Christmas 2014 was a landmark year

The calendar changed from being a collection of objects to being a collection of drawings created, scanned and coloured by Handsworth comics legend Hunt Emerson. He had been enjoying the annual calendar and was interested in the idea of working on one.

Hunt Emerson's Christmas Countdown calendar

Follow this link to Hunt's Countdown calendar

The whole process of building Hunt's ideas into the windows, using his high quality cartoon illustrations and making all the 'adventimations' work for his approval, was a treat. I concentrated on the one version of the calendar that would work on all platforms, and had to have it ready well ahead of December - no more moving files around manually at midnight.

On the technical side, I used the Drupal scheduler module to time the appearance of the different pages from day to day. After Christmas I redirected the pages into a permanent table to preserve the work so you can now use this everlasting advent calendar every year if you want to.

There's an optional link to a Just Giving page for cancer research supporting Hunt's calendar. ALL the work on it was entirely done for free - just for your enjoyment. If you like it, please follow the link.

I had used Drupal for the calendar for the first time in 2013, having worked with this open source software for most of the year. That year I found myself with a collection of retro Christmas decorations, mostly from the 1950s and early 60s. I knew that a Drupal calendar should work very well on all platforms so would be much more straightforward than trying different mobile versions out, but I felt that I couldn't miss the opportunity of adding tunes from a stylophone, so I worked a Flash calendar, from a generic Photoshop master file as well, to get the sound. It was eventually turned off for being too annoying. 

Retro Christmas calendar

You can still open Christmas day on the retro calendars. There's a link to the Flash version when you scroll down the page linked above.