A brief history of the German Advent Calendar Company Richard Sellmer Verlag based in Stuttgart, Germany
This German family-run business Richard Sellmer Verlag, founded in 1945, is known to many as the “Home of the Advent Calendar”.
Advent calendars are to the pre-Christmas period what the Christmas tree is to Christmas Eve. The publishers Richard Sellmer Verlag supply millions of them every year to more than 30 countries. The curiosity for the daily surprises behind the 24 doors continues even in this modern age.
Interestingly, the Advent calendar as we know it today, is a relatively young phenomenon. The first copy of what would be recognized as such was produced in 1904, however the origin of the Advent Calendar can be traced back to the 19th century. The first styles came from protestant areas with families making a chalk line for every day in December until Christmas Eve or by hanging little pictures on the wall - one for each day in December. The first known hand made Advent Calendar is from the year 1851. Other early styles were the Adventclock or the Adventcandle - a candle for each of the 24 days until Christmas (like today’s Advent wreath).
The paper calendars became universally popular in the 1950s, when it became a more affordable item due to large scale printing capabilities.
The first Sellmer calendar with the motif "The Little Town” (pictured above) shows careful attention to detail and sophisticated, handcrafted design. Richard Sellmer had made it all by himself in the living room of his house in the Schmellbachstraße, opposite today's Sellmer company building.
Richard Sellmer Verlag is the only publishing house in Germany that concentrates exclusively on the production of Advent calendars.
2020 celebrates their 75th year in business, bringing German advent calendars to the world.