Jólabókaflóð, which translates as “yule book flood”, is the Icelandic tradition of giving your loved ones books on Christmas Eve. A love of reading is deeply ingrained in Icelandic culture – a catalogue of every new book published in Iceland is distributed to every home in advance of the holiday season!
The idea of making Christmas, and particularly Christmas Eve, a time of books has been growing here in the UK over recent years and it’s something we completely support. There are few things better than snuggling up with your loved ones and reading – whether that’s aloud to each other or simply being together whilst lost in your own book. Particularly for children, making books central to a celebration like Christmas is a great way of showing them how important they are and encouraging their love of reading in the process.
Creating a Christmas Eve box tradition for children has also grown hugely in popularity and we think no box would be complete without a book, or two. Any book that kids will enjoy is a great book to include (and we think our past packs or gift sets would be perfect).
But if you’re after something festive and short enough to enjoy on Christmas Eve itself, here are some suggestions:
The Twelve Days of Christmas: Grandma is Overly Generous by Alex T. Smith
We’re huge fans of all Alex T. Smith’s books from the Claude series to How Winston Delivered Christmas. This beautifully illustrated hardback book is a witty retelling of the classic Christmas story. Grandma’s gifts start out sensibly enough but get wilder as the story progresses!
The Christmas Snowflake by Julia Gray
Another beautifully illustrated hardback book, this story can be personalised with the name of up to 9 family members making it a book to treasure for many years to come. Focusing on the importance of love the story centres on a snowflake who’s looking for a place to call home. Head to Wonderbly to find out more.
The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain edited by Katherine Rundell
This isn’t strictly Christmas themed but we think it would be the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon snuggling on the sofa. Featuring short stories and illustrations from the best and brightest in children’s publishing it’s another hardcover book to treasure.
Where Snow Angels Go by Maggie O'Farrell
This is a modern fairy tale about the bravery of a little girl and the miracle of a snowy day. Waking in the night Sylvie discovers a snow angel with beautiful wings who says he’s there to keep her safe. Many months later, having recovered from an illness, Sylvie wonders whether she’ll be able to see her angel again. Beautiful illustrations from Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini add to the magical feel of this book.
Christmas Poems chosen by Gaby Morgan
This lovely compilation of classic Christmas poems has been illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Covering snow, reindeer, the nativity and more, there’s a poem to suit every mood throughout the whole festive season.