A reverse advent box is an idea I saw on Pinterest a few years ago whilst doing some Christmas planning.

Advent is a time for reflection on the run up to Christmas and this is a great time to remind ourselves of how fortunate we are. Although each year we have a big clear out before Christmas its normally just a practical thing to make room for the new items we are about to receive. This advent though, I am continuing our fairly recent tradition for our family and that is the reverse advent box.

The box

First get a box. Any box! I had a spare fruit crate in the garage doing nothing but a cardboard box will suffice. Then you can write on it or stencil with spray paint (you’ll see I need more practice at this!) and write on it what it is for as a reminder for your family members and an advert to any visitors to your home on what you’re doing as it might inspire them too!

advent box stencils

Once that’s complete you can choose to segment the box into 24 sections with more cardboard, or line it with shredded paper or just leave it as it is… it really doesn’t matter 🙂

stencil complete on advent box

Who to gift it to

Then each day in November, add something to the box which could be utilised by a homeless shelter or wherever you intend to gift it on Christmas Eve. You might wish to do a collection for a food bank and have a sort through your own cupboards for in-date items that could be donated, or you might pick a women’s refuge and give up your stockpile of toiletries. One for a local children’s hospital filled with pre-loved toys would also be a fabulous idea for your reverse advent box. This year we did one of those separately to get our children involved in decluttering for a good cause too.

We’re filling ours for a nearby homeless shelter.

Fill it for free

Filling a reverse advent box shouldn’t cost anyone money. As well as having clear out at home of unwanted belongings, I give myself the extra challenge of filling it with items I can get for free, mostly through the supermarket apps. I use: Checkout Smart, Top Cash BackBargain BoozeShopmium use code KMMAGUHX to get a free tube of Pringles.

reverse advent box free baby food

This will give real variety to the items I am going to have in my box. I supplement mine with hotel toiletries if I’ve picked up any during the year. In the past I’ve also added walking boots, unopened Hallowe’en sweets and even Christmassy DVDs too.

I recommend checking out your local foodbank to see exactly what they’re in need of. Most will be sharing an essentials shopping list to account for what they already have in stock and what they’re still wanting.

Share your progress to get more people involved using the hashtag #FoodbankAdvent

Join our Foodbank Advent campaign with a reverse advent calendar