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31 DIY Reverse Advent Calendar Ideas that Give Love this Holiday Season

Christmas is a season of giving, and a reverse advent calendar is a beautiful way to include giving into your family custom. These DIY reverse advent calendar ideas will have you showing your love and generosity all month long.

“To gain the full value of joy, you must share it with someone.” Twain, Mark

Reverse Advent Calendars

This is a wonderful Christmas tradition. It’s called a Reverse Advent Calendar, and it’s a nice reminder that, although it’s great pleasure to unwrap gifts, we should also consider the joy we may provide to others through giving.

A Reverse Advent Calendar is one in which you gather one item each day leading up to Christmas to contribute to your local foodbank, charity, shelter, or sanctuary or you do an activity to give back to the world and society.

Instead of receiving a surprise every day, you give one… (Alternatively, you could do both and double the excitement)…

Also, what I love about this concept is that it provides a real way for kids to learn to consider the needs of others and to give things that meet those needs.

31 DIY Ideas 

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas… some  places and people have cold and snow this time of year, while others are in summer and hot weather. Wherever you live, whatever your weather, the holiday season is still in December and gives us all a chance globally to give back while we celebrate the holidays. Not unexpectedly, with all of the gift-giving and celebrating, Christmas is one of those holidays that also creates garbage and waste if we are not mindful. We can begin minimizing our environmental impact this Christmas with the following fun and inexpensive eco-friendly Christmas decorations and ideas that you can DIY.

1. Salt Dough Decorations

These environmentally friendly Christmas decorations are only limited by your creativity – and maybe your cookie cutters and rubber stamps. Cut out snowmen, reindeer, and Santa Claus, or personalize them with imprinted letters. When stored in an airtight container, the properly made salt dough does not crumble and has a long shelf life. Check out the full recipe here.

2. Christmas Decorations Made from Recycled Paper

These hanging ornaments are simple to make and big enough to effortlessly brighten up a section of your home to greet your holiday visitors. Choose a rustic pattern made from old book pages, or make a cheerful design out of unused wrapping paper or cardboard bits from around the home. All you’ll need is old book pages, a stapler, ribbons, twine, or fishing line and a hole puncher.

Watch the Youtube video here.

3. Twig Candle Holders in Rustic Style

When it comes to creating the scene, lighting is key, and glittering candles add a beautiful touch. If a Christmas pine tree is out of the question, this twig candle holder alternative will bring nature into your home. Try embellishing it with ribbons. You’ll only need some sticks/twigs, glass cups or containers, glue and ribbons (optional). Here is a video link for inspiration.

4. Lighting Can

Still on the subject of lighting, these are a terrific addition to display against a wall, particularly if you’re a music fan! Put in some tea lights and you’ll have a warm, cozy area that makes the most of recycled tins and their interior reflecting surface. You’ll need some tuna tins, wrapping paper, glue, twine or velcro mounting tape. Here is how you can DIY.

5. Wreath Made with Recycled Greeting Cards

Make this magnificent wreath out of recycled greeting cards and hang it on your front door to surprise visitors! This lovely but eco-friendly Christmas ornament may be adjusted in size and colour according to the sort of cards you have on hand, and it is really easy to put together. Here is the youtube link.

6. Christmas Bulbs Made From Old CDs

Who would have guessed that these gleaming mosaic decorations are fashioned from recycled CDs? The omnipresent CD is gradually being phased out, both sonically and in terms of storage. CDs take a long time to decompose. So, instead of throwing them away, use them to make these disco ball-inspired decorations! Check out this video.

7. DIY Air Freshener for Home

You will need some oranges, cloves, fresh rosemary sprigs, pomegranate (if available) and a glass container. In certain cases, the refreshed display might last several days or even a week. In a few bucks, the scent will fill the home with a warm greeting. Here is the video link.

8. Candle Jars

Decorate your dinner table by placing a couple of candle jars in the center. They are really simple to construct, yet they look stunning and contribute to the homey environment.

Reuse and upcycle a jar from the food you purchase, then fill it with salt. Insert a tealight, and then wrap a few cinnamon sticks with thread or ribbon around the jar’s rim. Instead of cinnamon sticks, you might knot a short pine branch or a sprig of holly. Finally, burn the candle and enjoy your beautiful work!

9. Green Gift Wrapping and Scarf Folding

Plastic is often used in wrapping paper. Choose brown package paper strung with thread for understated elegance, and add natural decorations such as spruce or handmade biscuits. Alternatively, use a scarf! No, really. Someone somewhere had the brilliant idea of wrapping a gift with a scarf, and the results are pretty fantastic.

10. Window Greetings for The Holidays

Make your own Christmas window greeting and compete with other craft enthusiasts on your street or block of flats. Use cardboard from a delivery box to provide a sturdy backdrop for your design, then embellish with anything you have on hand to make a passersby smile.

11. Buy Organic Meat

If you can’t get enough of your meat cravings, go for organic and free-range, and support local farming wherever possible. It may be a little more costly, but buying less is preferable to buying more of mass produced, less environmentally friendly meat.

12. Say No to Food Waste

When shopping for food, consider goods with little packaging or purchase in bulk. And if you have leftovers, don’t simply throw out what’s left. Transforming leftovers may be an excellent way to make new meals while saving money and reducing trash. Try the BBC Good Food leftover recipes for inspiration, or challenge your family to come up with meals using whatever you have in the fridge. If you have an abundance of leftovers, consider freezing some of them. Alternatively, why not give some to an elderly neighbour, a local food bank, or a soup kitchen?

13. Mulled wine

Mulled wine is a fantastic holiday treat of heated wine (dealcoholized works well too) and spices to provide to guests. However, for the most environmentally friendly alternatives, check for organic and vegan wines.

14. Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree

Using or purchasing a tree with roots allows you to grow it outdoors and use it again the following year, decreasing the environmental effect and your expenses.

Or consider acquiring a big perennial indoor plant, such as yucca or palm, and just decorate it for the holidays. If you already have an artificial tree, keep utilizing it to make it live as long as possible. However, when the time comes to replace it, look into more ecologically friendly solutions.

15. Sustainable Tree Ornaments

One of the most environmentally friendly ways to get ornaments is to ask family members if they have any extras that you can have, or to go to a local thrift shop and purchase some used ones. Or, seek homemade decorations produced by local craftsmen and support your neighborhood businesses. Choose decorations made of natural materials such as wood or recyclable ones such as glass. You may also make your own decorations out of items found around the home. Make some out of paper, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, dried flowers, fruit, or any other stuff you have lying around your house.

16. DIY Christmas Garlands

You may construct a variety of lovely DIY garlands to decorate your tree. And it doesn’t have to be a tough or time-consuming chore; make it enjoyable by including your friends or family! String together cranberries, popcorn, eucalyptus, flowers, dried citrus, or pinecones to make one-of-a-kind, biodegradable garlands to put on your tree. You’ll be pleased you took the DIY approach to spread holiday happiness!

17. Babysit for a Friend or Family Member

The finest gifts in life are those that are given for free. If a friend or sibling hasn’t had a day or evening off in a long time because they have small children, volunteer to babysit so they may go on a date night or spend the evening in a hotel this Christmas. This tiny act of kindness may go a long way; it will provide the receiver with much-needed relaxation while costing you nothing.

18. Fill a Purse for Sisters Campaign

This is an amazing initiative by Angel Freedman to promote awareness, especially around domestic violence and helping women in need. Take a gently used purse and fill it with items for a woman in need. You can find all the information about them here.

19. Send eCards This Christmas

eCards are not only an eco-friendly way but also offer an easy, affordable, and enjoyable method to send greetings to friends and family. You can use this Free Cards service to send e-cards this Christmas.

20. Check Out Your Local Animal Shelters

There is no more deserving cause for Christmas giving than our local animal shelters. The cats and dogs that haven’t found homes yet this year are the ones who are most worthy (and grateful) of new toys and treats. Check with your local shelter to ensure they are receiving the necessary assistance throughout the hectic Christmas season. Make sure to inquire if they have any particular product requirements that you can either buy or give to. Check out these easy cat and dog treat recipes.

21. Instead of Using Outside Christmas Lights, Go Solar Indoors

Because outdoor Christmas lights emit so much light pollution that Nasa can see them from space, it may be preferable to keep holiday illuminations inside. Choose LED tree lights that are powered by the sun. Also, turn them off at night.

22. Purchase Environmentally Friendly Christmas Crackers

Buy plastic-free sustainable Christmas crackers or make your own using toilet roll holders, brown paper, and a little tongue-in-cheek workmanship.

23. Purchase Food Produced by Resilient Agricultural Systems

By buying locally, we can speak to individuals about where our food comes from, allowing us to make educated choices about the kind of food we want to consume and the agricultural methods we want to support.

24. Drink Sustainably

Whether its alcoholic or non – try to use up everything that’s been sitting at the back of the cabinet before you re-stock for the holidays. Also, try to purchase locally from beverage companies that are making an effort to make a difference.

25. Bring a Friend to Christmas Dinner

Not everyone has the luxury of spending Christmas with family, but no one should spend it alone. Consider bringing a new-to-town friend or colleague over for the holidays. They’d undoubtedly cherish the company and the offer for years to come.

26. Give the Homeless Blankets and Food

The fact is that the holidays aren’t everyone’s “favourite time of year.” In fact, for some, this is the most trying time of year. Make things a bit brighter for the homeless by bringing them blankets and food to enjoy this season.

27. Tell Everyone You Care About How Much You Love Them

Oxytocin, sometimes known as the “love hormone,” is a neurotransmitter that is produced during social interactions such as embracing, kissing, or just connecting. It’s also a significant reason why socializing with people is so good for our health. So, don’t waste any more time and go offer your loved ones some affection. Hug them, kiss them, and tell them how much you care – you’ll both feel good!

28. Set Up a Hidden Santa Exchange at Your Workplace

Secret Santa was created by a genius—it saves time and money while boosting the joy of gift-giving! What are you still waiting for? Discuss the specifics with your colleagues. This entertaining game will bring lots of laughter and affection.

29. Spend the Extra Money on a Plane Ticket Home

Perhaps the most valuable gift of all is your presence. I understand that travelling around the holidays might be costly, but if you have the means, visiting home for the holidays is the finest present you can offer to your loved ones and yourself. If not, arrange a video call to virtually visit those you care about during the holidays.

30. Give the Gift of an Experience You Can Share With a Loved One

Gifting an event that you and your loved one may enjoy is an alternative to sitting in huge queues at department shops and risking your gift being thrown away. Give your mother a spa gift card and offer to accompany her; plan a trip for you and your spouse; get concert tickets for your brother or be a tourist in your own town. You can spend as little or as much as you want – the true gift is time together.

31. Make Your Gifts Unique and Personal

Instead of battling the crowds at the mall, be artistic with your gift-giving and give your loved ones something they’ll enjoy for years to come. You’ll be delighted to present it to them, and when they open it, they’ll be overcome with love and excitement.

Let’s Welcome the Season of Giving

Are you ready to begin your reverse advent calendar in 2022? Giving in December has never been more enjoyable, and it will make you much happier than receiving a modest advent present every day for the coming days. Make this year’s Reverse Advent Calendar a memorable one and track your happiness every day.

Are you new to everyday giving and little acts of kindness? Sign up for ideas and inspiration from 365give and learn how donating every day will make you happy.

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