Share This Beautiful Icelandic Tradition With Your Family This Christmas

dad reading daughter book Christmas

Christmas is coming and the chances are that your kids have already made a list of what they want Santa to bring them. Even teenagers who have gone way past believing in the bearded man expect gifts under the tree on the big day, but what about Christmas Eve? While some families offer up boxes for each person to enjoy when they wait for St. Nick, Iceland may have the best idea of all - especially if you're a book lover looking for a little gift inspo.

The internet has been abuzz with talk of this incredible pre-25th ritual. Rather than staying up together and watching Hallmark movies, Icelanders give books to each other on Christmas Eve, go to bed early and spend the night reading. The tradition has been going on for so long that it's the sole reason for the "Christmas Book Flood" that retailers experience, where sales peak between September and December of every year.

In the fall, each household gets sent a catalog of new releases called the Bokatidindi to go over and choose which ones they want to buy and receive. One expert, Kristjan B. Jonasson, believes that it's this tradition that keeps the publishing industry in business.

This long-standing tradition has clearly had a positive effect on the small country, as there is a great reverence for literature and writing. The BBC once stated that the country has more writers, more books published and more books read than anywhere else in the world - astonishing for a tiny Nordic island with a population of just 329,000. Their bookstores are also thriving, with many people valuing the gift of a physical book over modern-day eBooks which are otherwise popular in larger countries such as England or the US.

Some families bring chocolate with them to feast on while they're devouring their Christmas Eve read, and we suddenly feel as though we've been missing out our entire lives. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions that you vehemently stick to come December 24th? Let us know in the comments.

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