Book Recomendations, Christmas, Winter

Jolabokaflod: Christmas Book Flood

Books are not only treasured as Christmas presents in Iceland, they are also given in abundance. For Icelanders, the holiday season begins with the delivery of Bokitidindi, the catalog of the new books published in Iceland that year.  Citizens pour over the catalog for their Christmas selections.

After the books are exchanged on Christmas Eve, everyone snuggles down with hot cocoa and reads the night away. The occasion is called Jolabokaflod which translates roughly to Christmas Book Flood.

The closest our family came to a Jolabokaflod was when my husband unwrapped a Field of Dreams DVD one Christmas Eve and all five us piled into our queen bed to watch it. A favorite memory. Books with hot cocoa would have been even better.

Of all the things I wish I had known—before my children were grown and scattered— Jolabokaflod is probably the most fun and bonding. Christmas Eve is too full with our established traditions, but I would have declared another day,  perhaps New Year’s Book Flood.

Interested in a new tradition?

Homeschooling, Winter

Hang a Bird Feeder

My oldest son’s first clear word was dog. A family pet rushed into the living room where we were visiting Christmas Day. “Dog,” he blurted.

Bird followed. My toddler kept vigil over the birds eating the seed outside our kitchen window. “Bir” he said over and over. “Bird” corrected his visiting grandmother.

We moved, and moved, and moved again. Bird feeders were forgotten for twenty-two years.

Twelve inches of snow followed by nineteen inches of snow caused my husband and I to hang bird feeders on our deck.  We watched cardinals, blue jays, doves, woodpeckers, chickadees and more. We photographed them. We researched them. As the snow lingered, and word spread, the quantity and varieties on our deck increased.

This red-bellied woodpecker visits frequently.

My joy was mixed with sadness. My sons were in college. They were missing adventures and learning experiences that could not be regained.  If only I could go back twenty years and re-hang a winter bird feeder.

Does something need to be reinstated in your home?

Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!

Luke 12:24 (ESV)