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Advent Giving Month

December Advent Giving Month | This Miss Cooks

What is an Advent Giving Month?

I’ll be honest with you, I debated what the title of this should be for far longer than is reasonable. Advent Calendar Giving Month. December Advent Giving. Giving Back Advent Calendar. In the end though, I stuck with the name I came up with randomly two years ago when Christmas had ended and I gave Mr Never Cooks his 25th Advent Calendar gift.

This is going to sound sort of — mean — for a second here friends, so brace yourselves. I had just spent 25 days agonizing over every little trinket and bobble I stuffed into a tiny stocking for my beloved partner, eagerly awaiting his joy and surprise each December morning. Growing up we never had Advent Calendars, so upon learning what they were at the young age of 24 I dove in headfirst.

You know what I forgot, though? Mr Never Cooks isn’t really into getting random gifts. There were no Hallmark cheers of delight. I stepped on a Lego R2D2 more than once that year. Also, it was A TON OF WORK.

Ideas from my First Annual Advent Giving Month

So that Christmas night, I decided the next year would be different. On December 1st 2016, I knit a baby hat. It was tiny and green with a pom pom, destined for a premature baby in the local NICU. The next night I bought a book for a toy drive. It had little piano keys attached to the side and I probably tortured some parent out there when I donated it.

December Advent Giving Month | This Miss Cooks

How an Advent Giving Month helps through tough times

Other nights I volunteered, like at the Catholic Grotto’s Festival of Lights. It was a rough year for me. My mother was really struggling to recover from her stroke enough to come home, my baby niece had developed a serious medical condition that wasn’t responding well to medication, and my Grandmother had entered hospice care. Though I’m not religious, a lit a candle for them that night at the Sanctuary.

December Advent Giving Month | This Miss Cooks

December Advent Giving Month | This Miss Cooks

I donated clothes and food, I made care packages for the homeless, I volunteered for hot meals programs, I ran and walked for charities, I donated to political campaigns I believed in.

December Advent Giving Month | This Miss Cooks

And on Christmas Day, I promised to continue to volunteer and donate where I could throughout the year and beyond.

Second Annual Advent Giving Month

I’ve succeeded to a certain degree at holding to that promise, and I still volunteer at Knit for Newborns and hot meals programs. I donate money where I can. This year, though, I really want to discover new ways to get involved in the issues that matter to me so I’ll be doing my Second Annual Advent Giving Month.

 

Participating in volunteer and outreach programs not only gave me a sense of purpose that I felt was missing during the holidays. It also helped me through one of the toughest times in my life. I love hearing about new ways to give back to my community. If you have any causes that you love to support or volunteer with, please let me know in the comments!

6 Comments

  1. Viktoria@TheLifestyleFiles

    December 1, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    This was my favorite Christmas post I’ve read this year. Beautiful and inspiring. I think while it’s of course important to give back all year, it may be even more important during Christmas. I’m always reminded that while it may be the most wonderful time of the year for a lot of people, it’s sadly definitely not for others.

    Last year, I participated in this children’s charity, where you put together a shoe box of a mix of lovely and practical gifts for a child. You determine the ageand whether its a box for a little girl and boy, and drop off at a local charity. I think it’s a world-wide initiative. I also bought a lot of food packages for families in need, I always try to buy mostly practical food items with some more special or luxurious things, so there will be some treats for Christmas time. I’ll definitely do the same this year.
    xx

    Viktoria

    • ThisMissCooks

      December 2, 2017 at 1:57 am

      Viktoria, I’m so happy that my post is inspiring others! especially given that this is already such an overwhelming time of year for so many people.

      I really love the shoebox idea, it reminds me of a charity that one of my favorite podcasts (My Brother My Brother and Me) supports in their home town. The local newspaper gathers a list of items from those in need around the holidays and publishes it so that people can help out with whatever is needed most.

      I love hearing about how people give back to their community, whether it’s local or global!

  2. I am in love with this idea! One place you could see about volunteering at is Ronald McDonald House (if there is one near you) so that you can help for those that are unable to be at home for Christmas. Another option is see about helping at a nursing home, I’m sure there are some that allow volunteers!

    • ThisMissCooks

      December 2, 2017 at 2:01 am

      That’s such a great Idea Maureen! I actually work in the research division of a hospital, and I’m almost certain that we have a Ronald McDonald House very near my building.

      The nursing home suggestion is definitely a great one, I remember from my grandparents that they got a bit lonely in their last years since many of the family lived far away. I’m sure that the site I like to use to find opportunities has some in that niche!

  3. I love this! What a wonderful way to celebrate the season and give back!

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