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A new Christmas tradition: The Reverse Advent Calendar?

This year it would seem that Advent Calendars have become the new trend. The choice is vast! Beauty calendars seem to be one of the most popular, along with toys and candles, not to mention the huge choice of chocolate varieties that are also on the market once again this year. It would seem that there is a category to fit all the family, ranging from 99p to £100 or more! However, have you thought about doing something a little different this year? Why not try the Reverse Advent Calendar?

At this time of year, it is very easy to get swept up in all of the preparation and present buying. There is nothing wrong with this of course; it is a time of year to celebrate and to enjoy with family and friends. However, some people may be struggling this Christmas. For some, the run-up may be a financial struggle, one of the key places they may turn to for help is a food bank, and this is where the Reverse Advent Calendar comes in.

This is how easy it is. Choose a box or a bag and put in one item each day in December until Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas Eve, you should have around 24 items. Take your full box or bag along to your local food bank and make someone’s Christmas an enjoyable one, with a few Christmas treats in to share. Most local food banks will list items that they are in need of, especially at this time of year, so do have a look or give your local one a ring to find out. Obviously, each item will need to be non-perishable, but I am sure a box of chocolates or mince pies, as well as more practical items like tins of vegetables and soup would be greatly received.

Christmas is often a time of traditions and what better way to start a new one with your family. Each member could be responsible for buying or choosing the item each day. You could even start it earlier than 1st December. There are no rules. If you are really feeling adventurous, you could even create your own boxes, numbered and decorated ready to collect your items! Anything that you can donate I am sure would be a blessing. What an easy way of doing something good for your community, at a time that can be so hard for some.

It is not only food banks that you could collect for. How about collecting small toys, books or clothing? You could distribute them to charities such as the British Heart Foundation, Crisis, Salvation Army or any local charities that you know would benefit from your generosity.

Of course, these charities and food banks are in need throughout the whole year, but as we prepare for our own celebrations, it seems the perfect time to help those who may be struggling. A time to help our children see the season as something more than just receiving gifts. Your generosity and goodwill can help a family enjoy the season that little bit more.What better way to help our children realise that: “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” (Dr Seuss)

Written by Arline Mellor

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Corinne Morgan wrote:
I am doing a Reverse Advent box. But I am doing mine through November and half way through December, because it will give Food Banks time to sort out who needs what. Christmas Eve is too late.

14/11/2016 @ 10:02 AM

2. Mandy Cotter wrote:
This is a great idea, and could also be used to help animal rescue centres too. Many animal rescue organisations have food collection bins in supermarkets, or would just appreciate donations of pet food directly to their shelters. Either way, a "reverse advent calendar" could mean you pop a tin / box / packet of pet food (or a cat toy) into a box each day up to Christmas, and then donate it to your local shelter early in the New Year. Sadly, rescue shelters often take in extra animals after Christmas so this would really help them out. Thanks for the idea!!

23/11/2016 @ 12:42 PM

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