A former politician for the Progress Party has been hosting alternative Christmas parties in Oslo for people in need since he was 17 years old. Now he’s 65 and has more on tap this year than ever before, with plenty of volunteers willing to help.
Henning Holstad told newspaper Dagsavisen that the volunteers now include lots of divorced parents who don’t have their children with them this Christmas, and wanted to find something else meaningful to do. They’ll all be on hand around the clock from julaften (Christmas Eve) on Saturday through Andre juledag on Monday, at Folkets Hus at Youngstorget in Oslo.
“We’ll be there continually, three days in a row, with a change of volunteer crews every eight hours,” Holstad told Dagsavisen. Even the shifts on Christmas Eve itself are fully covered already, while some help could still be needed on late-night shifts and clean-up crews.
Holstad and his crews offer traditional Norwegian Christmas meals for people who are lonely, in difficult financial circumstances or homeless, and who want to be together with others. The charitable organization Kirkens bymisjon also organizes parties both at the Oslo Cathedral and at Tøyen Church and expected “full house” throughout the Christmas weekend.