The original advent calendar has German origins.  Advent calendars were created as a means of counting down the days from December 1st until Christmas day.  They usually contain  254 separate doors/stockings/gift bags etc.  You open 1 each day until the celebration of Christmas Eve.

Not only do the real-material Advent calendars make exceptional Christmas decorations but they are also make great entertainment, especially for younger kids.  Though, all in all, they whole family usually enjoys revealing the little daily surprises.  The calendar is exciting to count down with and always seems to elongate the Christmas season because you feel as if you're celebrating every day until Christmas Eve.

With the popularity of Advent calendars, it's no surprise many of them have popped up online as interactive calendars you can enjoy just as fully as the real ones!

I have collected a large assemblage of Advent calendars for my daughter to enjoy this Christmas season.  They contain a whole myriad of interesting digital doodads.  Some such as:  games, poems, stories, songs, quotes, and a lot more!

Below are my recent Christmas Advent finds (all available online!):

1.  Boowa and Kwala:  The Run-Up To Christmas

There's lots of cute activities on the site.  They are suitable for ages Preschool to 3rd grade.  My daughter really enjoyed decorating for the 'Festival of Lights' as seen below:

2.  National Museums Liverpool

This one looks to be educational.  It's not interactive right now, but promises to return in December.

The site also contains an Online Christmas Exhibition, which includes some artifacts from previous advent calendars.

3.  Greg's Advent Calendar

The dates and days on this advent does NOT match the current calendar year.  However, you can ignore that little fact and still enjoy opening a surprise for the first 24 days of December.

You can also visit Greg's Christmas page for more fun Christmas goodies!  Read some fun Christmas-related facts, pick a story from the digital bookshelf or play a game!  There's lots to do there.

4.  SantaGames.Net

This cute site includes a 24-day countdown advent.  It also has ecards, printable Christmas cards, songs, stories, games and more!

There's plenty of interactive fun....visit the rooms in Santa Clauses house...each one has different games and activities!  You can also go outside and build a snowman.

5.  Smile-A-Day

The website describes their advent as a Christian Calendar and a beginning to the Christian Year.  I am not sure what the surprises contain, but perhaps they are religious oriented considering the site description?

There's more fun activities here as well:  cards, send a letter to santa, and the 12 days of Christmas are the most notable.

6.  Christmas Around The World

The Woodlands Junior Advent Calendar 2015 online interactive advent calendar contains fascinating facts and information about how Christmas is celebrated in different countries around the world.  

This is more of an educational Advent, but fun nonetheless!

7.  About Education Advent Calendar

This calendar is labeled simply by days.  There's not a lot of artwork, just a list of links for each day.  But don't let that fool you!  It's filled with lots of cute activities, games, recipes (and more) to keep you and your little one busy in preparation for Christmas!

8.  Norad

There's no sneak peak on this one, so I'm not sure what the little daily prizes contain.  It does mention that it tracks Santa so, I suppose you can't go wrong when keeping track of Santa!  I'll update once it opens on December 1st.