Olivia’s Advent Calendar had its humble beginnings in December 2009 after watching Grant’s Advent Calendar throughout the 2008 Advent season.
Olivia’s 2009 foray into the “family-friendly holiday video blog” genre went very well, including several podcasts successfully filmed, edited, and uploaded far from home (always a challenge), and a cameo appearance on Grant’s Day 23 episode for 2009.
For 2010, Olivia experimented with “green-screen” technology which allowed her to appear in different places and also made it possible for Grant to make a cameo appearance in one of Olivia’s episodes from 3000 miles away… Nice! Olivia also held a contest for 2010 to see how many amusing and creative ways we could hide the word “GRANT” in episodes 1-24. When it was over, there were 92 of them.
For 2011, we returned to a less editing-intensive format. Editing and posting generally took less than an hour rather than the multi-hour marathons we did in 2010, and duties for the production were more evenly distributed among our family members (as you’ll see in the credits). The contest for 2011 featured identifying obscure references to Christmas-related movies and TV specials. How many did you get right?
In 2012 we got some “real theme music” for the podcast featuring David DeBoy’s “Crabs for Christmas” as we filmed on location all around the Baltimore and central Maryland area, bringing you to many oddball, unique, and unusual places near Olivia’s home. The contest had you solving 6-letter Christmas-related words embedded in the credits of each episode, and the random assortment of prizes for the winner was astounding!
For 2013, we got our Geeky Gamer on, as we opened the Advent calendar while featuring some of Olivia’s favorite video games. Olivia made the theme music sound like games her parents used to play. The contest this year was a word scramble featuring what Olivia loves about Christmas day.
For 2014, we had some improvisation in store as Olivia invented her calendar openings with little prep time, using three words drawn out of the treasure chest. Once again, we got to Advent calendar on the road as we visited relatives in California. Fun times.
For 2015, we pulled all the costume stuff out of all the closets and made a big pile. Olivia threw together an appropriate theme for the Advent calendar opening based on your suggestions!
For 2016, we tapped into our inner Bard as Olivia played a game we call Six Degrees of Separation from Shakespeare. She dipped into her vast knowledge of the plays to make connections between her Advent calendar gifts and the Bard.
For 2017, it was all about superheroes. Olivia brought her love of all things Marvel and DC to the Advent Calendar this year as she opened the calendar door each day in a unique superhero way.
In 2018, we’re celebrating 10 fun years with the Advent calendar. Olivia will recreate some of her favorite episodes across the years in this final year.
We hope you enjoy Olivia’s Advent Calendar… watch it together as a family, let us hear from you here on the blog site, and as Grant would say, be sure to tell all your friends!