Snow has started to fall just a handful of days ago — a little less, actually. Iceland is getting ready for the festivities: Christmas trees and bright decorations are coming alive everywhere, from the formal residences to the most unpretentious lodgings. And beyond those, in shops, schools and squares. After just one Sunday off the Advent calendar, in the city of Reykjavík it’s possible to breathe a very different atmosphere from that of a few days ago. Damp and rain turned into crispy whiteness; the cold doesn’t shatter the bones, but instead it caresses the skin. Finally, Icelanders run about their own businesses in the prolonged darkness like there is a whole new purpose in it.
Winter is the season for small luxuries. Here in Iceland this is especially true. The warm Icelandic sweater that looked too pretentious to be worn under the coat yesterday, feels cozier than ever today. Spending time at the café, lulled by the background chatting of other customers, is quite enjoyable when outside it’s pitch black. Taking off a pair of wet shoes after getting home has now its own special something about it.