DECEMBER is almost upon us and nothing says that Christmas is well and truly on its way like an Advent calendar.

Originating in Germany during the 19th century, these calendars mark the countdown to Christmas Day, typically beginning on December 1. Advent, derived from the Latin word "adventus" meaning "arrival" or "coming," symbolizes the awaited arrival of Jesus Christ.

Traditionally, advent calendars were simple, often featuring religious imagery or scripture behind each window or door, to be opened daily throughout December. However, modern versions have evolved into a delightful array of designs and themes. From chocolate-filled compartments to miniature toys, beauty products, or even acts of kindness, the contents vary widely, catering to all tastes and interests.

Beyond its festive appeal, advent calendars foster a sense of togetherness and excitement, uniting families and communities as each day brings a new surprise. Children eagerly anticipate unlocking each compartment, while adults relish the nostalgic charm or the joy of discovering small delights during the holiday season.

The ritual of opening these calendars daily cultivates patience and mindfulness, encouraging reflection amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. As a timeless tradition, advent calendars continue to enchant generations, adding a sprinkle of magic and festive spirit to the days leading up to Christmas.

We at the Monmouthshire Beacon are aiming to build on this tradition with our first ever online Advent calendar and we'd love YOU to get involved with the project.

If you or a group or society you are involved with would like to send a message to all our readers simply record your Christmas message and send it to us and we'll do all the rest.

It could be a simple Christmas greeting, a favourite joke, or Christmas tip or even a favourite Christmas recipe you'd like to share with everyone else!

We'll be sharing these every day throughout December - and there may even be a few special guests turning up with their Christmas wishes as well.

To join in with the fun simply video your message on a smart phone and email your clip to us. We can't wait to hear from you.

Send your video clip to [email protected]