This Christmas, Go Easy On The Grýla Myth And Don’t Make Pipe Bombs

This Christmas, Go Easy On The Grýla Myth And Don’t Make Pipe Bombs

Published December 6, 2019

This Christmas, Go Easy On The Grýla Myth And Don’t Make Pipe Bombs
Valur Grettisson
Photo by
Þrándur Þórarinsson

Oh my, time flies when you’re having fun! Christmas is upon us. Now is the time where Icelanders cook their traditional glazed ham or pick pellet out of the ptarmigan. Some of us try to teach the kids something about some hippie called Jesus. Others teach them about the old heathen traditions that Icelandic Christmas was built upon. But we all make sure to dress our kids up so the Christmas Cat (‘Jólakötturinn’) doesn’t come around and eat them one by one. You can never be too careful when it comes to that monster.

The Yule Lads are about to hit the town with their bags smack with presents. We have thirteen lads, so no need to panic. But lock your doors, and draw the curtains—you don’t want to invite the Christmas version of the Peeping Tom, Window Peeper (‘Gluggagægir’) to take a gander at your goods. And nobody wants to meet Meat Hook (‘Kjötkrókur’) in a dark hallway. Yet, they visit our kids and leave a small package in their shoes for thirteen days straight. It’s cuter than it sounds. Just go easy on threatening the kids with Grýla if they don’t behave. It only breeds anxiety. Plus Grýla gives you the creeps. And she makes a stew made out of children. Yikes.

But Christmas is more or less about being together. I don’t think that anybody is forgetting about this, but it can slip one’s mind when checking his credit online and panicking. There is no shame in having a moderate Christmas and focusing on the family and the connection between people. Although, it could be a tough sell for the teenager in the house. Feel free to threaten them with Grýla. Teenagers probably deserve it.

The Reykjavík Grapevine loves Christmas, and we adore New Year’s Eve when Icelanders spend billions in shooting fireworks in the air despite all the pollution that comes with it.

So, from us at Reykjavík Grapevine, Merry Christmas and Happy (and safe) New Year.

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Enough. Stop. Now.

Enough. Stop. Now.


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