ANSWER TO THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY: According to everything I've read, the Advent Calendars originated in Germany. You can read more about them here.
NOW FOR EARTH-FRIENDLY FRIDAY:
I was shopping this past weekend with my gf, Des. And when we both bought some items, she told the clerk, "No thanks. I don't need a bag." And then she took the socks off the itty-bitty hanger and handed it back to the cashier.
I asked her what she was doing. She said, "I'd just throw it away and they can reuse it."
I never even thought about that. Des is sooo smart.
So, next time you're out shopping, don't get a bag and hand back any reusable packaging to the clerk. It will leave more room in your garbage can and help save resources at the same time.