Why The Reverse Advent Calendar Is The True Spirit Of Christmas
By: Alex Harmon, ellaslist
In this consumerist world we live in, the sad truth is that Christmas has pretty much become synonymous with presents - and lots of them. Even my three year old has an extensive list of presents for Santa and looks desperately under the tree every morning for them to magically appear. And while it's a great way to bribe your kids into good behaviour, the true message of Christmas has been well and truly screwed. But it doesn't have to be.
You can show your kids that the festive period is full of kindness, goodwill and generosity to others - without being a total Grinch. One of the fantastic things I've seen, which I will be doing this year with my three year old, is the Reverse Advent calendar. It's not only a way to ditch the extra chocolate in your kids' life, it's the perfect way to show your child just how fortunate they are.
The Advent period starts on 1 December and is the official countdown to Christmas - but why open a window of chocolate every day with very little meaning?! The Reverse Advent calendar is a way of helping people with limited resources over Christmas. It entails putting one item of food aside each day throughout December. Or toys. Or clothes. Whatever you and your kids decide is going to help families in need.
The Gift Of Giving
You can do this for 24 days to mirror the advent calendar or even a whole month. The important thing is that you're showing the kids that Christmas is also about giving. You can even get them involved in the project by asking them to decorate the box. When it gets closer to Christmas you drop the box off at your chosen charity, or food bank, or family in need. There are so many ways to show kindness and gratitude. It's up to you - and your family.
Who Is In Need?
If you want to pick a certain charity or fund that you donate to, there are lots that are crying out for help at this time of year. Here are some suggestions:
The Pyjama Foundation: A charity that supports foster children in care.
Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal: Purchase a toy for a child in need, wrap it and put it under the tree.
Care Australia: Donate some money that goes towards sending a girl to school in a third world country.
The Smith Family: Donate toys and books to kids in need.
Food Bank Australia: Donate non-perishable items to your local food bank.
How will you give back this Christmas?