I first heard about the Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóð or Book Flood about three years ago. As a book lover, I thought it was a great idea, but forgot about it and didn’t do anything about it. This year, in the lead up to Christmas, there were numerous posts about it going around Facebook, so I decided that it was a tradition the boys and I were going to adopt – whether they liked it or not!
Nat isn’t much of a reader. He enjoys books, but there are so many other things he would rather do than sit down with a book. Zac is more of a reader, but he also finds there are other things to do. I also struggle to find long periods of time I can just sit and read without the pressures of life crowding in.
In the lead up to Christmas, I had a lovely time choosing books for the boys, and I ordered the latest book by Nicki Edwards for myself. It was hard not to start reading it early…
According to the meme going around Facebook, the tradition was reading books and eating chocolate, so I added a block of chocolate to each package, along with a new CD for each of us so we could listen to some new music too.
I think the chocolate helped the boys embrace the idea of reading books all evening! Zac was excited about the idea of opening presents on Christmas Eve!
Once we had eaten dinner, we tidied up and then opened presents (yes, I wrapped mine too!). The boys were excited about their books. I chose The Boy and the Spy by Felice Arena for Nat and Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend for Zac.
We made hot chocolate, gave up trying to get the CD player working and looked up one of the new CDs on YouTube to listen to, and settled in for a lovely evening of reading.
I was amazed at how both boys got involved in this. After a crazy year of ups and downs, it was lovely to spend some quiet time together reading books. I’ve told the boys that next year they can get involved in the book buying too. They seemed to be open to this idea.
This was our first experience of Jólabókaflóð and it’s a tradition that we will definitely be repeating.