cross stitch · Gingerbread stockingThe · Icelandic yule lads · Presents · Sheep-Cote Clod · shoe · Stekkjastaur · window

Icelandic Yule Lads are Coming to Town.

The boys having fun with their new playmobil Children from the Icelandic Yule lad

I know the holidays are very close when the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads start showing up. The Icelandic yule lads use to be trouble makers, eating food at night, stealing candles, slamming doors in the middle of the night and so on. Now they are more like the English Santa but instead of a large gift on Christmas morning or a full stocking, each Icelandic Yule Lad brings a little something for good boys and girls and leaves it in a child’s shoe that is left in the window (since most Icelandic homes don´t have a fireplace). If the child does not go to bed on time with out problem then they either get nothing or a rotten potato.

 The first Yule Lad comes to town early in the morning of December 12th leaving Playmobil Children in my older boys’ shoes that they left in the window last night. This yule lad’s name is Stekkjastaur or Sheep-Cote Clod in English and he used to try to suckle the ewes in the farmers’ sheep sheds for their milk leaving them both dry for the farmer and making a ruckus with the sheep that were on the lower level of some homes (to help heat the home) or in a shed next to the home. This yule lad is the first to come to town from living in the mountains and the first to leave on Christmas day.

The first of them was Sheep-Cote Clod.
He came stiff as wood,
to prey upon the farmer’s sheep
as far as he could.
He wished to suck the ewes,
but it was no accident
he couldn’t; he had stiff knees
– not to convenient.

My children are lucky to be born to two different cultures so not only do they get the 13Yule lad visits but they also get the American Santa.

I´m still working on Óðins new stocking. I will have to work hard to finish since I have probably over 50 hours of work already on this stocking and have plenty left in the toe and then to sew all the outlines and then sew the backing and the loop on it.

What do you do to help your children get ready for the holidays?


5 thoughts on “Icelandic Yule Lads are Coming to Town.

  1. I just started doing a bit of x-stitching again…..after over 30 !!! years! (I used to do shop models for Ginny Thompson Originals….bet she's not even in business any more!) Love hearing about the Icelandic traditions. My grandkids are all about the Shelf Elf, and daughter has gotten a bit more creative this year with posing him each day (one day, the star war lego men had him yarn-tied to a candle)….good luck with finishing that stocking!!!


  2. I wish I were excited about my cross stitching but at this point I'm ready for it to be done. Wishing I had chosen a pattern that wasn't so involved at this point. I'm glad you are enjoying your cross stitching again.

    I've heard about the Elf on the Shelf. Sounds fun.

    Have a happy holiday and thank you for dropping by.


  3. I was reading about this to my 3 yr. old today, and I asked her what she would have in her shoe this morning if we were Icelandic- and she said without hesitation ” A Rotten Potato!” (she had a bit of a tough time falling asleep last night) I laughed so hard, thankfully we're not icelandic- I can't think of a worse thing to find in your shoe!


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