Published December 20, 2019
In Iceland, Christmas is a little wacky. Instead of one Santa, we have thirteen. And rather than being a jolly old white-bearded fellow who lets children sit on his on his lap in a shopping mall and showers them with presents, our Jólasveinar—or “Yule Lads,” in English—are a tribe of mischievous little weirdos.
Starting on December 12th, the Yule Lads come down from the mountains one by one, each day until Christmas. If you’ve behaved well, they’ll put a gift in your shoe; if not, you get a potato. In honour of this harrowing game of cat and mouse, we present: the Thirteen Days Of Grapemas, where every day, a Yule Lads will deliver one of you—our beloved readers—a special Icelandic gift.
So what’s a girl gotta do to get some cool stuff in her shoe? Just tag the friends or loved ones you think are most deserving on this Facebook status, along with a damn good reason that they should win. Remember: If you don’t enter in this life, you sure won’t win. #JÓLÓ!
What’s In The Shoe Today?
Better hope you put up all your curtains and blinds correctly, because there’s one Yule Lad who has the worst sense of boundaries of all: Gluggagægir (Window peeper) who, as his name would suggest, is fond of looking into the windows of your home. He doesn’t actually hurt you but it’s still creepy behaviour. The police have been called, as well as the UN, to bring the lad to justice. Coming along with him as his pals Gáttaþefur (Doorway-sniffer) and Ketkrókur (Meathook), another two lads with a taste for food. While Gáttaþefur has very refined tastes, and will only raid your laufabrauð, but Ketkrókur will eat any meat you happen to have in your home.
They did, though, leave a little gift, and it ain’t no potato! No, peeking out from your shoes is a small-group tour for two in South Iceland, brought to you by the good folks at Hidden Iceland. This intimate tour takes you through on a glacier hike, to the LAVA Centre, Reynisfjara, Seljalandsfoss waterfalls and more. It’s a lovely way to acquaint yourself with the southern coast of our fair country.
Wanna win? Tag your most well-behaved friend here… and check our page Monday for the next gift.
A note: The winner for yesterday’s handknit wool hat contest was Brett Foote “because he lives in a faraway land where it’s a blistery -30ºF! If his head freezes without this cap and he can no longer think straight, then how’s he supposed to stop Skyrgámur from stealing all of his Skyr!?”, writes their nominee. That’s a pretty good reason! Stay tuned for Monday’s winner. It could be you!