“The Christmas Book Flood”… This tradition began during World War II once Iceland had gained its independence from Denmark in 1944. Paper was one of the few commodities not rationed during the war, so Icelanders shared their love of books even more as other types of gifts were short supply. This increase in giving books as presents reinforced Iceland’s culture as a nation of bookaholics (from Jolabokaflod.org).
I’m a bibliophile, and I love this tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve and spending the day reading them, it’s quite hygge. I have never manage to spend my Christmas Eve in such a manner, it’s usually spent rushing between all the grandparents’, church, and finishing wrapping presents. I do make it a priority to read as many Christmas books as I can during advent.
BUT…St Nikolaus Day is always a day of books in our house. While I did a roundup a couple of years ago of some of my favorite Christmas books, it might be time to amend those original lists.
We have just a few Christmas picture books. For quite sometime on St Nikolaus Day (December 6th) the kids each received a Christmas book, until I was overwhelmed with the sheer number of books we had.
To me, WWII Christmas stories are some of the best stories, and I love any WWII book written by Tricia Goyer. I had received this as a review book, but it was such a good read!
If you’ve never read any of Jennifer Chiaverini’s Elm Creek Quilts Novels, you’re missing out: They’re just tender, sweet reads. The Christmas and New Year’s ones can be read as stand-alones, but they’re certainly more touching if you’re familiar with the characters.
And what would Christmas be without my dear friends, Louisa, Lucy, and Laura. These three books are a collection of the stories told in each of their series about Christmas. The wonderful thing about each of these is that the stories are short enough to get through in an evening.
Over the past few years I have splurged on these Penguin Christmas Classics. I had seen them on Instagram and desperately wanted them. L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is one of MY FAVORITE Christmas stories. I grew up watching the stop motion animation movie, and when I found out it was based on a book…perfection!
There are two more books in the box set, but neither of them were ones that I have been dying to have yet, other than for their covers.
What are some of your favorite Christmas picture books or stories?
There are certainly a never ending supply of wonderful books for Christmas and Advent. While I have never experienced Jólabókaflóðið I guess St. Nikolaus Day has become my German equivalent, which makes me all the more excited for it for next year!
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