Reverse advent calendars Australia are a wonderful new tradition to start with your family and children. They are a fabulous way to give back this Christmas season to those in need in your local community. This year more people than ever are struggling due to the rising cost of living and the recent wide spread flood events in Australia. Creating a reverse advent calendar 2022 is a great way to teach your children about kindness and the joy of giving to others.
What Is A Reverse Advent Calendar?
With a normal advent calendar you open a little window in the advent calendar each day to receive a treat, either a chocolate, toy, beauty product or even a little bottle of alcohol depending on whether it’s a food advent calendar, a kids advent calendar, a beauty advent calendar or an alcohol advent calendar.
A reverse advent calendar focuses on giving rather than receiving. You start with an empty box and each day for 20 days you add an item into the box to donate to your chosen charity.
Most people create their reverse Christmas advent calendar over the first twenty days of December. I prefer to start creating my reverse advent calendar from mid November however to ensure I fill it and have time to take the reverse advent box to my chosen charity in plenty of time for them to deliver it to someone in need in time for Christmas.
How To Create A Reverse Advent Calendar
The first step is to decide which charity you want to support with your reverse advent calendar.
In Australia there are a number of charities you can choose from including:
- The Salvation Army
- Share The Dignity – It’s In The Bag donations are requested from 18 – 27 November 2022
- Food Bank
- a local women’s refuge
- a local animal shelter, or
- other local charity in your community.
The York Street Church of Christ in Ballarat launched a Christmas passion project facilitating the creation of reverse advent calendars in 2018 that has been growing every year since then. Their goal is to provide food to those struggling with food insecurity in Australia. They have reverse advent calendar coordinators around Australia that can organise an empty box for you to fill which you then drop off at a designated location. They then distribute the full boxes to various food relief agencies in your local community. You can find more information about this Reverse Advent Calendar project HERE and see if there is a local coordinator in your area.
Once you’ve decided on the charity you want to support you can then get a cardboard box, cover it in Christmas paper if you want but this is not essential, and then start filling it item by item each day.
If you are involving your children in creating the reverse advent calendar you can create a chart with the numbers 1 to 20 on it that they can tick off each day they place an item into the box. You can also give your children input on what to include in the giving advent calendar. They may enjoy suggesting what special Christmas treats the recipients might appreciate receiving. They can also create a Christmas card to pop in the box too.
Reverse Advent Calendar Ideas
The best items to put in your reverse advent calendar box depends on the charity you’ve chosen to support.
Food Reverse Advent Calendar Ideas
Suitable food items to give include:
- Non perishable food items such as pasta, rice, cereal, tinned products, juice, long life milk, tea, coffee, pancake mix,
- Special Christmas treats to help the recipient celebrate on Christmas Day
- Can also include toiletries
Do not include:
- Perishable food or anything that needs refrigeration
- Used, opened or damaged products
- Out of date food
- Homemade food
- Any food without a label
Share The Dignity Reverse Advent Ideas
If you’ve chosen to support Share The Dignity, then you should start collecting your products earlier than December as this charity requests to receive It’s In The Bag donations between 18 – 27 November 2022.
Share The Dignity requests you fill a handbag or tote bag (rather than a box) with essential items for females to give a bit of love to someone in need this Christmas. Their goal is to ensure women, girls and those who menstruate, who are waking up in a domestic violence refuge or homeless shelter on Christmas feel a little bit of love and hope.
Suitable items to include are:
- Period care products (pads, tampons, menstrual cups or period-proof underwear)
- Shampoo & conditioner (full size preferred)
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Deodorant (roll-on preferred)
- Body wash
- Pamper products such as moisturiser, face masks or other skincare or makeup items.
Share The Dignity ask that you don’t include:
- Used or open products
- Pharmaceutical products such as throat lozenges, medication, vitamins or condoms
- Food or drink of any kind
- Sharp objects such as razors or scissors
- Loose pads or tampons
- Used clothing or used bras.
The bag you pack it all in needs to be in good condition but can be a pre-loved handbag, tote bag or backpack.
Other Reverse Christmas Calendar Ideas
If you want to support a local charity such as a local women’s refuge or local pet shelter ring them and ask them what items are most needed and desired by them. Also check with them if they have a preferred delivery date.
Reverse advent calendars are an awesome way to give at Christmas but there are many other ways to give as well. If you don’t have the resources to create a donation advent calendar then you may be interested in Christmas volunteering instead. Click HERE to read our Ultimate Guide to Christmas Volunteering in Sydney 2022.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas 2022!
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Ingrid is a lover of all things Christmas who has been helping make Christmas time easier and less stressful for her family and friends all her life with Christmas tips, Christmas gift suggestions, Christmas recipe inspiration and Christmas event planning.
Ingrid now shares all this Christmas information here on her Christmas Time Made Easy website. She also shares information about the best Christmas events and activities happening in her home town of Sydney, Australia.