I received this in an email this morning and thought I’d share. It compliments my Christmas wish list well. Whether or not you’re Christian, I think the sentiment behind the activity is a good one and makes it worthy of participation no matter what religion your may choose to follow. Or not follow as the case may be.
Message added by our friend A: This was a write up in the Edmonton Sun on Sunday Nov. 29/09. I am going to do this and I hope you and your family will too. At the end of advent feel free to add more if you wish.
Activity: Advent calendars mark the beginning of the Christmas season — a time of gift giving and celebration.
This Advent Sharing Calendar takes it one step further. It helps us to be mindful of those in need every day of the year, and reminds us how truly fortunate Canadians are. To create your own Advent Sharing Calendar, take a small box or coffee can, put a slot in the lid, and then wrap it in Christmas paper.
Each day of Advent, monetary gifts are added to the box. At the end of the holiday season, send a cheque to your favorite charity.
In keeping with the holiday spirit, the theme is “Peace on Earth.” There can be no peace when 86% of the world’s resources are consumed by 20% of the population.
There can be no peace when 30,000 children die every day from extreme poverty. There can be no peace when in many countries, simply being a woman can be a death sentence.
Gifts should be added as follows:
1: For every finger and toe your children have — intact and unblemished by landmines — add 5 cents. Landmines have killed or injured more than 70,000 Afghans in the past two decades.
2: For every female in your family who is free to go to school, pursue a career, or walk openly in the street, add 50 cents.
3: Add 10 cents for every time you’ve voted in a democratically held election.
4: Add $1 if your drinking water is safe. An estimated 5 million people die every year from illnesses caused by drinking poor quality water. 1.1 billion people lack access to safe water.
5: Add 25 cents for every shower or bath taken by members of your family today. Two-and-a-half billion people lack access to water for sanitation.
6: Add $1 for everyone you know with HIV/AIDS. 270,000 children die of AIDS every year.
7: Add 50 cents if you can name your family doctor. Add $1 if you’ve paid a visit to his or her office this year.
8: Add 5 cents for every year of your life untouched by civil war or conflict.
9: If you live above sea level, add $1. The World Health Organization estimates that 150,000 people die every year from drowning in low-lying coastal areas.
10: If you have flood insurance, put a loonie in the box and count yourself lucky.
11: Add 25 cents for every toy gun in your house (don’t forget video games).
12: Add 25 cents for every time you’ve called 911.
13: If you’ve had a permanent address for more than six months, add 50c. If you own your own home, add $1.
14: If you have open access to information through newspapers, the Internet, radio or TV, add $1.
15: Add 50c if you’ve ever written a letter to the editor. Add $ 1 if it was published.
16: Add 1 cent for every book that you own. If you have more than 100 books, add $2.
17: Add 50 cents for anyone in your family or circle of friends that serves as a member of the armed forces, police, fire or ambulance services. Now call them up and say thank you.
18: Add 50 cents for every one of your children who attends a publicly funded school. An estimated one billion adults are illiterate. Two-thirds of them are women.
19: Add $1 if you’ve ever sought legal council.’
20: Add $1 if you’ve ever been called for jury duty. Add $2 if you’ve been privileged enough to serve.
21: On this, the darkest day of the year, add 2 cents for every light bulb in your house. Don’t forget your Christmas lights!
22: If you’re free to visit with friends and family over the holidays, add $1.
23: Add $1 if you’ve sung Christmas carols this season. Add $2 if you sang them in public.
24: When the stockings have been hung by the chimney with care, add 25 cents for every gift under the tree.
25: If your family celebrates Christmas Day with a sumptuous feast, add $5.
26: If you didn’t recycle Christmas wrappings and boxes, add $1.
27: Add $1 if you had fast food today. One billion people suffer from obesity in the developed world. In the developing world, one billion people are starving.
28: If you have a drug plan, add $1.
29: If you have a pension plan, add $2.
30: If you have ever collected employment insurance or disability benefits, add $2.
31: Add $5 if you attend or host a New Year’s Eve party.
1: Add 10 cents for everyone you called to say “Happy New Year!”
2: Add a loonie for every member of your family who received a flu shot this year.
3: Add 50 cents for every member of your family who has lived past 70 years of age. In Zambia, life expectancy dropped from 44 to 33 years between 1990 and 2000.
4: Consider how fortunate you are. And then consider that 50% of the world’s children live in poverty.
5: Sit down with your family and decide where you would like to send the contents of your Advent Sharing box. Suggestions include UNICEF and Oxfam.
6: (The Epiphany) — Add up the contents of your box and then send a cheque to the charity of your choice.