Monday, November 26

Advent Calendar --> A New Approach

Everyone is getting excited about Christmas.  They're putting up decorations and pulling out advent calendars....maybe the Lego one or a chocolate-filled one...but do we truly remember the meaning of Advent?

Advent means 'Coming' in Latin, and the season is about celebrating the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the period of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas..or they used to.  Now it seems that many folks are more interested in whipping through the season as quickly as possible to get to the big show...and that's not how we want to live anymore.

What's the deal with the calendar?
Paper calendars were first popular in Germany in the early 1900's, although people made their own ones from the 1850's.  During World War II, the production of Advent calendars stopped due to a shortage of cardboard.

When they were first made, scenes from the Christmas Story and other Christmas images were used, such as snowmen and robins, but now many calendars are made in the themes of toys, sports, and candy.  The first calendar with chocolate in it was made in 1958, although they didn't become really popular until the 1980's.

Time for a Change
We are fortunate enough to have a warm home, food to eat, and all of the necessities.  Not everyone in this world, or even in this country, can say the same.  In this time of celebrating Jesus' birth, why not spread the love by sharing our wealth with those less fortunate?

Take a box, basket, or tote and each day, place a non-perishable food or toiletry item into it.  Each child can fill their own basket, or you can have one for the family.  At the end of the season, either on Christmas or in January (Three Kings' Day / Epiphany), take the items to a shelter or food bank.  

A Few Extra Thoughts...
  • I recommend the latter date because after the hustle of donations throughout the holiday season, pantry shelves tend to become more barren in the early winter months of January and February.  
  • In addition to canned and boxed food items, consider dish soap, laundry soap, toilet paper, personal hygiene products, trash bags, and sponges. 
  • If you happen to travel frequently, collect the unused sample sizes for shelters.  These are the perfect size, as folks are typically only there for a couple of days.


Below is a picture for sharing on social media, if you'd like to help spread this mission!

9 comments:

  1. Very nice idea, we have an Elf On The Shelf and one of the tasks that my children will do is gather items for the local food bank. I think it is very important to teach children to keep giving, so much in our society is based on how much one has of their own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elf on the Shelf became popular after we'd established traditions, so I don't know much about it. Each day they have a task to complete? I thought it was just "Santa's Spy." LOL I like how you incorporate that into the tasks! Your last sentence is why I want to start this. We do Angel Tree, and giving throughout the year, but this is another way to teach it. I will be honest and say that we have two advent calendars...this one and a 'getting' one.

      Delete
  2. What a great idea. We use our set of Jesse Tree Ornaments as a sort of devotional through December. And this year we are collecting hats gloves and scarves to hand out to the homeless in our area. Things like this really help our kids look outside themselves and grasp that sense of giving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good idea. :) We do those bags sometimes...toothpaste, toothbrush, lotion...things like that. We should do it more though.

      Delete
  3. Wow! I love this idea. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I thought I had commented. Shared this with the foodbank I work with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fantastic! Thank you for sharing!

      Delete
  5. (Advent Calendar --> A New Approach) I really like this idea a lot. This was very interesting to read all about.

    ReplyDelete