Let the Christmas spirit fill the hollow inside
Unless you live in a cave, it’s hard to avoid Christmas. Whether you affiliate with any religion or not, at some point, you’ll find yourself face-to-face with festive window displays, a crazy variety of advent calendars (they even make them for dogs!), endless gift wrapping motifs and, in Iceland’s case, Yule Lads. You can try to fight it, but eventually, you’ll succumb—if not for anything but the food. We went on a little holiday shopping haul to let you know about the best places in town to get your Christmas cheer on.
Laugavegur 8, 101 Reykjavík
Litla Jólabúðin literally means “The Little Christmas Store”—clearly, the person behind its name didn’t intend to reinvent the wheel. It’s very festive looking all year round, but don’t expect a mini version of Duncan’s Toy Chest from “Home Alone 2”. Instead, Litla Jólabúðin offers a wide, but traditional, selection of Christmas decorations, with the exception of some sparkly dinosaur baubles. What’s most impressive about this store, though, is its Nutcracker collection. Imagine playing a staring contest with hundreds of wooden Nutcrackers glaring at you with their tiny eyes. I lost, of course.
If, like us, you’re drawn to things other people would call trash, this one’s for you. Góði Hirðirinn isn’t a Christmas store, but their festive range gets larger closer to the holidays. Vintage baubles, Christmas lights, candleholders, wreaths—you might even score a whole Christmas tree. Vintage treasure hunting takes time and a trained eye, but at least your Christmas tree won’t look like you got it straight from an IKEA catalogue.
Epal has been the place for Icelanders to stock up on local and Scandinavian designers for over 40 years. Though a little bit more pricey than other stores on our list, Epal will make your Christmas dinner table look sleek—minimalistic, yet practical and beautiful. Whether you’re looking specifically for Christmas ornaments, scented candles or advent calendars, Epal has it all. Beware: You will definitely find something you love, so if you’re on a budget be sure to check those price tags.
Hverfisgata 50, 101 Reykjavík
Using natural materials as Christmas decorations is always a great budget-friendly idea, but if you aren’t much of a DIY-person (let’s be frank, putting a rock on a Christmas table will make it earthy, but will it impress your guests?), why not seek help from professionals. Flower studio Pastel will be doing a December pop up with wreaths, festive bouquets and smaller ornaments on offer. Take our word for it, if you put their Christmas wreath up on your door you can consider the unofficial neighbour competition won.
Kalkofnsvegur 2, 101 Reykjavík
Obviously, this one is not a Christmas store. But if traditional Christmas trees bore you and you agree the whole point of decorating a Christmas tree is to make it as extra as possible, stick with us here. The Penis Museum shop sells keychains and bottle openers that would look great on your Christmas tree. Consider it an homage to every dick in your life, or an attempt to make that friend who’s been sad and lonely all year smile. We’ve heard they also sell penis-shaped gingerbread cookies.
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