In some parts of the world, Santa operates as a lone wolf. Every year on the night of the 24th of December, he packs his sled chock full of presents, hollers for his reindeer, waves the elves goodbye … and then spends all night trying not to get stuck in chimneys while delivering presents.
In other parts of the world, children also get presents from Santa. But not only once. And not only on the 25th. And not under a tree. And also not from only one lone Santa trying to wriggle down the chimney. No, in Iceland, where Men & Mice has their roots, they don’t settle for just one Santa - they have THIRTEEN.
The Icelandic Santas, or Yule Lads, are made up of a band of mischievous brothers who live in the mountains with their scary ogress mother, Gryla, her good-for-nothing third husband, Leppaludi, and the beastly Yule Cat.
Gryla likes to eat people. Apparently she ate her first husband. As a result, “naughty” children have been terrified of her culinary habits from as early as the 13th Century. Of course well-behaved children, just like anywhere else in the world, have nothing to worry about other than the size of the present they’ll be getting under the tree … or in the shoe they left on the windowsill for that purpose, as is the case in Iceland.
Every night from the 12th of December, one of Gryla’s sons comes down from the mountains to put presents in children’s shoes. Unless they’ve been naughty, of course, in which case they get a potato.
But whether they get a present or a potato, Icelandic children always know when the Yule Lads have been to visit. They are notoriously messy and can’t help but leave a trail of trouble. They eat leftovers, lick bowls, slam doors or steal sausages, amongst other things. Hence their rather descriptive names: Pot Scraper, Bowl Licker, Door Slammer and Sausage Swiper, to name a few.
This Christmas, Men & Mice has decided to bring a little bit of the spirit of the Icelandic Yule Lads to those interested. Not the trail-of-trouble spirit, but rather the present-in-the-shoe spirit, that is!
From the 12th of December, the Yule Lads will be arriving every day on the Men & Mice blog, introducing a short, useful, DDI tip or trick assured to make your networking life run just that little bit smoother in the future.
To be sure you don’t miss a visit from the Men & Mice Yule Lads this Christmas season,
Wishing you a happy Yule Lad Christmas!
The Merry Men & Mice Team