For many people, Christmas is a time of joy and happiness, and the anticipation of it brings a sense of cheerfulness accompanying every endeavor. It is a time that intrinsically signals togetherness, a chance at igniting feelings of belongingness within the reunions with families and loved ones.
However, for some, these feeling are the opposite.
But small steps can have a great positive effect on people’s feelings, and small gestures can show so many that they matter, in showing that someone does care. It is with this belief that we at IMALIVE have created “25 Days of Hope”.
There is a beautiful German tradition of the advent calendar, a December calendar for children featuring the 25 days leading up to Christmas, where each day is represented as a little box containing a surprise candy. For every child, no matter what their prior feelings, opening this box each day invariably brings about joy and excitement with the unexpected surprise.
“We thought”, What would happen if we reversed this? If instead of receiving a surprise, we gave a surprise to others?
Christmas is a time of cheer, but also a time for reaching out to others who do not necessarily feel that cheerful, and helping bring a little sense of joy to their world around this time of year. This is why this holiday season, we can come together with this goal in mind, where each of us can set aside a basket or a box and each day for 25 days leading up to Christmas, instead of taking something, we can add something to it – a dollar, a food item, a trinket, or a literal message of hope – to be donated or given to others on Christmas Day, in effect creating a reverse advent calendar for people for whom a gesture of this kind might represent a reminder that no matter how alone they feel, they aren’t that alone after all because someone does care. In this way, an invisible thread will be created between all of us.
This campaign is not about helping the less fortunate, as not one person is either more or less fortunate than the other. This is about coming together and creating light in our world to brighten these holidays. And while we may not be able to change everyone’s circumstances, perhaps with this gesture, we can all find new hope.