My family has taken up Welcome Inn Community Centre’s suggestion of a Reverse Advent Calendar. The idea is instead of consuming advent with daily trinkets or candies we are building into the advent season by consciously giving something away each day.
The Way it works:
- Take a box and divide it up into 24 squares. We used scrap cardboard and an old box. You could also draw a grid with a marker or go to the LCBO and ask if they have any used boxes that are already divided for bottles.
- Number your squares from 1 – 24. We used name stickers and sharpie, but you could draw right on the box or use sticky notes.
- Decorate! We used warping paper, old Christmas cards, stickers and bingo dabbers (please beware that red bingo dabbers look a lot like blood splatter until you add the green dots).
- Raid your pantry to fill the first square. Repeat daily until full.
- Donate your box to the Welcome Inn Community Centre on 40 Wood St E. in Hamilton. I would suggest calling ahead to check their hours (905-525-5824). We started ours a couple days early so we could bring it in before Christmas, but if you bring your box in after Christmas it will still be very welcomed. The reality is that most food donated in December is actually for January. The Christmas season puts such a strain on food banks shelves that they really need help restocking for the new year.
Some other ideas:
Don’t worry if you start late, I think you can jump in on the Reverse Advent Calendar at any time. Some other variations could be using the 12 days of Christmas to make a mini box.
Not just for kids. This could also be used at your workplace, small group, or book club. You could collect food or money.
Use the idea at your Christmas Party. Invite 24 friends for a party and have them each bring a donation to fill your communal Reverse Advent Calendar. If you don’t want to get crazy with the cardboard you could put out 24 envelopes or Christmas cards to be filled with cash donations.
Make a financial donation: Welcome Inn could also use your help paying their bills. Consider making a donation to help keep the lights on. Here is a link to their Canada Helps Online Donation page: https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/15510
If you try any version of this idea we would love to hear what you did. Feel free to send us ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) photos and we will post those as well to help inspire others.