Iceland’s Jólabókaflóðið – which translates to “book flood” – is a great holiday born of necessity. Although this northern nation has a great literary history, its island location has at times left it isolated. In the lean years following World War II that meant shortages of many imports – but not of books, which were produced domestically. In 1944, the Icelandic Journal of Books (Bókatíðindi) published a list of all newly published book – and distributed the list to every household, which made giving books a snap! These days, the tradition calls for giving books on Christmas Eve, and then spending the evening reading (often with a mug of hot cocoa). What could be cozier?

tTime to cuddle up with a good book!