In a few days time it will be the month of December and according to the rule in our house it means we can officially talk about Christmas and begin all the festivities. We might even get our tree up next weekend! I once brought a real tree in November and by Christmas Eve it was completely bald……..we were still finding pine needles when we moved out of the house the following summer! Although the story does have a redemptive ending as we rescued a tree from a local garden centre on Christmas Eve for the expensive price of 99p so we did have a tree for Christmas day, phew!

Advent is a time of preparation and think about the coming of Christ as a baby and a time of creating room for Him in our lives. It is at Christmas that God became a human, born into this world, God Incarnate, God with us. I do love this season as in the midst of the winter which is cold and often bleak there is the narrative of a hope, peace, warmth that comes in the form of baby. It makes me think of others at this time who are not just experiencing the physical cold weather at the moment but also life in general has gone cold, perhaps a bit dark and bleak without hope. This year particularly there are many people who have been affected by the Coronavirus and may have found themselves in financial difficulty this year and need help or their basic needs. This advent is also a time to think of others and perhaps bring someone a little bit of the light and hope that is found in Jesus’ birth.

Reverse Advent Calender idea to give to those in need.

I really like the idea of the Reverse Advent Calender. This is where the advent calender is about giving rather than getting. Why not consider having a box that every day in December you put an item of food and by Christmas you can deliver it to someone in need or to a local food bank like through The Trussel Trust. They have collection stations in many places so it really is not a difficult thing to do. I’m also this year putting together various food hampers for vulnerable people that we know that will not be able to get to the shops very easily.

If you want to stick with a traditional advent chocolate calender, then consider using fairtraide chocolate such as Divine where you can be confident that the coco farmers are getting a fair price. This year we have a wooden calender with a box for each day. We always want to encourage our children to think of others so inside their advent calender there is a daily kindness challenge, like ‘hold the door open for someone today’ or ‘pay someone a compliment today’. You could also use the idea of having 2 chocolates, 1 to keep and one to give to someone as a way of fostering a spirit of generosity for the festive season.

These ideas are all just a few ways to be Eco with our choices. In the coming weeks I will be posting more Eco inspired gift Ideas for Christmas based around the 12 days of Christmas so watch this space!

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