Photo report: Christmas Eve in Iceland – The Weather and the People Skip to content

Photo report: Christmas Eve in Iceland – The Weather and the People

After writing about the terrible weather we could expect in Reykjavík this Christmas Eve Iceland Review’s reporter decided to brave the weather and take some photos of the storm. He also visited his friends and relatives as many Icelanders do on the 24th.
Here is the report in words and pictures:

Time 11:00. Buy some last minutes gifts. In Penninn, a bookstore in Eastern Reykjavík, there were literally more people working than buying. We can safely deduce that most people buy their gifts before the very last day. Practically all, except yours truly. Two shop attendants gladly helped by gift wrapping.


Time 11:35. Deliver said gifts. The weather was still calm. In this place I was offered tea and cookies. The younger generation played Yatzy, a game of dice.


Time 12:25. An excursion to Gardabær, a sleep town south of Reykjavík. One gift delivered. Offered coke and chocolate. Offer accepted. The weather has suddenly gotten much worse.


Time 14.00. Gift delivered to a house in Grafarvogur, a suburb in northern Reykjavík. The weather is calm. The family was getting ready to eat rice pudding with a hidden nut. The one who gets the nut gets a small packet. I did not stop long but had one “air cookie”, a cookie baked of sugar, cocoa and baking powder, I think. My mother used to bake them. They were the best and still are.

Time 14:30. Unsuccessful attempt at finding “Christmas coffee beans.” Now everything has Christmas put in front of it, cheese, ham, beer and coffee. Add 20% to the price and everyone will buy it. Storm picked up a bit. More people are buying food than gifts.



Time 15:00. Visited Iceland Review editor Páll Stefánsson. He has no Christmas tree in his apartment. When we looked out of the window the wind blew a knitted cap off a young man walking his dog. I could not catch that moment on picture. Páll’s wife brought home a box of oranges.


Time 15:10. A stop at home. Definitely the be best decorated house. The weather is calm.

Time 15:30. A visit to an old woman in an old folk’s home in my neighborhood. She is 87, hard of hearing and with limited eyesight. She had both her radio and TV on. Had an interesting conversation about old and new times. She keeps up with everything that is happening and has happened for the last 80 years. Left at 16:30. The weather had picked up again and the lit Christmas tree outside bent a bit to the east because of the wind.



Time 18:00. The weather is calm. Church not full. Iceland has not gone beck to religion after the crash. Not that all that come to church on Christmas Eve are very religious, but going to church that day feels good. The pastor greets everyone at the door and says: “Merry Christmas.” So do we all at Iceland Review.


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