In The Spirit Of Giving

'Reverse Advent Calendars' Are A Holiday Tradition We Should All Start

It's a simple way to teach the importance of giving.

We love tinsel and trappings as much as the next Elf on the Shelf devotees, but here at A Plus, we believe that true wintertime magic comes in the form of connection and human kindness. Over the next month, come back and join us in raising a glass to those who give — because what's December without a little holiday spirit?

December seems to be flying by and Christmas is just 17 days away. You may already know that if you're one of the many people who use an Advent calendar to count down the days in anticipation of the holiday. Some Advent calendars include a small gift for each day leading up Christmas, such as chocolate, beauty products, or a toy. Many brands have started selling them as a way for more people to sample their products. 

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But some people are now embracing the idea of a "reverse Advent calendar" which better celebrates what the season is about. Instead of getting a little something new each day, people are choosing instead to give. 

While some of us are fortunate enough to spend the holiday season buying gifts and planning elaborate meals, many other families are struggling to provide the basics for their loved ones. With more than 100,000 kids available for adoption in foster care in the U.S. right now, some don't have families to celebrate the holidays with. 

Reverse advent calendars encourage us to give to people in need so they can have a happy holiday too. The concept is pretty simple. For the 25 days leading up to Christmas, people collect one item to donate each day. Some choose to focus on food to give to their local food bank, while others gather unopened toiletries, books, toys, and clothes to give to charities. 

Some people get creative by wrapping up their reverse Advent calendar box and creating a slot for one item each day. This can be a fun holiday project to do with kids. Others simply fill up bags or boxes. Either method makes counting down the days until Christmas a bit kinder. 

A reverse Advent calendar is a great way to teach children about the importance of giving during this holiday season and remind adults about the simple ways they can help others. Reverse Advent calendars may be a small act of kindness, but they can make a big difference for vulnerable and underprivileged people.

There is still more than two weeks until Christmas, but it's never too late to start a reverse Advent calendar. You can easily start one today. Any donation is one that can help a person in need. Simply pick an organization you'd like to donate to and start your box. If you'd like to go a step further, contact the organization and find out what they're most in need of to make the biggest impact. 

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