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  • Love it! We decided to give the gift of jolabokaflod to our cousins’ kids this Christmas, too…I sent of a package of carefully curated books and a couple of tins of gourmet hot chocolate. And the bonus gift for the adults is some quiet time to themselves while the kids are reading. 🙂

  • Oh boy this just reminds me of my own reading tradition which has been put aside for I don’t even know how long. For many years in my life I used to buy the holiday issues of major women’s magazines Family Circle, Women’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Redbook. Then I used to read all their holiday stories ( usually Christmas and Hanukkah oriented). They were always heartwarming.

    So, Kay, I’m kind of drooling over your Chinese food plans for Christmas Day. Are you planning to take out, or will you eat at the restaurant?

  • Ah, those Israelites of old really knew how to party—I miss Chinese food and a movie!

  • Thank you so much for the book love! ❤️ We are doing books for everyone on Christmas Eve too (along with the typical new jammies for the kids) and I think it’s the best idea.

  • Love the idea of books fro Christmas! My wish list includes books on cottage gardens, cookbooks AND knitting of course. Got to take a look at the Knitters Planner; looks like a must-have.

  • Wonderful! What a great collection. These links will keep me occupied for some time.

    Also, as a former New Yorker, your “Chinese food + movie” day made me wax nostalgic! Now I know how to answer folks when they ask me about my favorite Christmas story.

  • I’ve been part of a jolabokaflod exchange for the past 3-4 years that started with a small group of knitters and it’s one of the highlights of the season! My one hard-and-fast rule when my kids were growing up was that if a gift arrived in the mail, they could open it then & there. But my jolabokaflod gifts? Wrapped, under the tree, making me giddy with anticipation… four more sleeps ’til Christmas Eve!!

  • Jolabokaflod is my new favorite idea! And not just for Christmas eve… it seems as though it would be a night of hygge any night of the year. I am off from work and have the house to myself today; the plan is knitting and audiobooks all day long.

  • Love this so much! Thanks for sharing these wonderful books! May your holiday time be filled with peace, lots of reading and knitting!!!!

  • Kay, this is lovely. Thank you for sharing. As a book lover I shared your book thoughts with knitters and art appreciators. As a MOT, the Xmas eve tradition is something I plan to add to my life. Hugs, Karol

  • My uncle was a merchandising manager for Methodist Publishing House in Nashville. Although he and my aunt had no children, all nieces and nephews would get a box of beautiful books for Christmas each year. I still have many of these books which are ready for the third generation of children right now, including a complete set of Little House on the Prairie and, my favorite, Robin Hood illustrated by Howard Pyle. Here’s to wonderful traditions!

  • I am in the process of making my plans to leave Denver forever and relocate to Oregon. Although born and bred in Denver, I fell in love with Oregon when I lived in Eugene during the 1980’s. I no longer have a family and am on my own. Getting rid of “things “ is daunting but how to get rid of books is impossible. I love ❤️ books and have since I was a child. I’m now 65. I can dispose of the expensive Cuisinart roasting pan but how or do I dispose of books.
    Please advise

    • You can donate them to Salvation Army stores or Good Will, or some other charity that sells books. Or sell them at A second hand book store.

    • Most libraries take donated books, not to add to the collection, but to sell to raise funds.

    • In libraries there is a constant process of “weeding” the collection. Taking out things that haven’t been read recently or will never be read or are worn out. Think about what you will read again or perhaps refer to all the time. Maybe there are some books that have a particular sentiment attached to them that would be nice to keep – but you don’t have to keep books just because someone gave them to you. I sent many books to charity a few years ago and feel very much lighter for it. Of course, I still have plenty left!

    • I understand completely. Each book has contributed to your life and who you are. They are hard to part with. The first time I moved, in the 80’s I had 38 cases of books. After a few moves my daughters bought me a Kindle – much lighter. Last move across country West to East coast, I kept those that I would like to give to special new friends so they would know me better./shn

    • MDK…Thank you for the idea!!! Now, I will give the books waiting for Christmas morning on the Eve before with a sense that we’re creating a new tradition for us.

      Annelisabeth, when you get to Eugene please find Oregon Fiber Artists and you will find friends waiting for your arrival. I brought five (5) bookcases full of books with me from Pasadena, Ca. No regrets-lots of familiar favorites to help me settle into my new home.

  • This is such A wonderful idea!

  • Thanks for the Sheila Hicks information! I have an aspiring artist daughter who loves fiber and textiles, so that is right up her alley!

  • When I first read about the Jolabokaflod, it said that books AND chocolate were included. My idea of heaven.

  • I just love everything about this post, from Israelite Christmas traditions to jolabokaflod. In my next life I’m coming back as an Israelite Icelander so I can celebrate those two traditions!
    Seeing Sarah Berman’s closet at the Met last year was one of the highlights of 2017. Thanks for that memory.

  • I have a friend from Iceland. I’ll get he exact stats wrong, but she said that she was a kid there was boy TV for a few hours a day and at least one, maybe 2 days with no broadcast at all. Encourages reading or doing things for sure.

  • Fiddler on the Roof is screened every Christmas at the SIFF Cinema in Seattle, accompanied by klezmer music and kosher Chinese take out! It sells out every year and is a blast.

  • Sheila Hicks, Maira Kalman! Two of the most talented, inspirationals on our planet! Rejoice.

  • Jen’s Knit Planner is already in my possession with entries made! Books are wrapped. And due to the ministerial and musical professions in the family we have a Christmas Eve Presbyterian service, travel to a midnight mass In Minneapolis, breakfast at the Jewish deli in St. Paul and Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant. It’s becoming our new tradition.