Monday, December 22, 2008

Decmber 24th - Kertasnikir

Last but not least is Kertasnikir, or Candle Beggar. He's actually kind of sweet if you can overlook him pyromaniac tendencies. He likes candlelight so he hides in a corner and, when no one is watching, he takes a Christmas candle for himself.That's all of the Yule lads. They hang around until Christmas Day when they start to go back to the mountains one be one. The last one leaves on January 6th and the Icelanders celebrate with big bonfires and fireworks. The Icelanders will use any excuse to shoot off fireworks- it's pretty spectacular.

Gledileg Jol, ya'll!

December 23rd - Ketkrokur

Ketkrokur, or Meat Hook, sounds more like something out of a very un-Christmasy horror movie if you ask me. But actually he sits on top of the chimney and when he sees meat smoking over the fire, he lowers a hook down to steal it. That's something to keep in mind the next time you smoke meat in your fireplace.

December 22nd - Gattapefur

To help him find his way to your house, Gattapefur, or Door Sniffer, has a huge nose... which I guess he uses to sniff through doors. Hmmm

Sunday, December 21, 2008

december 21st - Gluggagaegir

Gluggagaegir, or Window Peeper, stands outside the windows and peeks inside. If someone happens to catch a glimpse of him, he makes an ugly face.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

December 20th - Bjugnakraeker

This guy might have the funniest name. Bjugnakraeker, or Sausage Swiper, crawls along the rafters of the house and swipes the sausages that are hanging up there.

I wonder how many people still hang sausages over the rafters in their house. I'd be willing to bet it's not many. Poor guy.

December 19th - Skyrgamur

Skyr is sort of a special Icelandic yogurt. Not being a yogurt-kind-of-gal myself, this little guy is particularly repulsive. Skyrgamur, or Skyr Gobbler, hides in the pantry and when the door is shut, he gobbles him some skyr.

The little descriptions I've read about him always seem to mention that he gets the skyr all over his clothes and matted in his beard.
Ummm... ick.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18th - Hurdaskellir

Refreshingly, this yule lad is the first non-food related prankster. Although, I think his prank is the most disturbing.Hurdaskellir, or Door Slammer, slams doors in the middle of the night to startle the family out of their sleep on those long, cold Icelandic winter nights.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 17th - Askasleikir

Today Askasleikir, or Bowl Licker, comes down from the mountain.

He comes into the house late in the evening, when the family is finishing their dinner. When fussy children don't finish their food, he creeps up and cleans out their bowls.

Huh... Seems kind of handy to those of us who don't like leftovers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16th - Pottasleikir

You know how sometimes the best part of making a yummy treat is licking the bowl afterward?

When Icelandic kids are given the bowl to lick Pottasleikir, or Pot Scraper, knocks on the door. When the kids go to the door to see who's there, he swipes the bowl and enjoys it himself.

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 15th - Thvorusleikir

Today is the day that Thvorusleikir, or Ladle Licker, shows up.

He.. um... licks the ladles.

These little guys sure do seem hungry.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14th - Stufur

Stufur, or Shorty, arrives today.

His specialty is snatching the cooking pans and eating whatever is inside.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13th - Giljagaur

Today, Giljagaur or Gully Gawk sneaks into the cow barn and steals the cows' milk.

So apparently, milk is a hot commodity during the long, dark Icelandic winter.

Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12th - Stekkjastur

On December 12th, the first Yule Lad arrives. He's Stekkjastur or Sheep Cot Clod.He sneaks into the sheep pen and tries to steal the ewes' milk.
Hmmm. I guess if we lived in an Icelandic sod hut a couple of hundred years ago, we would understand how annoying that was.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gledileg Jol

"Gledileg Jol" is Icelandic for "Merry Christmas".

Rick and I spent two Christmases in Iceland and we've incorporated some of the Icelandic traditions into our own celebration. One thing we brought back with us was a calendar that tells the story of the Jolasveiner, the Yule Lads.

Instead of Santa Claus, Icelandic children receive gifts from the 13 Yule Lads. The Yule Lads live in the mountains with their parents, Gryla and Leppaludi. Starting on December 12th, the lads come down from the mountains one at a time to play tricks and leave gifts in the shoes of good children (naughty children get a potato).

My plan is to every day post a little blurb about the Yule Lad of the day. They are all named for the particular trick that they play. Some of them are pretty funny.

Card Club

Tuesday night was Card Club; we met at the Chocolate Cafe in Grandview. Over cookies and milk, mugs of hot chocolate, cakes and other goodies we exchanged cards and had our traditional white elephant gift exchange.This month I put together a little packet of cards I made with a template I got from Little Brown Pen on etsy (link to the Little Brown Pen blog is in the right column of this page under 'Crafty Sites'). In the packet were 2 standard size cards, 4 gift tags and a matchbook notepad- and I found these cute little pencils at Staples.

It was fun to catch up with the gals. See ya'll next year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Santa is a Navy fan

This weekend we drove to Philadelphia and my dad, my brother, his girlfriend, Rick and I all bundled up in our warmest gear and went to the 109th playing of the Army-Navy football game. Wow- what an amazing experience. And, though the game was pretty good, I don't think it was the best part.
We had to get there two and a half hours early to see the Brigade of Naval Academy Midshipmen and the Corp of West Point Cadets march onto the field. My dad is a 1969 Naval Academy graduate, so that was especially nostalgic for him.

Then there were the fly-overs.

The Army Airborn parachuters all landed on the 50 yard line- very impressive.

The Navy SEAL parachuters brought the flag to the stadium.

That's Air Force 1. Yep, President Bush was there too.

There he is waving to me on his way in.

Bill the Goat and the Army Mule get rowdy.

President Bush officiated the coin toss.

Santa, obviously a Navy fan, was sitting a couple of rows ahead of us.

President Bush sat on the Army side during the first half of the game (because, they were the home team), but at half time he came over the winning side.

And, of course, the best part...

My brother supplied a pretty terrific post-game taligait barbeque.

Not to be left out of the fun, Will stayed in Bedford and went with Grandma, his friends Jamie and Ava, and their mom to breakfast with Santa. By all reports, it was a lot of fun. Good thing it was over in time for Santa to make it to the game.