This year in the run up to Christmas I was struck by an idea floating on the web.

A reverse advent calendar.

Instead of (or as well as) opening an advent calendar door each morning for a piece of chocolate to munch with your cereal flakes of choice, create a collection for someone struggling to make ends meet this Christmas.

Here's how it works.

Each day in the run up to Christmas, put aside a staple food item, or something a little more festive. And just before Christmas, hand it to a local foodbank or a charity supporting the homeless, to be passed on to someone who may not be looking forward to the same happy Christmas time that you are.

Find out ideas for the best items to include and your local foodbank at the Trussell Trust website.

If you're in Ealing, why not head straight to the Ealing Foodbank Redeemer helped to set up.

Spread some joy this Christmas.

Reverse Advent

This year, although I know
That you're keen
To set up that nativity scene, 
I'm advocating an alternative means, 
A change in priorities
For your generosity.

I'm anointing a reversal, 
Suggesting you parcel
A hamper of staples
And so turn the tables
On advent doors
That ignore the poor. 

I'm asking that you choose
To proclaim the good news
Beyond the pews, 
To pursue a change of people's views
Of what they thought they knew
This meant.
Yes, let's reverse this advent
And make something heaven-sent. 

Have a great Advent.