Ever since childhood, books have been my absolute favourite present to receive, for Christmas or for any other occasion. And it is incredible to see how my toddler son is starting to feel the same. The advent calendar is not a tradition I grew up with, but I have started to embrace it this year (I love the entire part of December leading up to the 25th and I find this tradition to be such a great way to celebrate and embrace this special time of year), but make it my own – children’s books as our advent. Because I believe there are few things more beautiful than instilling the love for books and reading into your child and seeing how his imagination and joy for storytelling flourish.
We have already unwrapped a few books from under our tree, both Christmas and non-holiday related stories, and this one, The Christmas Wish, is the latest one, which also doubled as a gift from Saint Nicholas, one of my favourite holidays – because it’s one of children’s winter joys (and everyone else rejoices with them), because of this beautiful tradition, because of the wonderful childhood memories when my brother and I used to receive games and books instead of sweets (the same twist I want to put on the Advent calendar).
The Christmas Wish began as a family Christmas card, from the other-worldly photographs Per Breiehagen took of his daughter, Anja. I discovered Per’s photography years ago, but had no idea that in the meanwhile it had evolved into a beautifully crafted book for children and adults alike. Lori Evert, Anja’s mother, weaved a narrative about a child, a wish and a magical journey around these striking images of her snow-loving daughter dressed in traditional Norwegian clothing. It is about the power of dreaming and believing. We are already waiting for heavy snow and looking for a bell from Santa under the tree.
photo by me