The Generational Tradition of Christmas Calendars: Bringing Family Together Across the Miles

Are you one of those people who stand tripping in front of the Christmas calendar, and can’t wait to open today’s hatch?

Then you are not alone.

For as long as Eivind can remember, his family has had a calendar tradition that stretches back generations.

As a plaster on the wound that Eivind has never won anything on the calendar, he got the almond in the porridge!

Photo: Private

Wherever he has gone, his father, Tolleiv, has always made sure that a scratch card calendar followed.

– It’s nice to have something to look forward to every day, says Eivind.

Sends around the world

Tolleiv says that it was his father who started the family tradition.

Then it became natural for him to continue it.

– As my children grew out of the house, I took up the tradition again. Since they are so far away, it is a nice tradition to maintain.

The group of siblings, who are aged 26 to 41, live in Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger and California.

Marte Synnøve, her husband and two children smiled widely when this year’s Christmas calendar arrived in the post from Kristiansand to California.

Photo: private

Big sister Marte Synnøve Abrahamsen (37) is the one who lives furthest away.

– Every year my father remembers to go to the post office and send the calendars to us in California, although I may have forgotten it myself.

And the tradition, she says, has always been just as strict:

– It is not allowed to open the hatches before December or more than one hatch a day, she says with a laugh.

Expert: – Great way to show care

Camilla Sørensen is a couples therapist, but also has experience in family therapy.

She says that it sounds like Tolleiv’s love language is gifts.

Photo: Private

– He may want to show that he thinks about his children even if they are adults and live far away.

And loss can make age not play such a big role.

– Home is not just a place, but also a feeling. The calendar creates memories, traditions and can awaken family peace, even with distance.

She adds that the Christmas calendar is a great way to show care.

No longer reserved for toddlers

Sørensen says there can be various reasons why one chooses to give a Christmas calendar to adult children.

– But the reason is probably mostly about the feeling behind it, which can be both good and bad feelings.

Maybe it’s because you yourself missed a Christmas calendar as a child, or maybe it’s that you yourself remember the good feeling you got from getting one.

– And perhaps you are afraid of being forgotten in the children’s hectic everyday life.

– To me, it seems that Tolleiv wants to leave a mark throughout December, and show that he is thinking about his children.

Sørensen believes that the children will never be too old for that.

– Before, calendars used to be reserved for small children. Why has it become common to give it to adults?

– Everyday life has become a little more hectic than before.

People move to other cities and the distances have become greater. In addition, social media may have a hand in the game.

– Instead of phoning each other or going to visit, you like to follow each other on social media.

Therefore, the Christmas calendar can contribute to a physical closeness that you have less of now than before, believes the therapist.

How to show care when the advent calendar is out of season?

Sørensen says that it is extremely important to know what your children’s love language is.

– If your adult daughter with two children has services such as love language, you can shop for her or look after her children, and show her love in her language.

– It is very important in family relationships.

In an age of time pressure, Sørensen believes that you can give a lot of love in a very short time, if you hit on the language of love.

And the narrower the time crunch, the more important it becomes to be aware of the language of love.

– It is so typical when your child has time as a love language, the parents are also very hectic, but great at giving gifts and babysitting.

– But then it’s really quality time that the child needs.

And if you are aware of that, you may find that the child neither needs gifts nor a babysitter for his children, but rather just a trip to the cinema.

2023-12-02 16:09:41


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