Christmas excitement is in the air! As we begin our preparations for the holiday season, why not try a new twist on a traditional way of counting down to the big day?  A reverse advent calendar is the perfect way for you to join in the spirit of generosity. Instead of receiving a little chocolate, you give a gift of food each day to count down until Christmas. The reverse advent calendar allows you to donate much needed staples to Welcome Inn’s food bank while celebrating the holiday season.

Step 1: Decide WHO: gather your family, co-workers, neighbours, friends or  maybe your going to take this on solo?

Step 2:  Decide  HOW.  How do you want to collect the food? In a  bag, in a decorated box, do you want to get together with friends and create something festive to hold items. The sky’s the limit!

Step 3: Decide WHAT.  We’ve done the work for you on this one.   Just follow this calendar of much needed items  and place one in your advent calendar each day!

Step 4: The WHERE. Your advent donations can be dropped off at  Welcome Inn –40 Wood Street E.  Mon, Wed or Friday from 9:30-2:30pm, Or call to make arrangements.  905.525.5824. Please note our last day of food bank before the holiday break is Dec 22.

OOPS … one more step!

Step 5 :SHARE. Please spread this idea to your friends and family any way you see fit… scream it from the rooftop or just simply share on Facebook.

The Making of The Box:

  • Take a box and divide it up into 24 squares. You can use scrap cardboard and an old box. You could also draw a grid with a marker or go to the LCBO and ask if they have any used boxes that are already divided for bottles.
  • Number your squares from 1 – 24. We used name stickers and sharpie, but you could draw right on the box or use sticky notes.
  • Decorate! We used warping paper, old Christmas cards, stickers and bingo dabbers (please beware that red bingo dabbers look a lot like blood splatter until you add the green dots).
  • Check out the donation of the day on this year’s calendar template or facebook notice. Raid your pantry to fill the first square. Repeat daily until full.

Some other ideas:

Don’t worry if you start late, I think you can jump in on the Reverse Advent Calendar at any time. Some other variations could be using the 12 days of Christmas to make a mini box.

Not just for kids. This could also be used at your workplace, small group, or book club. You could collect food or money.

Use the idea at your Christmas Party. Invite 24 friends for a party and have them each bring a donation to fill your communal Reverse Advent Calendar. If you don’t want to get crazy with the cardboard you could put out 24 envelopes or Christmas cards to be filled with cash donations.

Make a financial donation: Welcome Inn could also use your help building community in this way. Consider making a donation to help keep the lights on and the shelves stocked this Christmas. Here is a link to our Canada Helps Online Donation page: