As an avid reader, as most of the readers of this blog are likely to be, I was excited to discover a beautiful Icelandic tradition whereby families exchange books as gifts on Christmas Eve. The idea is that you spend the night reading although, in reality, many people are preparing food and gifts in readiness for their guests or those they are visiting on Christmas Day.
The tradition is called Jolobokaflod in Iceland, which translates to ‘Christmas Book Flood’, at which, many of the books sold between September and December are headed. In Iceland, they don’t tend to give e-books, instead opting for the gift of paper copies, physical books being a gift of such importance.
This tradition is new to me, although I have always been happy to give and receive books at Christmas. The idea of giving books on Christmas Eve and then spending at least part of the evening snuggled up in my pyjamas with a warm drink, reading the gifted book, is definitely one I am going to bring to my own family Christmas.
My family do not know of this plan yet, and most of them don’t read my blog or short stories unless I send them to them directly via email, so they will, I hope, be pleased to have the additional gift of a physical book this Christmas Eve. We are all going to my daughter and her husband’s new home for Christmas so this is the first time I will be assisting with the preparations rather than accepting help myself.
I did ensure my husband was aware of this experimental family tradition, as he will need to buy a book for me to avoid any unease. And why not? I love a book as much as, if not more than, the next reader.