DIY Projects

DIY Reverse Advent Calendar for Shelter Dogs & Pet Charity

Give back to animal charities this Christmas with a fun and heartfelt twist on the traditional advent calendar.

Have you heard of a reverse advent calendar? It’s a simple and thoughtful pet charity gift that is perfect for giving back at Christmas.

Because let’s face it: while traditional advent calendars (where you can fill up each of the 25 days of Christmas with a chocolate, note or gift) are super fun in theory, often all the chocolate gets eaten long before December 25 rolls around. And all you’re left with is an empty calendar, and your secret shame.

With a reverse advent calendar, you don’t take something each day. You add something.

So this year, I’m making a reverse advent calendar for my favourite dog rescue shelter.

Starting December 1, each day I’m putting a cleaning product, dog treat, dog toy, old blanket or towel into my hamper.

The goal? By Christmas day, I’ll have a great basket full of goodies that a dog rescue shelter would really appreciate.

RELATED: 15 DIY Dog Christmas Gifts for Dogs & Dog Lovers


A similar heartfelt idea that gives back to animal charities at Christmas has actually become a new tradition I’ve started since losing our beautiful girl Soda two years ago.

That year, Christmas time in our family wasn’t an easy one, as she spent her last Christmas with us before passing on 29 December.

She will be forever in my heart and I now smile when I think of her causing all sorts of mayhem up at rainbow bridge.

So now, when the time comes to put up the Christmas tree and unpack our Santa stockings in anticipation of the holiday season ahead, Soda’s stocking continues to hang pride of place alongside all the other family member’s stockings.

But now each year, instead of filling it with all sorts of goodies for her to open on Christmas Day, I fill it with all sorts of goodies to donate to a dog shelter on December 25.

DIY Reverse Advent Calendar: A Simple & Thoughtful Animal Charity Gift

So while Soda may not be with us anymore, her joyful, crazy, loving spirit lives on by being an Angel Santa to shelter dogs at Christmas.

If you’ve lost a much-loved furry family member, I can’t recommend this tradition enough. It’s the perfect way to honour your favourite pet and give back to dogs in need during the holidays.

Christmas can really be a rough time for dog shelters, sadly it’s often their busiest season. So if you can consider the above ideas for yourself, or just make a friendly donation at your RSPCA, ASPCA or local shelter, you’ll be able to help a few beautiful dogs in need this holiday season.


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Comments (4)

4 responses to “DIY Reverse Advent Calendar for Shelter Dogs & Pet Charity”

  1. Danielle says:

    This is such a beautiful idea, Serena.

  2. I absolutely love this idea!! It is one of the best I have seen around!!

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