24 packages, tied up with string…

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! 😛

Okay, let’s wrap it up!  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Diane 🙂

9 thoughts on “24 packages, tied up with string…”

  1. hiya Diane,
    Lovely ideas – where do you get the julebrgg calendar from? Thought I'd get one for my hubby xx

  2. I really like your blog. Now that I have a little one I've been considering what we will do – if we will do the pakkegaver or advent gifts. I like your ideas. I also thought my sister-in-law had a good idea for her kids when they were little. She would buy a big toy (like a big set of My Little Petshop) and then give one little piece every day. So every little gift was part of a bigger collection. It also saved on the time trying to find lots of gifts.

  3. Hi Chava! Been there, done that! (My son loved playing with the toy farm animals at nursery, so we gave him a different animal everyday, and then the farm on Xmas day.) The LEGO and Playmobil readymade box calendars are a great idea – no wrapping or mess! 🙂

  4. Hi Michelle – nice to 'see' you! Do you know the fantastic and quirky grocers shop on Ordrupvej 'Holger Frederiksens Efterfølger'? da-dk.facebook.com/holgerfrederiksenseftf The basket costs kr.425 (see the photo on their Facebook page) or they can make one up specially for you.

  5. […] advent pressie.  (Remember, we’ve abandoned the stress of the daily gifts involved in a pakkekalender.)  Their presents were obviously a hit because they started reading/playing while there were still […]

  6. […] Today is Sunday, the third in Advent, so this morning the kids opened their third adventsgaver… […]

  7. […] washed down with (whats left of the) beer from the Beer Advent Calendar! […]

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