THE YULE LADS
No, this isn’t a group of peppy a cappella carolers; they’re 13 trolls who descend from the mountains to bring gifts and cause various levels of mischief. In the 13 days leading up to Christmas, Icelandic children place their shoes in the window in the hopes that the Yules Lads will put gifts and treats in them. if they’re naughty, however, they get a potato in their shoe.
Some of the Lads — like Skyrgámur (translation: Skyr-Gobbler), a cheeky fellow with a taste for Icelandic yogurt, or skyr,— are harmless in nature. Others, like Gluggagægir (Window Peeper) and Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage Swiper) are a bit more suspect. But that’s nothing compared to their mother, Gryla, who in the earlier, less sanitized myths would collect naughty children to boil in her stewpot. Oh, and don’t forget the Yule Cat. Nope, it’s not a cute little kitty — it’s their enormous black cat who eats any child who doesn’t receive new clothes for Christmas. Seems like that one is more on the parents than the kids.