What the Yule Book Flood is and why I'm adding it to our Christmas traditions 8 months ago

What the Yule Book Flood is and why I'm adding it to our Christmas traditions

Jólabókaflóðið or the Yule Book Flood is the exchanging of books on Christmas eve and is a tradition I'll happily get on board with.

The annual tradition which began in Iceland during the Second World War, first occured due to foreign imports being heavily restricted, but products like paper being cheap.

The Christmas tradition is part of the reason why Iceland is one of the most literate countries in the world.

I've always been a massive bookworm and it seems that my two children have inherited my love of the literary.

Even my one year old is obsessed with books and will flip through picture book after picture book for hours.

This is one of the reasons why I think we should definaitely add the Yule Book Flood to our Christmas traditions, but it's not the only one.


One Christmas tradition that was once hugely popular, was the telling of stories on Christmas day. This festive favourite was partiuclatly popular during the Victorian era and where Christmas classics like 'A Christmas Carol' get their roots.

While Jólabókaflóðið is a Nordic tradition, story telling has always been a beloved Irish tradition and in modern times has even been adapted into spoken word and slam poetry events. Because of this I think the telling of Christmas stories is due for a comeback (let's face it there's only so many Christmas specials you can watch).

Reading is also a great bonding activity, not just for parent and child, but the whole family. Whether it's reading a fairytale with their grandparents or an older sibling reading to their younger brother or sister, reading is an activity that most children adore.

With newly developed apps like StorySign for children with hearing impairments or the KNFB reader app for those with visual impairments, no one has to be left out of this wonderful childhood tradition.

All of our Christmas books are wrapped and tucked safely under the tree, ready to be opened this day next week, and I can't wait to see their little faces when the children get to unwrap theirs.