Published December 10, 2012
According to CNN it is. They’ve said so at least twice. In 2010 they put Reykjavík at the top of their “Top 10 Places to Spend your Christmas” list and again in 2011, they put our fine city in third on the same list, somehow deciding that we had become two spots less Christmassy over the year.
CNN seems to have discontinued this tradition, but Reykjavík will surely cling to the honour for years to come. Never mind that we didn’t make it onto Forbes’ “World’s Top Christmas Destinations” list along with destinations like New York, Amsterdam, Cologne and Santa Claus, Indiana (not to be confused with the Santa Claus, Arizona or Santa Claus, Georgia).
But how are we ever going to compete with a city called Santa Claus anyway, a place that supposedly “celebrates the season 365 days a year”?
Perhaps we should start by rethinking “Smokey Bay.” Just think how many more people would visit if we had a name that was really sexy. Perhaps we should one up Santa Claus with “Mrs. Santa Claus.” Or perhaps we should think even bigger and name ourselves after whatever else we are trying to sell to the world, like “NorthernLightsAreHere.” Or we could even go all out with “NorthernLightsBjörkElfGeysirNatureLand.”
The Promote Iceland campaign urging people to submit a “new name for the island in the North” has already inspired some fantastic ideas. Ideas like “SpiritLand” and “MySunNeverSetsLand” and “KnitLand” and “LoveLand” and “WaterLand” and “SnowLand” and “EpicLand,” “HeavenLand,” “BjörkLand”…. Yes, seriously. (Before I go on, I feel obliged to make clear that, contrary to what USA TODAY might believe, the person who comes up with the best name won’t actually get to rename the country. He or she will, however, win a trip to Iceland.)
If Reykjavík is really going to secure its spot as a top Christmas destination, to compete with the likes of Santa Claus, our marketing forces are going to have to cook up something really good. Even if, as CNN pointed out, Iceland has “not one but 13 Santas,” we’re going to have to do better. Or we could just focus on keeping it real, trying to relax and having a nice holiday. Yeah, we should probably just do that. Happy holidays!