Web Development Advent Calendars for 2021

A hinged cardboard calendar, measuring about 12 by 8 inches on each face and one inch deep on each half, with a snowy village scene and 24 perforated numbered squares. In front of it is a metal tea light candle holder with a rotating carousel of snowflakes, three tiny Norwegian gnomes, a tall narrow candle with an illustration of Ada Lovelace, and a taller green glass tree lit from inside by a series of a tiny lights.
Got myself one of those Bonne Maman jelly/jam advent calendars and am very much looking forward to opening the first day and all subsequent days.

Web developers around the world have given a nod to Saturnalia solstice Isaac Newton’s birthday Christmas with advent calendars covering web-related topics. As a result, you may recognize some of the ones listed below.

Every year I miss a few on day one, so add a comment or tweet me if you have more to add.

It seems many of the regulars are skipping this year. It might be the still-ongoing pandemic and probably not wanting to sit in front of their computers for even longer.

I have not included advent calendars that are delivered via email only (React.holiday, Advent of JavaScript, Advent of CSS) or Twitter-only efforts with inaccessible images and that have inconsistent hashtagging (DBS Internet Marketing). It would be a terrible gift from me to you if you sign up for spam or end up taking advice from organizations that are clearly bad at advice.

HTMHell Advent Calendar (@mmatuzo)

HTMHell Advent Calendar is Manuel Matuzović’s doubling-down on the theology of HTML. And Christianity. One of those. Anyway, each day will reveal an article, talk, or tool that focuses on HTML.

Lean UXmas (@LeanUXmas)

Lean UXmas collects the most popular articles from the Agile & Lean UX News mailing list, presented throughout the month.

24 Days in December (@24DaysInDec)

24 Days in December is a PHP-specific advent calendar. It looks like its goal is to give back to the same community from which the author has learned, which is a good metaphor for the holiday.

Advent of Code (@ericwastl)

Advent of Code provides a small programming puzzle every day up to Christmas. They are stand-alone, but supposedly have a general theme. They also use different technologies so there is some variety as well.

24 Jours de Web (@24joursdeweb)

24 Jours de Web is back as an advent calendar for web folk. Written in French, it is clearly primarily targeted at French speakers, but a round of Google Translate will open it up to far more readers (like me).

Performance Calendar (@perfplanet)

Performance Calendar hails this as the speed geek’s favorite time of the year, ostensibly because of the tips it has been offering each December since 2009. It isn’t just server optimizations you’ll find here, so don’t shy away because you’re not a system admin.

JVM Advent (@JavaAdvent)

JVM Advent is posting a technical article from various authors related to Java each day.

アクセシビリティ Advent Calendar (@motchie)

Accessibility (アクセシビリティ) Advent Calendar 2021 is in Japanese, and thanks to the powers of Google Translate, I can tell you it covers a variety of accessibility issues, including web: Webのアクセシビリティを含む、様々なアクセシビリティについてのアドベントカレンダーです。). If you know Japanese, I welcome any corrections. As of this year it is being run by 持田 徹 (Toru Mochida).

Selfhtml Advent (@SELFHTML)

Selfhtml Advent is from Germany’s oldest (since 1995) and largest web design Community. The advent calendar will present tips and examples from its contributors.

Kodekalender (@knowitnorge)

Kodekalender is a Norwegian code-specific calendar. Each day solve a code puzzle and be entered in a drawing (you should check the rules).

Bekk Christmas (@livetibekk)

Bekk.christmas collects a few topics per day in one calendar. In previous years I broke them all out, but with some of the domains not resolving it seems safest to link to the parent calendar. Posts will cover JavaScript, UX, security, and machine learning.

24 Days in Umbraco (@24DaysInUmbraco)

24 Days in Umbraco is dedicated to the Umbraco CMS. Now in its tenth year (the calendar, not the CMS).

SysAdvent (@SysAdvent)

SysAdvent is aimed at systems administrators, but there is a some cross-over to web developers. It has posts dating back to 2008 (they skipped last year and 2018), so there is plenty of good material there if you’re too impatient to wait for each day to be revealed.

IT Security Advent Calendar (@infowebica)

IT Security Advent Calendar offers a daily tip for protection of devices, networks and data. If you find the embedded frame does not let you scroll to read the content, visit the frame contents directly.

24 Pull Requests (@24PullRequests)

24 Pull Requests is less an advent calendar than it is an effort to mobilize developers. The goal is to get developers to send a pull request every day in December (up to Christmas), thereby supporting your favorite open source projects.

Perl Weekly Challenge Advent (@PerlWChallenge)

Perl Weekly Challenge Advent is in its third year. Each day it takes a response from a previous weekly challenge and re-posts it on the site.

12 Days of Web (@5t3ph)

12 Days of Web will not open until December 13, but promises topics covering HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

C# Advent Calendar (@mgroves)

C# Advent Calendar (sharp, not hashtag) is revealing two posts per day, including on December 25. That’s 50 posts over the course of the month.

WordPress Advent Calendar (@redcrew)

WordPress Advent Calendar is Deborah Edwards-Onoro’s effort at providing a dedicated WordPress advent.

Advent of Cyber (@RealTryHackMe)

Advent of Cyber offers a daily beginner security exercise over 25 days (not 24). There is prize money available, but you need to sign up to have a shot at it.

Raku Advent Calendar

Raku Advent Calendar (Raku is Perl6) has a new daily post for your Perl/Raku needs.

Festive Tech Calendar (@_cloudfamily)

Festive Tech Calendar is a YouTube channel with videos ranging from a half hour to over an hour and, based on the number of hidden videos and rate of more than one per day, will have 56 videos by the end.

Designcember (@ChromiumDev)

Designcember is Google’s effort to show off new features in its Chrome browser, while each day offers a link to one of its own dev-oriented resources or to a neutral third-party site. A bit of an accessibility mess, but some good links.

id24’s Previous Talks End of Year Countdown (@id24conf)

Inclusive Design 24 is sharing selected talks from its last few years of the id24 online-only conference. It also exists only on Twitter.

Browsing with… (@TetraLogical)

TetraLogical’s Browsing with… video series is running in the final five days to Christmas, each day showing how a user navigates with a particular piece of assistive technology. Announced in a tweet, the thread also links to related articles.

Code Security (@ripstech)

Code Security Advent Calendar 2021 will give away a daily Java security challenge. As of this writing it appears it will only happen on Twitter.

Smashing Conference Advent (@smashingconf)

#SmashingAdvent comes from the Smashing Conference folks as a daily tweet, possibly linking to talks from prior events.

Free Christmas Design Elements

Not an advent calendar at all, but instead a pile of free stuff, Smashing Magazine has a round-up of Free Christmas Icon Sets And Vector Elements. There are a variety of styles, so you may find something appropriate for your last-minute Christmas project.

Not Web, But Webb

From XKCD with additional context available at Explain XKCD.

Cueball and Ponytail are looking at an advent calendar. The advent calendar is in a hexagon shape, with 18 smaller hexagons with numbers ranging from 5-22 written on them. Cueball: The hexagons are nice. Cueball: But why does it end at 22? Caption below the panel: Astronomer Advent Calendar.
Each one contains a chocolate shaped like a famous spacecraft and, for the later numbers, a pamphlet on managing anxiety.

Previous Years

I started tracking these in 2010. Since then some have come and gone. For the ones not returning, in many cases the content is still out there. Take a look and maybe you’ll find an older article that is useful today.

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