lucky Silver Penny should work…A Lucky Silver Sixpence3. Pets –  7 in 10 dogs will get a present from their owner. There’s a whole range of advent calendars on the market made just for them, packed with a dog or cat treat each day.

4. St Nicholas was a 4th Century Greek saint and very rich. Legend has it that he helped a poor family when he saw the children had hung their stockings to dry on a chimney ledge and decided to climb down the chimney and put a big of silver coins in their stockings. And so began one of our favourite tradtions…

Christmas pudding - with hidden coins!5.  Christmas puddings should traditionally be made on ‘Stir up Sunday’ – the last Sunday before Advent – and should contain a silver sixpence. Whoever finds the coin in their portion of pudding will have good luck – but only if they’re very careful when eating! We like the tradition and our Lucky Silver 6d is perfect, but it might be safest if everyone hunts for the coin while the pudding is still on their plate!

6. Champagne corks with coins to bring luck!Champagne bottle corks should have a coin pushed into them to bring good luck to all those at the party – there is evidence of this being a tradition in many countries and cultures.

7.  Carols began as an old English custom called wassailing, toasting neighbours to a long life.

8. The chances of a white Christmas are just 1 in 10 for England and Wales, and 1 in 6 for Scotland and Northern Ireland.


9.  In Scandinavian countries a similar tradition to the Advent Calendar is the Julekalender, in the form of a daily television show and a radio show, both starting on the first of December, and ending on Christmas Eve.

The Lucky Christmas 6d

10. New Year’s Eve – a sixpence should be placed on the doorstep to bring luck to the home. The Royal Mint’s Lucky Silver 6d is the ideal choice.






Bringing an old tradition bang up to date, we’ve produced a social media version of the Advent Calendar this year on our Facebook page, asking that you ‘Like’ us and become a friend before you can open the windows. The Royal Mint's Facebook Advent CalendarWe thought that building relationships and giving a daily surprise to our friends was exactly in the spirit of Christmas and we hope you like it!

For more gift ideas in all price ranges, visit the Christmas Gifts pages on our website.




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