Though the arrival of Christmas is the height of the holidays in Iceland, it’s the advent season that fills our hearts with light, love and laughter. Advent begins four Sundays before Aðfangadagur which is Christmas Eve - the day of our big celebration. We live for these four weeks of festive food, drinks, music, lights, traditions and gatherings. This time of year is just so jubilant, cozy and sometimes glamorous.
This time in waiting breeds sparkle and joy - as we gather at restaurants over festive game dishes, host parties at home and at the workplace, music venues blast holiday themed concerts, and every household shimmers with festive and cozy lights.
This year however our advent festivities may look different than usual as we find new ways to celebrate the season - perhaps in more meaningful ways than before. Advent is such a special time of year filled with tradition that brings us together and a bit of hygge goes a long way. My family is exploring ways to slow down a bit and really check in with each other and those in need.
As well as making meals and cookies together, focusing on quality time and wellness. Finding time to relax and just to be at home - baking gingerbread cookies with our kids. Light candles, read, sip hot cocoa - and wake up to the smell of birch. Allowing for time to go a bit slower I’ll welcome new advent traditions to be celebrated for years to come.
Advent was born as a Christian tradition - waiting for the arrival of Jesus. Today Icelandic Christmas has become less holy and more festive - welcoming everyone to participate regardless of their faith. And it’s in times like this when we can look at the dark and quiet days of December as a sign of hope for lighter, brighter and more prosperous days to come.
Gleðilega Aðventu - Happy Advent!