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Out of all the online Advent Calendars this holiday season, two of them have been outstanding. I didn’t know what an Advent Calendar was when I stumbled onto the first site, and by then I had missed the first ten days or so of the offerings. Rest assured that next year I will be searching for them in early November, and post a list of the best ones I find Thanksgiving weekend, so we can all be ready come 1Dec2010.

The first is the AppVent Calendar, a project put together by Blacksmith Games. Starting on December 1st, each day they made one to three of their IPhone/IPod games available for free, and several of them were quite impressive. Most of the games offered for free for one day were also offered for dirt cheap ($.99 for a normally $3 piece of software, on average) for the remainder of Advent.

The other one that gave me useful presents was the WP Engineer’s amazing offering, where each day the tech-savvy team handed out another way for you to rebuild your WordPress driven web site into a true powerhouse. Each entry in this arsenal is a small bit of code, usually in the 5 to 25 lines category, but sometimes as simple as using the Custom Fields entry in the Query Post function to sort entries in a way that would normally take you some development time (as a single example).

I am pretty sure their goal was to offer a VAR (Value Added Resource) to their site in order to attract another one or three hundred potential customers. I am also pretty sure they added a lot more visitors to their web site than they were expecting, and even if most of the new additions do not end up being paying customers today, it will be a good thing for them in the long run. Congratulations to WP Engineers on creating my personal favorite holiday site this year!