I hope you are already be familiar with Jolabokaflod because it is one of my favorite traditions for the Christmas season. My children spend Christmas Eve with their dad and the first few years that I was without them, I was really devasted. As they grew up, we always went to church together on Christmas Eve and being together, listening to the stories of Jesus and singing Christmas carols held very special memories to me. The adjustment was very tough the first few years without them Not only was I missing out on time with them but one of my favorite memories and traditions no longer were a part of my life. When I met my husband, Art, he helped me see that there can be great beauty in new traditions because when you can’t change your circumstances you have to find a way to still preserve your joy. We began a tradition between the two of us where we still go to Christmas Eve service and then follow it up with a special dinner at a restaurant where you are expected to linger and enjoy time with the one you love. Then I learned about the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod and knew that it was a perfect way to create new memories. In Iceland, families have Jolabokflod which is a book flood. In Iceland, families have a warm meal together and exchange books followed by a night of enjoying the book that was gifted to them. The origin of the tradition isn’t completely clear but it celcertainly is to celebrate and promote literature with those that you love. For several years now, my husband and I do the same. We spend Christmas Eve with a great meal and exchange stories that we have selected for each other. I’ll be honest that I am a bit of a book hoarder and never lack for to-be-read stack but there is something special about the stories that my husband takes the time and care to chose just for me. Then I make it a point to make that one of the books that I enjoy over the winter break. It is one of my favorite ways to celebrate the holiday season and end the year. This is a tradition that I hope to share with our grandbabies as they grow.
If you haven’t started your own Jolabokaflod, I encourage you to think about adding it to your holiday season. I think you will love it as much as I do!
You can read more about this tradition in this blog post.