Give Back This Season with a Reverse Advent Calendar!

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christmas box filled with reverse advent calendar stuff

This is what the season is all about! 😍

We have shared many Advent Calendars already this year, but if you’re more about giving back during the holidays, you’re going to love this easy and generous idea! ❤️

Now more than ever people could use our help, so by crafting your very own reverse advent calendar, you can really make a difference this year and be reminded of the true meaning of the holidays.

christmas box filled with reverse advent calendar stuff

What is a Reverse Advent Calendar?

This is the REVERSE of a traditional Advent calendar. Rather than enjoying a piece of chocolate or a toy each day, this clever tradition is filled with items you have collected or purchased each day in December to donate at the end of the month.

By the end of your “Reverse Advent Calendar” countdown, you’ll have a box filled with meaningful necessities for a food bank, shelter, or wherever you decide to make your donation!

Reverse Advent Calendar – example items on a table

What goes into your Reverse Advent Calendar?

You can cater your box to a specific local charity, however, it’s best to contact your local shelter, food bank, or wherever you plan on donating to find out what items they need most. By doing this, you’ll mindfully collect items that are truly needed most and will be sure to go to good use.

Items typically needed by shelters and food banks are baby items, packaged foods, personal care items, and so on, but to make it even easier for ya I created a fun, FREE printable! 😍

hand holding reverse advent calendar printable

We know the holidays can be hectic so to save you time, you can opt to use my free printable for your convenience. You can make it even more fun if you’re doing this with kids by placing your printed list on the outside of your decorated box so they can check off each item as it gets added.

Reverse Advent Calendar


Supplies Needed

  • Use a wrapped or decorated box to Collect Donations
  • Donation Items: Canned Food, Household Goods, Blankets, etc.
  • FREE Printable Donation List
  • Paper Numbers to Label Donated Items



The first step is to grab a box and designate it as your donation collection. You can decorate it if desired and make it something for the kids to help with.


I made cards with numbers for each day of the month so we can attach that to our items as we place them inside. This part is optional if you’d like to skip!


Once 25 items have been compiled, take your Reverse Advent Calendar donation box to your local shelter or resource charity center.


Optional: Hand out the FREE Printable Donation List for your friends & family if you display a donation box at your office or workplace.

Reverse Advent Calendar – kleenex, gloves, deodorant, oatmeal, and more

We love this thoughtful holiday tradition & we hope you do too! 😍

With a reverse Advent calendar, you’ll have the perfect daily reminder to give back to those in need during the holiday season. Plus, this can even be done at a reasonable price point or could even potentially cost you nothing at all if you’ve been stockpiling necessities. 🙌

If you do a reverse Advent calendar this year, make sure to tag us on Instagram or share it with us on Facebook so we can see what you’ve put together!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 10

  1. s


  2. stasialane

    I absolutely love this !!! ❤️❤️❤️

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the feedback!

  3. AnnA

    Love this and will do it. Thank you for suggesting.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Anna!

  4. Xenia

    This is such a great idea! Thanks for posting.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay! Glad, you like this. Thanks Xenia!

  5. Ladybead51

    This is a great idea❤️

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your feedback!

  6. Lisa


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