Plummeting temps and talk of snow can mean only one thing: winter is on its way. With it comes hot cocoa, holiday cheer, and for lots of Bostonians, a calculated countdown to Christmas in the form of an Advent calendar.
You can ditch the cardboard cutouts this year, though, because a Very Boston Advent calendar is here to blow all other calendars out of the water. This one is a likeness of Faneuil Hall, and it’s for sale at Beacon Hill Chocolates.
Handcrafted in Limington, Maine, by Emily Chelate of Doles Orchard Box Shop, the custom creation is made of Baltic Birch plywood. It’s architecturally accurate, exhibiting the same amount of windows—and the same barrel-shaped dormers and brick columns—that Charles Bulfinch added to the actual building in 1806.
“It is a one-of-a-kind Advent calendar,” says Paula Barth, owner of Beacon Hill Chocolates. “If you’re a Bostonian and have sentimental value toward Faneuil Hall, I mean, you’re never going to see something like this again.”
Chelate says she was inspired to create the miniature landmark when she realized buildings with symmetric windows would make perfect Advent calendars.
“As a kid, we loved going to Quincy Market and the surrounding shops at Christmastime, so Faneuil Hall came quickly to mind,” Chelate says.
To build it, she sanded, stained, cut, and engraved about 250 pieces of wood, then assembled and glued them together—all by hand. A completed calendar stands about 2-feet tall by 2-feet wide, offering intricately carved window boxes for holding chocolates, plus a few tiny wreaths.
“It just so happened that the number of windows was perfect,” says Chelate. Revelers can open one of the 24 windows each day in December until Christmas Eve.
“I am that mom who does not want to give her kids chocolate every day, and I wanted the drawers to be big enough to hold a variety of items,” Chelate says. “So while [chocolate] is still a great option, you can fit ornaments, match box cars, and other items as well.”
Luckily for the rest of us, Beacon Hill Chocolates will roll out its holiday flavors after Thanksgiving. Among the flavors you could enjoy all December long are peppermint, eggnog, sugar plum, hot cocoa, and rum spice, as well as truffles in the shapes of snowmen, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and reindeer.
Upon ordering the calendar, customers select 24 chocolates (all of which have a six-week shelf life, if you were wondering) to be placed in each window. The whole package has a 10-day turnaround time and clocks in at $495. While the price tag may sound steep, Barth reasons the handmade calendar can be enjoyed for Christmases to come. “You’ll have it as a keepsake forever,” she says.
Interested buyers are invited to check out a calendar in person at Beacon Hill Chocolates on Charles Street. Orders can be placed in person or by phone.
Beacon Hill Chocolates, 91 Charles Street, beaconhillchocolates.com.
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2018/11/14/faneuil-hall-advent-calendar/
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