The one Advent calendar your family needs


Spread a little goodwill with this thoughtful appraoch to Advent.

With Advent fast upon us, you no doubt have been thinking about what Advent calendar to buy. Although there are a myriad of calendars out there — from homemade versions to ones filled with little chocolates or specialties — there’s another idea for an Advent calendar that really gets behind the meaning of this special time of the year.

It’s called the reverse calendar (you may have seen it on social media). It actually begins on December 1 with an empty basket. Then, on each day leading up to Christmas you add an item to the basket, with the aim of giving a full basket of goodies and essentials to the homeless, a senior home, or a charitable cause that looks out for the vulnerable members of society on Christmas Day.

It’s a simple but worthwhile idea that can get all the family involved. I love to get to make one of my kids responsible for adding an item each day. As they are old enough, they go off to the local store and pick out a product that they think might be useful, or even a tasty treat, for someone in need. On Christmas Day the basket is then full of canned goods, toothpaste, and the offerings of my youngest child — lots of  chocolate!

The gifts don’t have to be expensive, and some can even come from your own pantry. The essence is purely to share in this season of goodwill with those who might not be feeling so festive.

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