Virtually everybody in Norway are looking forward to Christmas!
A recent survey shows that 9 out of 10 Norwegians are looking forward to this year’s Christmas celebration. A total of 80% say that they have never experienced to dread Christmas. at the start the Yule tide, it is no surprise that the vast majority are looking forward to the time we are entering, which for most part is linked to togetherness, holidays and gifts.
The survey however show that 170,000 Norwegians over the age of 15 abhors Christmas.
Even though only 4% say they are negative towards Christmas, This means that 170,000 Norwegians face the Yule tide with a bad feeling.
“For most, Christmas is something you look forward to.The survey and our daily work reveals that some people are scared and that Christmas can be perceived as an additional burden for those who feel lrft outside of society, says the Secretary General of the City Church Mission (Kirkens bymisjon), Adelheid Firing Hvambsal.
The reasons are there all through the year
Those who are not looking forward to the celebrities were also asked what it is that they are looking not forward to. Almost a third mention stress or lack of time, while others mention difficult family relationships (15%), economics or high costs (12%) and loneliness (15%) as main reasons.
The reasons why some people dislike Christmas are often a part of everyday life, but can become particularly exposed and hurtful in connection with Christmas. Lost family relationships, loneliness and a difficult financial situation will affect people anytime during the year.
– Norway is a society where the social differences are increasing. This can be especially noticeable at Christmas where there are high expectations for being together, partying and spending extra money. Then the sense of being left out feels extra strong, even though it is the situation all through the year, says Hvambsal and continues:
– Those who do not have an Apartment, living in poverty or are left out of important parts of society, face this also not alone between Christmas and the New Year, but throughout the year. At the same time, we know that the Yule tide can be compared to a magnifying glass: What’s already nice will be even better. What is difficult will be even more difficult.
The survey has been conducted with a representative sample of Norwegians above the age of 15 years old. That there are exist children and adolescents who fear Christmas, there can be no doubt.
– Even among children, the reasons for the fear will be diverse. An ever increasing amount of children in Norway are part of families with persistent low income. Children understand when there iss hardly any resources available in a family and they also worry about Christmas, she says, adding:
– Too many children experience that some adults abuse alcohol in connection with the Yule tide, which makes for insecurity. December is a month when alcohol consumption is particularly high, which affects the most vulnerable; namely the children.
What can I do?
In connection with the Yule tide, the City Church Mission often get questions about what individuals or businesses can do for those who are dreading Christmas.
– There are many good initiatives in connection with the Christmas holidays. Christmas holidays can be a great time to remind you of the value of seeing each other and contacting a friend you have not talked to in a while. Providing an organization is an easy and safe way to ensure that your contribution reaches those who need it. It is also possible to volunteer. But the need for those who need it is not limited to Christmas, therefore we hope that those who wish to contribute will do this throughout the year, says Hvambsal.
The figures come from a survey conducted by IPSOS MMI on behalf of the City Church Mission. The survey has asked people if they are looking forward to Christmas, or maybe fearing the period, and what they may be looking forward to for the holiday season. It was also asked whether you ever did not look forward to the Yule tide.
The survey in its entirety is available upon request to the City Church Mission.
© Kirkens bymisjon / Norway Today