The season of Advent begins on December 3 and there are many resources for our primary schools available on this website. Those teachers using Grow in Love have the benefit of an Advent themed lesson in each programme to 4th class. The resources for Advent 2017 are primarily aimed at those teaching 5th & 6th classes but all teachers will probably find something of use between the pages.

One aspect of the resource that may be used as a whole school activity during the first week of Advent. This idea is based on a resource that comes from St Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda called ‘The Reverse Advent Calendar.’ For the purposes of our resource it is called ‘The Gift Box’ and is offered as an activity focused on the Feast of St Nicholas, December 6 and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8.

The idea is a simple one suggesting that on the Feast of St Nicholas each class would create a Gift Box that would be filled with gifts that would help those in the community for whom Christmas is a difficult time. Liaising with your local Vincent de Paul, Food Kitchen or Parish Office will help to create a list of useful gifts. The Reverse Advent Calendar on page 15 of the Advent Resource Book or on page 2 of The Gift Box Resource will also offer some ideas.

There is a Template for a similar Advent Calendar available in both resources that could be filled in and distributed to every child and staff member. Each class could decide which gift or gifts that they are going to bring in so that a good variety is assured. The Gift Boxes could be filled on December 8 and hampers could be created or the gifts could be sorted so that they can be given to the appropriate charity.