Cozy up with a holiday book for our new favorite Christmas Eve tradition—Jolabokaflod

by | Dec. 07, 2020

Picture this: It's the night of Christmas Eve and your entire family is in their pajamas, blankets in tow, nestled in front of the fireplace, in oversized armchairs, sprawled on couches enjoying their first gift of Christmas–a brand-new book–until they fall asleep.

That cozy scene is exactly how the residents of Iceland celebrate Christmas Eve each year. This tradition is known as Jolabokaflod and roughly translates to "Christmas book flood" in English. According to the tradition's official website, it began during World War II when paper was one of the few commodities not rationed. Icelanders began sharing their love of books even more as other types of gifts were in short supply. 

If this idyllic scene sounds like a Christmas Eve tradition you'd like to start in your family, here are a few great reads that would make for perfect Jolabokaflod gifts.

Christmas Day in the Morning

In this adaptation of Christmas Day in the Morning, Rob looks back on his boyhood and remembers giving an unusual gift of self—a gift that filled him with Christmas joy. Now, fifty years later, Rob realizes he can still give a gift from his heart.

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Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas

Discover how each figure of the Nativity can lead your family closer to Christ this Christmas season. This children's edition of Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas will guide you through seven meaningful traditions inspired by the Nativity setting. These simple experiences are not meant to add more to an already crowded holiday season but to offer something different. They will give your family an opportunity to escape from the frantic bustle of the Christmas season and spend time reflecting on the baby Jesus and the miracle of His birth.

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Born This Happy Morning

The second verse of "Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful" begins, "Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning." In this inspiring Christmas book, John Bytheway explores the miracle of that happy morning and what Christmas should mean to us. Although Christmas can feel over-commercialized and stressful, Born This Happy Morning helps readers recapture the magic of childhood Christmases by focusing on how we can give the joy of Christ's light to those around us, reminding us that the spirit of Christmas is multiplied in our hearts when we share the spirit of Christ with others.

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Because of the Messiah in a Manger

This warm, conversational book will enhance your celebration of the Christmas season as you discover ways Christ began to fulfill His divine mission right from the moment of His humble birth. Whether a gift to a loved one or to yourself, this is the perfect read to curl up by the fire and embrace the Christmas spirit. Join with shepherds, wise men, angels, and other witnesses throughout the ages who have testified of the Christ in the cradle, the Messiah in a manger.

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Christmas Jars

Newspaper reporter Hope Jensen uncovers the remarkable secret behind the “Christmas Jars,” glass jars filled with coins and bills anonymously left for people in need. But along the way, Hope discovers much more than the origin of the jars. When some unexpected news sets off a chain reaction of kindness, Hope's greatest Christmas Eve wish comes true.

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A Hopeful Christmas: A Regency Romance Collection

Kindle the spirit of the season as four of your favorite Regency-era storytellers weave tales of love and hope in this charming yuletide collection. Featuring four different heartwarming, holiday stories, it's a perfect gift for any Jane Austen fan to get lost in on Christmas Eve.

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The Candy Cane Caper

The theft of a friend’s priceless, family-legacy Christmas ornaments brings amateur detective and culinary expert, Sadie Hoffmiller, back on the case in a new standalone cozy mystery. A holiday Christmas caper might be new to Sadie, but she’s ready to mix in her seasoned crime-solving skills with a pinch of new holiday recipes.

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Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas

The songs of Christmas reveal the true joy to be found in the celebration of Christ’s birth and the spirit of the season that is anticipated each year all over the world. These stories will warm your heart and bring extra significance to the carols you sing each December.

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The Little Lamb from Bethlehem

The Little Lamb from Bethlehem tells the story of Jesus's miraculous birth from the perspective of one of the lambs in the stable on that sacred night. The lamb loved baby Jesus, and as they both grew, the lamb promised to share Christ's story with everyone. Now the Little Lamb can teach your family about the Savior's life and share ways to follow His example and serve others throughout the Christmas season. Make Christmas more meaningful as you use this little plush lamb to learn of the Savior, serve others, and celebrate the true spirit of the season with this new Christ-centered Christmas tradition!

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Ming's Christmas Wishes

As a daughter of immigrants in 1930s California, Ming is often treated differently than other children at school. Seeing his daughter's unhappiness, Pop takes her into the mountains to visit a wise old friend. Always happy for an adventure with her kind father, Ming hopes to persuade Pop to bring home a mountain pine to be their Christmas tree. But he has something else in mind, something that will help Ming draw strength from nature, from their Chinese heritage, and form deep and enduring family ties.

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My Nativity Friends

The Nativity story is full of some of the greatest examples of all time. My Nativity Friends brings the heroes in this story to life and shows us how even the smallest child can follow their examples. On each page, children will enjoy getting to know somebody from the Nativity story and will learn one short story about these heroes. Delightful illustrations and simple, straightforward teachings make this the perfect Christmas addition for your children's libraries.

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Christmas Oranges

The only home little Rose has ever known is the orphanage, but Mrs. Hartley cares for all the children as if they were her own. When Mrs. Hartley dies, Rose is sent to a new orphanage, which is as cold and cruel as her previous home was kind. Gradually Rose makes a few friends, and she learns that every Christmas a generous neighbor donates a box of oranges for the children. An orange is an unknown luxury for little Rose, and she waits in eager anticipation. But on Christmas morning, Rose is brokenhearted when she learns that there is no orange for her.

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Christmas socks

It wouldn't be a true Jolabokaflod without your whole family together with their new books, bundled in blankets, cozy and warm. These Christmas socks are thick, fur-lined, and incredibly warm, making them the perfect addition to your family's sweet and simple new Christmas Eve tradition. Available in 4 different sizes to fit everyone in your family!

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Lead image by Getty Images
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