Charles Vestal, from Berlin, Germany, told the PA news agency that what started as a “passion project/joke” has prompted interest from hundreds of strangers online.
“I present to you the 2021 sardine advent calendar, filled with 24 Portuguese tinned fish delights to enjoy all December long,” he tweeted – the post has since accrued more than 3,000 likes.
“I’ve always kind of liked advent calendars,” the 38-year-old said.
“There’s things like Lego advent calendars, whisky advent calendars, you can get granola and pens and all kinds of weird things.
“I was looking, like, why hasn’t anyone made a sardine advent calendar? I’m not obsessed with sardines or anything, but I just thought, you can get jam advent calendars.
“Right? Why not (sardines)?”
The tech product manager started on the project at the end of September having been inspired by a work trip to Portugal, bringing tins back with him to start on his festive fish creation.
Mr Vestal finished the calendar on October 26 but said the process of making it only took a total of six hours.
“I ordered the cardboard boxes and put them together to make sure they all fit, made a grid and did some test prints (for the design),” he said.
“(I) taped it all up, ordered the colour prints, cut those and then (stuck) them to the front.
“It’s inspired by two things: I think advent calendars are fun and I think that dumb jokes you follow through with are really funny.”
The design for the front of Mr Vestal’s calendar was inspired by an illustrator named Adrian Bauer and despite kind comments from people online, he confirmed he will not be selling the 2021 sardine advent calendar to interested parties.
“They say they love it, they want to make their own, which has been really nice … and it’s been people from all over,” he said.
“That’s kind of why I shared it – because I like making stuff that I think will make other people happy.”