Reverse Advent Calendars

It’s all about giving….. back…..

Everyone seems to love an Advent Calendar.  Just a children’s thing in the past, they’re now especially marketed for adults too.  From being a simple tool for counting down to Christmas, they’ve become more fancy with chocolates and all sorts of goodies behind the windows.

This year, why not try something a little different, whether in addition or as an alternative to your ‘usual’ Advent Calendar?  What about a Reverse Advent Calendar? – one where you put things in each day instead of taking something out…..

This year has been especially difficult for many.  As well as facing illness and bereavement, many are now facing hardship as a result of the pandemic.  In July, I became Community Food Co-ordinator for North East Lincolnshire.  This has given me first-hand experience of the need that there is in some parts of our area.  We have a number of foodbanks and other voluntary sector food providers, as well as specialist organisations who work with the homeless, or young people, or women in crisis, or seafarers away from home, or…..

If you would like to help others out this Christmas, then why not set up a Reverse Advent calendar in your business or home?  If you don’t know which organisation to do it for, just get in touch with me and I’ll happily make suggestions and/or put you in touch with them mary@nbforum.org.uk  Then, before you start collecting, you can check with them to arrange whether to deliver them just before or straight after Christmas.

Depending on the cause you’re supporting, suitable items could include:

  • Long-dated and non-perishable food items such as tinned/packeted food, cereal, sugar, teabags, biscuits
  • Toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, shower gel, moisturiser
  • Sanitary items
  • Christmas treats
  • Warm socks, gloves and hats
  • Toys
  • Books

A few other useful pointers:

  • don’t wrap the items
  • only put new items in the box
  • it’s best not to include razors or alcohol
  • avoid foodstuffs and other items that will go off or have a short life

Reverse Advent Calendars can help introduce children to the joy of giving. They can also be an antidote for all of us to what some feel is the increasing commercialism of Christmas. And, in a very difficult year for many, they can help emphasise that we all have a role in making change happen, and in being kind to those around us.