Jolabokaflod- The Norwegian Christmas Tradition of book giving


New traditions at Christmas

My husband and I have a few traditions that we like to implement at Christmastime. However we decided it was important for our family to create our own traditions and memories to add to them. When I read of Jolabokaflod the Norwegian book giving tradition on Christmas Eve on the Treehugger website I knew it was for us! Another great website if you want to know a bit more about the history of Jolabokaflod can be found on the 'read it forward website' which is fantastically informative.

Books,books and more books!

I was actually really disappointed the first time I heard about this tradition... purely because it was too late to organize it for last Christmas! At least it has given me a full year to prepare for this Christmas.Giving me plenty of time to decide which books would be suitable. I only had 3 books to buy.

1 for my 40 something husband

1 for my 13 year old son and

1 for my 8 year old daughter.

Easy right??? Hmm not so much! You see my husband and son are not what you would call avid readers, so their books needed to engage them. Whereas my daughter is a voracious reader owning possibly more books than our local library!

A Christmas-sy read

Daughter first then. Although she finds these books easy to read I just couldn't resist 'My Naughty Little Puppy' Christmas book by Holly Webb. This is not a new book, it was handed down from my niece, as were the others in the series that my daughter enjoyed so much.

I enjoy giving new and old books alike. Charity Shops, second hand bookshops, independents and online stores all benefit from my book buying addiction. When I find a book for someone that I know is perfect, it doesn't matter whether it has been read previously.

In fact I believe a used book holds more stories than the one written inside.

trio unwrapped

Books for the Boys

I wanted to find a book and indeed genre that would engage my teenage son. So I searched Pinterest for inspiration. This led me to Reading Challenge:100 Classics to read in a Lifetime .

Here I also found a book for my husband (I'll just have to stop him reading this blog or it will spoil the surprise!)



I have never read 'A Wrinkle In Time' by Madeleine L'Engle but it sounds fascinating. I am looking forward to finding out about the astral travellers Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which with my son... once read I may very well post a review blog in the new year.

I had however heard of and read 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell. Speaking generally to my husband I managed to find out that he had only read '1984' by Orwell. Having thoroughly enjoyed the book myself I decided he really should read it. I purchased both of these books off Amazon purely because they were quite specific and I needed them quickly so that I could wrap them up...

I also got the idea for wrapping them up like snowmen off Pinterest and I am very pleased with how they have turned out. Let me know what you think by commenting or even subscribing to my blog at

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this post and consider making it one of your own family traditions too!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Derbyshire Duckie!

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Post Author: derbyshireduckie

16 thoughts on “Jolabokaflod- The Norwegian Christmas Tradition of book giving

    Gemma Stringer

    (December 7, 2018 - 2:16 pm)

    Loving the new logo.
    I love the idea of giving books -we love books at home but the only books I get to read at the moment are study books


      (December 8, 2018 - 4:44 pm)

      Thank you that is a lovely comment! I mostly read kids books at the moment I really cannot complain though as I love reading to and with the kids even more than on my own. I get to relive all those cool classics like George’s Marvellous Medicine whilst also finding new books like Wonder with my eldest!

    Annamarie Morgan

    (December 7, 2018 - 4:20 pm)

    Great idea! Love giving books at Christmas as it is fun finding the right book for the person.xx


      (December 8, 2018 - 4:41 pm)

      and it means I might get everyone into bed early too on Christmas Eve!


    (December 8, 2018 - 3:26 pm)

    This is so cute omg! I love this tradition. I hope it remains! Wonderful đŸ˜€


      (December 8, 2018 - 4:40 pm)

      Most definitely will be continuing it in our house. The kids are so excited as I have put the snowmen beneath the tree!

    Victoria Austin

    (December 9, 2018 - 3:27 pm)

    This is such a lovely idea, love the snowmen wrapping too! x


    (December 11, 2018 - 1:47 am)

    I love this tradition! I also bought books for my 4-year-old daughter and 4-year-old and 6-year-old nephews this year. A friend recommended 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up which includes a list of books for kids by age ranges from 4 to 11 and up. There is a part where the child can rate the book, state their favorite character, and write any other notes. I also purchased a book listed in it for each child. I think it might be too young for your family, but I wonder if there is a version for older kids and adults.

    I hope you share their reactions after they’ve read their books!


      (December 11, 2018 - 11:01 am)

      Oh wow that sounds great I shall have to have a mooch on the net and see. I think I may very well do a bit of a review after Christmas!

    Rachael Hope

    (December 12, 2018 - 4:42 pm)

    I love this idea. What a beautiful tradition. It has so much meaning and isn’t just a throw away Christmas gift. Also I do like to open a sneaky present on Christmas eve!! This is the perfect candidate, Thanks so much for sharing. Rach xx


      (December 24, 2018 - 1:48 pm)

      Aww thank you! I cant wait.

    Imogen Chloe

    (December 16, 2018 - 6:57 pm)

    I absolutely love this! I can’t wait to one day have children and share this tradition with them – never too late to start it now though! x


      (December 24, 2018 - 1:47 pm)

      Absolutely! Great with kids but a nice tradition for adults too!

    Ari Christy

    (December 23, 2018 - 8:54 pm)

    I love your choice in books! Very cute tradition. =)


    (January 4, 2019 - 3:23 pm)

    This is such a lovely and thoughtful tradition! I love the choice in books, I hope your family enjoy them. He he, the snowman wrapping is so cute and creative, awww those little santa hats! Thanks for the inspiration for next Christmas and happy new year lovely!! <3 xx

    Bexa |

    […] Christmas I wrote a blog about  Jolabokaflod. I thought some of you might be interested to know how it […]

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