Are you ready for the countdown to Christmas? From festive icon sets to advent calendars that are bound to sweeten your days with a delightful little surprise each morning, we’ve decided to join in on this lovely annual tradition and bring it all to one place. So prepare yourself a nice cup of coffee and get cozy — there’s always something new to learn and discover!
Once again, the web community has been busy with creating some fantastic advent calendars this year. As you’ll see, each and every one of these calendars are sure to cater for a daily dose of web design and development goodness with stellar articles, inspiring experiments, and even puzzles to solve.
It doesn’t really matter if you’re a front-end dev, UX designer or content strategist, we’re certain you’ll find at least something to inspire you for the upcoming year. Use this month of December as a time to slow down, and your time to reflect and plan ahead — you won’t regret it.
Advent of CSS
For folks who’re more into CSS, there’s the Advent of CSS where you can sign up for a daily email outlining a CSS challenge that includes all the assets you need to get started — including a Figma design file. (If you don’t have a Figma account, don’t worry, it’s free.) Before accepting this challenge, you really should know basic HTML and CSS.
JVM Programming Advent Calendar
The Java Advent 2021 is here! To make the advent season even sweeter for JVM enthusiasts, there will be a new article about JVM-related topic everyday. The project started in 2012 with the idea of providing technical content during the Christmas Advent period, so keep looking for nice things under the Java Christmas tree! 🎄
Advent of Code
If you prefer a puzzle over an article, take a look at Advent of Code. Created by Eric Wastl, this is an advent calendar of small programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language you like. You don’t need a computer science background to participate — just a little programming knowledge and some problem solving skills will get you pretty far. Go ahead and give it a go!
Perl 6/Raku Advent Calendar
Back in October of 2019, “Perl 6” was renamed to “Raku”. It’s the 6th year since (what was then called) Perl 6 was released, and the 13th year in a row for this Raku Advent calendar. Stay tuned for lots of articles on metaprogramming, applications, useful Raku modules, programming techniques, guides on how to work with Raku inside containers, and even how to migrate from good ol’ Perl.
24 Pull Requests
24 Pull Requests is a yearly initiative to encourage contributors around the world to send 24 pull requests between December 1st and December 24th. The project is available in twenty languages, and encourages all kinds of contributions to open-source projects — including non-pull-request contributions. There’s a new contribution form on the site that allows you to record the contributions you’ve made each day that wouldn’t usually make sense as a pull request. Join in!
HTMHell Advent Calendar
If you’re already familiar with the HTMHell website, then you can guess how interesting its advent calendar is going to get! Take a peek behind each door of the HTMHell calendar where you’ll find an article, talk or tool that focuses on HTML. To be fair, HTMHell isn’t just about bad practices — Manuel also shares good practices and useful HTML tips and tricks. 🔥
An advent calendar that has been publishing since 2009 is back again. Good ol’ PerfPlanet is back for another season with all things speed and web performance. Anyone is welcome to contribute to the calendar, so do feel free to reach out with a topic or tool you’re passionate about, or a technique you’d like to teach and tell the web performance community about.
C# Advent Calendar
It’s time for the fifth annual C# advent calendar that will feature two pieces of content every day. Anyone can contribute by sharing their blog posts, videos, articles or podcast episodes dedicated to C# development. In case all of the spots are already claimed, you can always sign up to be a substitute author. Rock on! 🎸
Inclusive Design 24
The good folks at Inclusive Design 24 are sharing their favorite talks from previous years of the good ol’ #id24 online-only conferences while counting down the days until the New Year. All videos have even been manually re-captioned, just so they’re all at their best.
Lean UXMas has been publishing each advent since 2014 and is a collection of the most popular articles from this year’s Agile and Lean UX latest news. If you find yourself impatiently waiting for the next article to be posted, you can always check out the previous advent calendars smashing the year in the base URL, or simply search for them below the website’s header.
Code Security Advent Calendar
If you’re up for a challenge that involves spotting security vulnerabilities, then the Code Security Advent Calendar is just the right one for you. Every day, there will be a code security puzzle and/or riddle announced on Twitter to which you’re welcome to join and share with your friends to discuss solutions together. The most active players with the best solutions will be contacted to receive a cool swag pack. 🎁
Advent of Cyber
Security can be a daunting field. With Advent of Cyber, you can get started with Cyber Security by learning the basics and completing a new, beginner friendly security exercise every day. For each task you get correct, you get a raffle ticket and on the 26th December, meaning the more questions you answer, the more chance you have of winning. Every day you complete a challenge, you get entered into another prize draw for the chance to win a mini-prize. So, what are you waiting for?
24 Days In December
“PHP is not just a language. PHP is a group of people, a community of developers who build things for the web. The PHPamily spans the globe, and while we might not always agree or get along, we have one thing in common, we’re passionate about what we do.” Jonathan Bossenger hits the nail right on the head as he welcomes everyone to participate in the 6th edition of 24 Days in December. We’re all look forward to hearing your personal journey and stories with PHP! 🌈
Umbraco Christmas Calendar
It’s the 10th year of 24 Days In Umbraco and it’s time to learn more about Umbraco (otherwise known as the ‘Friendly CMS’). If you’re interested in it but not sure where to start, you can always check out the articles by tag(s) and find the answers to your questions. The calendar was first started back in 2012 so there’s plenty of content to sift through.
Festive Tech Calendar 2021
With over 2K subscribers on YouTube, the Festive Tech Calendar is back at it again this year with videos from different communities and people around the globe. As you’ll see, you’ll quickly be able to find an entire collection of videos from all of the previous years, and topics as well as the diversity of speakers both don’t fall short indeed. By the communities, for the communities indeed.
SysAdvent is back this year! 🙌 With the goals of sharing, openness and mentoring, you’re in for some great articles about systems administration topics written by fellow sysadmins. Tune in each day for an article that explores the wide range of topics in system administration.
IT Security Advent Calendar
“Don’t store sensitive data in the cloud; keep it entirely disconnected from the web.” Yup, that’s the credo delivered in the first advent door of the good ol’ IT Security Advent Calendar this year. Counting down to Christmas, this calendar is dedicated to sharing a new tip for protecting your devices, networks, and data each day.
This year’s Bekk Christmas features opinion pieces, tutorials, podcasts, deep dives and lots of other formats. Pick the ones that seem interesting to you, and consume them whenever you like. It’s worth digging through the archives (see e.g. 2020) — there’s a golden gem hidden in each one of them!
It’s nice to find some calendars in languages other than English, too! Here are a few we stumbled upon:
24 Jours De Web (French)
24 Jours De Web is a lovely French calendar which first appeared back in 2012, and has been continuing the lovely tradition of online advent calendars ever since. 24 authors come together each year and publish an article on UX, accessibility, privacy, and other topics related to the good ol’ web.
SELFHTML Adventskalender (German)
This year’s SELFHTML Adventskalender is dedicated to accessibility — a topic that concerns everyone. Why? Because accessibility is good for all of us. Accessible websites are simply better websites. At the end of the day, everyone in the world hits a large key faster and more reliably than a small key. To all the German-speaking developers out there, you’ll understand why it’s important to include accessibility as much as possible. Also, make sure to bookmark the SELFHTML wiki so you can have the latest documentations and tutorials at hand.
WEBアクセシビリティ Advent Calendar (Japanese)
This Japanese advent calendar has been running since 2013 and is moderated by @hokaccha. Its focus lies on web accessibility, with a new author exploring a topic each day — from web accessibility to all the different types of programming languages you may want to explore for your projects. Once logged in, you can save a spot on the calendar and have your article or work published on that particular day.
Knowit is one of the Nordic region’s leading consulting companies. They have once again brought their Norwegian calendar to life, and it is just the kind of holiday calendar for those of you who love programming. Behind each hatch hides a task you have to answer in the form of a simple text string or a number. The hatches vary in degree of difficulty and design, but common to all is that they are best suited for solving with code. Solve as many slots as possible to increase your chances of winning! Good luck! 🙌
Do you happen to know any other advent calendars that have been created in languages other than in English? Please do feel free to reach out to me on Twitter and I’ll be sure to add them to this list.
Oldies But Goodies
Christmas Experiments (2018)
Christmas Experiments started back in 2012, with the goal to deliver great experiments and highlight top web creative as well as newcomers. It was a pretty cool WebGL advent calendar that featured a daily new experiment that was quite obviously made with love by digital artists. Unfortunately, it did not continue after the 2018 edition.
24 Accessibility (2019)
An advent calendar we surely miss is the 24 Accessibility. The site hasn’t had a new article since 2019, but still offers a good resource of articles on all subjects related to digital accessibility. Whether you are new to accessibility or a veteran, a developer, designer, user experience professional, quality assurance analyst or project manager, you’ll find an article of interest during the run of the series.
It’s A Shape Christmas (2019)
It’s A Shape Christmas is a digital calendar that counts down to Christmas and reveals a bespoke illustration each day themed around four different shapes (Square, Triangle, Circle and Hexagon) and Christmas. The project was started in 2011 by a UK design agency called Made by Shape. The website still showcases some of the best from the previous seasons. I’m sure you’ll agree: they’re all just too good not to be shared! ✨
24 Ways (2019)
First initiated by Drew McLellan, 24 ways started out as a simple website that published a new tip or trick each day leading readers through December up until Christmas. It launched in 2005 and still has all of the calendars available online. Unfortunately, the last one was published in 2019 and will be taking a well-earned break after that year’s “final countdown”.
Perl Advent (2020)
The Perl Advent started back in 2000 and is perhaps the longest running web advent calendar that many know of. You’ll find insightful articles written by diverse author submissions from all types of Perl programming levels. A different Perl module will be featured each day for the twenty four days of advent, and an extra module on Christmas day. Make sure to go through the previous Perl advent calendars — it’s worth it.
PWAdvent is a nice advent calendar for everyone who’s excited about the web platform and Progressive Web Apps, of course. Take a look at all the great stuff the web has to offer in last year’s calendar, in which a new progressive browser feature was introduced every day by Nico Martin himself and others.
A11y Advent Calendar (2020)
Heydon Pickering once said, “Accessibility is not about doing more work but about doing the right work.” Last year, Kitty Giraudel decided to publish an accessibility tip a day in his very own #A11yAdvent. Some of the tips are probably common knowledge for many, yet each of the posts cover so many of the important aspects of accessibility that will still hold true for years to come.
Last But Not Least…
Of course, we wanted to join in the fun ourselves and brought our very own #SmashingAdvent to life! As you already probably know, the Smashing team has been organizing conferences and events since 2012, so there are plenty of gems to shine the spotlight on. Do give @SmashingConf a follow on Twitter where we’ll be sharing our favorite talks and interviews with speakers from all over the globe.
On behalf of the entire Smashing team, we’d like to say thank you to each and every one involved in these projects — we see you! The communities in our web industry wouldn’t be able to learn so much and thrive if it wasn’t for your time, hard work and dedication. We all sincerely and truly appreciate each and every one of you. 🙏
And of course, if there’s a calendar that isn’t mentioned here, please do post it in comments section below.