Christmas or Jól as they are called in Iceland (related to the word Yule) is a joyful time in Iceland and traditionally a time of great feasting for the family. Abundance of jucy food and drinks and sweets galore and lots of presents of course. Here is a list of some ot the things that I associate strongly with Christmas.
The miser Scrooge is visited by three spirits around Christmas with live changing results. This wonderful Christmas story by Charles Dickens is a must for every Christmas, I read it first as a kid and since then I have to read it at every Christmas.This version of the book is really great. The story is well annotated and has a very informative introduction it also has lots of illustrations and photographs. This is the definitive version of this classic.
English movie from 1935 and this is rather good but not a great one. Seymor Hicks plays Scrooge and had played him on stage also. The main problems with this film is it's age and the technical limitations of the time, poor sound and light but it has a nice old fashioned atmosphere.
This movie from 1951 is one of the beast film versions of Christmas Carol and Alastair Sim is wonderful as Scrooge, one good thing about this movie is that it doesn't dumb down the story and it keeps the spooky and macabre elements of it.
A rather simplified version of the story, it's OK but it think this is a missed opportunity since these classic Disney Characters could have been so wonderful in this story, after all Scrooge McDuck is named after Scrooge.
I remember it vividly when I as a kid was sitting in the living room eating sweets and drinking some soft drink and my Mom was preparing Christmas in the kitchen and this wonderful animation by Chuck Jones came on TV with the voice talent of the legendary Boris Karloff. It was both Funny, Scary and Heartwarming. It's been a favorite ever since.
Two animated films based on Raymond Briggs stories. The snowman is the story of a boy and a Snowman he makes who comes to live and the the thrilling adventure they have around Christmas, this film has become a Classic and is shown every Christmas in many countries. Father Christmas is a very funny story of what he does the rest of the year after he has finished his Christmas duties. Two Great Christmas Classics on one DVD.
Traditional meat at Christmas in Iceland is the bird Tarmagan which is shoot wild in the Icelandic mountains as is the Reindeer, also popular is smoked Pig or Lamb. Many have also, and that inclues me, a Turkey.
The traditional way of celebrating in Iceland is that the Family sits down to dinner around 18:00 on december 24 and after dinner the presents are opened and sweets consumed in copious amonts.
For dessert we have a Danish dish made with rice, chopped almonds and whipped cream served with Cherry or Caramel sauce. Then one whole Almond is hidden in one of the bowl and the person who has the almond gets a price.
As a passionate Tea lover I must of course get some good Christmas Tea. They are usually black teas spiced with different things like almonds, cinnamon, cloves, lemon and orange peels and safflower petals. Just perfect with some quality chocolates.
The Icelandic soft drink firm Egils makes these two drinks, Malt and Appelsín. Malt is a sweet Malt drink and Appelsín is an Orange soft drink similar to Fanta. When these two drinks are blended together something Magical happens and it is a Favorite around Christmas in Iceland.
These are imported in great quantities around Christmas in Iceland and gobbled down with Great pleasure, the smell and taste of Mandarin Oranges or Mandarínur as they are called in Icelandic, always brings on the Yule Spirit.