Try this new Christmas tradition
Something interesting popped up last year at this time, something that exemplifies the spirit of giving that surrounds the holidays. While many lamented what they saw as the greed of the season others showed the true spirit of the holidays through the act of giving. As we at Edmonton’s Food Bank know people are very generous around the holidays, they give to their family, their friends and their favourite charities more at this time of year than at any other. In 2015 we saw this in the growing popularity of Reverse Advent Calendars.
Advent calendars have been around since the mid-1800’s when they were used to mark the four weeks of Advent that lead up to Christmas. These calendars often contained a small candle or bible verse for each day of Advent. The calendars are still used to mark those same four weeks except now they now acknowledge each of the days with a gift of everything from chocolate to beer.
Reverse Advent calendars, however, involve giving back on each of the days leading up to Christmas. In 2015 Edmonton’s Food Bank noticed many Edmontonians were putting non-perishable food items aside each day to donate at Christmas. A Reverse Advent calendar can be as simple as a collection of cans of soup or be a selection of items from our most needed items list or have a theme – from non-perishable holiday foods to kids snacks to a collection of gluten free foods. It is about what you would like to give.
Here is a list of some ideas to get you started this year:
- beans with or without pork
- canned meat
- canned fish
- canned fruit or vegetables
- peanut butter
- macaroni and cheese dinners
- pasta and pasta sauce
- cereal and oatmeal
- school snack items such as juice boxes, fruit cups and granola bars
- Toiletries like deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, body wash, disposable razors
- Baby formula, food and diapers (especially sizes 5 & 6)
- can openers
- gluten free foods
- dry beans and lentils