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…not a white Christmas, no. I’ll be in south India. If it snows there, I predict total chaos. As promised, here’s my Christmas wishlist – in no particular order. Images are linked to their sources where applicable.

1. Mixed Crystal Keyhole Sterling Silver Ring by Laura Treloar. Available from her Specimentals shop on Etsy. I love the colors of this one – and one can never have too many pieces of jewelry, right?

2. I also quite like these earrings, available from Renee Johnson on Etsy. I like raw or rough diamonds in jewelry (although these are Herkimer diamonds – quartz, I believe, and not actual diamonds. Which explains the price!) Anyway, rough diamond jewelry kind of appeals to me – it’s polished but not too cute. It has an edge. I like it.

Next up, books! I’d like to read around fifty out of the many, many books published in Iceland during the holiday season. I’m thinking I’ll get them at the library or hope to borrow some from friends. The ones I love and think I’ll read again and again I’ll buy for myself. However, I wouldn’t mind finding a photography book or two under my imaginary tree… These, in particular:

3. South Southeast by Steve McCurry. I was researching India for our impending trip (in three days!) when I found this book. Some of the photographs I’d seen, but didn’t know they were his. McCurry is also the man behind the überfamous shot of the Afghan girl – the National Geographic cover I stared at for hours on end as a little girl. (I found her so, so beautiful. And my father explained about other countries and customs and that in some places, women cover their hair and I was just entranced by the sheer size and beauty of the world.) Anyway, I would absolutely love this book, with McCurry’s pictures from South and Southeast Asia. See more of his work here. How amazing are those colors?

4. Saul Leiter’s Early Color is out of stock and unavailable, it seems. I still want it. And since this is an imaginary wishlist, as I’m not really participating in the giving or receiving of gifts this year, I rule that doesn’t matter. Leiter was best known as a painter, but was an excellent photographer as well. His shots from the streets of New York are phenomenal.

5. This looks like pink fluff. It’s not. It’s pink salt, and I chose it to represent a whole gift category: edibles. Oooh, edibles. I like food (quite possibly the understatement of the decade), but rarely do I allow myself to splurge on luxury foods. My fridge is usually not full of foie gras and exotic vinegars. But I would be thrilled to receive any as a gift! So, apart from the Murrey River Pink Salt, I’d be just as blissfully happy with a bottle of truffle oil, a jar of dulce de leche, a bottle of elderflower syrup or a jar of wild blackberry honey or…

6. Oh, Diana, how I covet you. I have a feeling I’m going to end up with far more cameras than I can really justify owning. Now, I have five. One of which is broken and one I haven’t tried yet. It’s an old film camera I bought at a flee market and I doubt it’ll work… I’m not sure I would necessarily buy a Diana – I would have serious trouble justifying the purchase to myself – but I would be more than happy to receive one…

7. A couple of years ago, access to Reykjavík city’s museums was free of charge for everyone. Then, the country almost went bankrupt and the entry fees came back. A “culture card” is valid for a year and allows you free access to all the city’s museums and cultural institutions (and includes a free library card – yay!), and I’d be more than happy to receive one. (Original image from here.)

8. Last but not least: I would love, love, love tickets to the theater! Or opera. Or classical concert in our brand new concert hall. But mostly theater. I haven’t been in what feels like ages and I really want to see the play Purge, by Sofi Oksanen, which is showing in the National Theater now. I read the book this fall and it really moved me. Oksanen, who’s part Finnish and part Estonian, wrote the play some years before she wrote the novel, so I’m really curious to see how she first wanted to tell the gripping, tragic story of Zara and Aliide.

Right! I could go on, but instead I’m going to go do some yoga and then start preparing for tonight: it’s faux-Christmas! Since we’ll probably dine on some Masala dish or other on Christmas Eve – when we normally eat a traditional Icelandic Christmas dinner in our very best clothes – we’re going have a little celebration dinner in advance, just to get a tiny little taste of traditional Christmas.

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