#AMonthofFaves This Is How I Holiday Away From Home

December 20, 2019

FRI. Dec. 20 – #AMonthofFaves This is How We Holiday – Rep your home’s holiday look, share pictures of your holiday decorations. Christmas tree, your favorite holiday traditions, holiday festivities, favorite ornaments, places to go, holiday drinks, holiday eats, holiday themed reads.

I’m visiting my friend for Christmas this year, which means I’m doing things a little bit differently.

For one, she has decided that we’re going to participate in the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod (or Christmas Book Flood). She has a voucher from a local used bookshop, so everyone (me, her, her husband, and the four kids–“kids” even though three of them are grown) are all going to put our names in a hat, draw a name, and then go to the bookstore and pick a book for that person. Then, we’re going to make hot cocoa and sit around and read on actual Christmas Eve.

I have an audiobook I want to finish, so we talked about reading with our ear holes and decided we’re going to also get some coloring books just in case anyone goes the audiobook route. It should be fun!

Since my friend is Brazilian, we usually follow the tradition of dinner plus opening one gift on Christmas Eve with the rest of the presents being opened on Christmas Day. She says she’s not sure how closely we’ll follow that–especially with Jolabokaflod happening, I’m guessing–so we’ll see.

Also, she requested that we make donuts, and I found this recipe so that will be happening as soon as we get a donut pan. Baking is going to be super fun around these parts because one of us can’t eat wheat, another can’t eat eggs, and the third can’t have diary. LOTS of substitutions, but we’ll make it work.

For New Year’s Eve, we usually do karaoke before and after the ball drop, and I also try to get some end of year reading in.

Even though I’m not at home, I did put up my tree before I left, and, to follow my own tradition, I added these ornaments from my adventures this year:

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I went to Universal Studios/Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time, hence the Universal ornament. (I couldn’t find a cute Harry Potter one, but I love the Universal globe.) The pineapple represents my trip to Hawaii.

I also went to Santa Cruz, San Diego, and WB Studios for the studio tour but found no cute ornaments there so had to settle for fridge magnets instead.

I have requested that my daughter get me an ornament from her travels in Japan, so hopefully next year I can add that one to my tree.


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  1. Katy K.

    Jolabokaflod sounds just great! I hope it’s wonderful. Another friend who also collected Christmas ornaments from travel uses keychains when she can’t find good ornaments, or just because they usually cost less. 🙂 Merry Christmas, Akilah!

  2. The Widow Badass

    Oh, I hope you blog about the Christmas Book Flood! I want to try it next year when I move closer to family. Sitting around reading and eating sounds like a wonderful evening to me!
    Merry Christmas, Akilah!


    • Akilah

      I probably will now that you’ve asked. There are seven of us here so it should be an adventure.

      Merry Christmas!

  3. natashajk

    I love the idea of getting an ornament for every where you travel. I wish my husband and I had started that when we first got together. And I think I’ve already raved about how much our family loves Jólabókaflóð!


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