Jolabokaflod – A Cosy Christmas Eve Night In

Jolabokaflod – A Cosy Christmas Eve Night In

Jolabokaflod new

AD – There are just two weeks until Christmas Eve is upon us. With everything as it is in the UK at the moment (that which shall not be named), or the cold, wintery, wet, nights to contend with. Many of you will probably be staying in this year and needing to find new ways to celebrate the night.

Perhaps you have extended family and friends coming round for a party, or you are going out for a meal. However, maybe it will just be you alone, or with your own family at home.

If it is, then why not think about adopting the Icelandic tradition that has been going for many decades, in fact, since WWII. The tradition of Jolabokaflod (Jólabókaflóðið) – which roughly translates to ‘Christmas Book Flood’.

What is it I hear you cry! Well, it is the tradition of giving new books to family members and friends at Christmas which they open and read late into the evening on Christmas Eve. They take it so seriously that each household in Iceland receives a book bulletin in mid-November, after the Reykjavik Book Fair, occurs so that they can choose and order books from the catalogue for their family members and friends.

These days a lot of bookworms across the world have adopted the tradition of Jolabokaflod and this year you could join in too.

Can you imagine opening a present on Christmas Eve, a lovely new book, one you have been wanting to read? Just think about sniffing in that gorgeous new book scent it will have and then you can sit by the fire reading or snuggled up in your warm bed reading late into the night. How lovely does this sound?


Books are magical, they take you to faraway places without you having to even leave your house. They can take you to warm-hot climates and have you feeling like you are sitting on the beach catching a few rays or maybe to a frozen landscape, such as my favourite book, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey does which will have you wishing you were sat in your cosy, comfy bed with that mattress you can just sink into, a mug of hot chocolate, candles burning, and your favourite blanket, keeping you warm whilst your mind is in Alaska feeling the chill of the hostile land.

We already have a similar tradition going for our young children as they settle into their beds on Christmas Eve all excited for Santa to be arriving. We read their favourite books to them or a festive stories as they doze off, so why not think about starting a new tradition in your home for the adults too.

Taking part in Jolabokaflod means that you don’t have to go out in the cold. Booklovers, I can see you all now wanting to give this tradition a go, well why not start this year. Head to your local bookstore or online shop and order some books for you and your family, so that you can have a quiet, warm, cosy night in, together, amongst the pages.

Don’t forget that reading reduces stress and Christmas is one of the most stressful days of the year, so my advice is to spend Christmas Eve with your loved ones reading and hopefully, you won’t feel as stressed when the morning arrives.

Share your thoughts on ‘Jolabokaflod – A Cosy Christmas Eve Night In’ in the comment section below!

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