Despondent before Christmas: — Hopeless

Despondent before Christmas: — Hopeless

FREDRIKSTAD / OSLO (Dagbladet): With Christmas celebrations fast approaching this year, most things have gone up in price. For many Norwegians, this has resulted in the elimination of wallets, which present problems during the holiday season, resulting in increased spending on gifts, goodies and decorations.

– It has become completely hopeless. Everything has become very expensive. Sigrun Berglund (41) tells Talkblade that money is usually not enough.

The mother-of-four from Fredrikstad is among those who are now slacking off on Christmas celebrations this year.

She is not alone in that.

One in five Norwegians may skip Christmas celebrations in whole or in part this year due to poor finances, according to a poll by Opinion. The Salvation Army.

One in five Norwegians answer that they are worried about whether they will be able to celebrate Christmas this year with Christmas food, presents and social gatherings.

  • Are you struggling financially or dreading Christmas? Contact me here.
Cons: Dagbladet has been in contact with the single father of the 15-year-old girl. He is one of those who asked for help for Christmas at Finn.no. The package he received was shocking. Correspondent: Maja Walberg Klev/ Vegard Krüger. Video: Private.

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Have applied for help

Berglund says that for twelve years she has depended on the help of volunteers during the holidays, especially around Christmas and Easter. Has applied for help this year too – but to no avail so far.

– It seems very hopeless. I asked for help in many places, but received weak response. For years I have received help from Saman for Østfold at both Easter and Christmas, but this year there was such an insane amount, he adds:

– The Salvation Army wanted to sign me up, but they informed me that they were not sure that the help provided was as good as last year due to the workload.

Berglund is on disability benefits and receives alimony. In total, she and her family have approximately NOK 12,000 to manage each month.

She says it covers everything for herself and her four children, including food, internet, phone, transportation and leisure activities. Dagbladet has seen the documents for the payment from us.

– Very difficult: Sigrun Berglund is worried about whether he will be able to buy a Christmas tree or Christmas presents for the children this year. Photo: Frank Carlson / Dogbladet
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Going to a post

Press advisor Håkon Løtveit confirmed to Dagbladet that the Salvation Army has received several thousand applicants so far. By early September, several thousand people had contacted them about Christmas help.

– There are numbers of people signed up on the food lines, and we believe that Christmas help is also heading towards a record. Last year Christmas aid increased by 50 percent, but now it looks like it will be higher than last year, says Løtveit.

In Drammen, there were 700 applicants at Christmas last year, and 1,000 applications so far this year. Oslo is also ahead of last year – with 800 applicants in the first week of applications opening.

– How the picture is now, the problem is that we want to help more people. “We don’t know where it will ultimately end, but we’re trying to help as many people as possible,” he says.

Record-big returns: The Salvation Army's food lines are also enjoying record attendance this year — especially from families with children.  Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

Record-big returns: The Salvation Army’s food lines are also enjoying record attendance this year — especially from families with children. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
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Worried about presents and the Christmas tree

Berglund always dreads Christmas, but says this year is even more so.

– I have four children. They don’t want much for Christmas, but there’s something about giving presents. It is very difficult. Last year I lost all my Christmas decorations to a water leak and I didn’t have a chance to buy new ones, she says:

– I am very worried about presents and Christmas tree this year. I can’t afford a Christmas tree anyway.

This year, the mother of four had to ask for help on a Facebook group for people in need of Christmas help. In the Facebook group in question, hundreds have asked the same thing.

– I can’t read all the posts in the group. I get bored. Because I can’t help anyone, I can never read it. “I think it’s absolutely terrible,” she says.

Applications for help: Several thousand people have applied for The Salvation Army's Christmas help this year.  Chikran Berglund is one of them.  Photo: Frank Carlson / Dogbladet

Applications for help: Several thousand people have applied for The Salvation Army’s Christmas help this year. Chikran Berglund is one of them. Photo: Frank Carlson / Dogbladet
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– Very dark

The Salvation Army says sharply raised food prices mean more people are going to bed hungry, skipping meals and buying less food. That worries them, says Lodweit.

– Sad to see. In families with children we see poor prioritization beyond the children. In addition, we see price inflation continuing to rise, which is undoubtedly worrying, he says.

As a result of the high demand, the Salvation Army has to prioritize harder than who they help, he says.

– It is very sad and sad. We will try to help as much as we can, but we cannot do it alone. We also depend on the people who receive help from us, says Loadwit.

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