Pakkekalender! A word to strike fear into the hearts of every Danish parent!
Not only do the Danes exchange gifts (after dinner) on the evening of 24 December, many families also make a pakkekalender - an advent calendar of small gifts, one for every day in December - for their children or grandchildren.
When my DS14 was just a toddler, I thought, "What a quaint idea - child's play! Let me get started straight away!" And preceded to spend my waking hours searching high and low for suitable (i.e. inexpensive [said the Canny Scot]) gifts, and every dark winter evening wrapping them all. And let's not forget a creative display on which to hang them! Here's some inspiration for the uninitiated... :)
As the first of December approached, so did the pressure. But I made it, hooray! Let the games commence! Sonny Boy initially expressed delight. And for the first ten days or so, it went well. "Oh, great, taaaaak Mor!" But - hey ho - as we approached Christmas Day interest was waning. And the gifts were beginning to pile up in a corner. Next stop: the Toy Cemetery (bottom of the toybox) or the bin. And then DD12 made her arrival, and I was then making not one but two pakkekalendere. Help! Finally I saw the light and came to my senses: I didn't need the stress and my kids didn't need the junk.
So I negotiated with them (um, okay, told them) that in future there would be no more Pakkekalendere! These days it's a chocolate calendar and Adventsgaver. One (farily large) present every Advent Sunday - usually a book, game or a DVD.
Now there are - selvfølgelig - in these days of big business, readymade pakkekalendere available - at a price - all wrapped and ready to gift. And not only for your kids or grandkids. How about a calendar of 24 luxury chocolates for your husband? Or 24 tiny bottles of nail varnish for your wife or girlfriend? 24 packets of tea for your Granny? 24 organic beauty products for a friend? Yep, you name it, they have it in pakkekalender form... Here's something I glady buy for my DDS (Dear Scottish Dad) and DSB (Dear Scottish Brother) every year. An advent calendar of julebryg (Danish Christmas beer). Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow? Hic! :P
Okay, let's wrap it up! Have a wonderful Wednesday!