What’s red and dances all around?❄
The answer is not Grýla, but she would surely take an interest.
Krampus came and went, but that doesn’t mean we are safe from Christmas related devilry.
Grýla is another one of those awesome bits of Yule time folklore. She comes to us from Iceland, where children in the long long ago were told of this mythical giantess (I wouldn’t call her an ogre to her face) who lived in the mountains.
The cave-dwelling Grýla didn’t realize how her special skills fit with Christmas until the 17th century. By that time, she had birthed a bunch of brats called the Yule Lads. The Yule Lads are a group of Icelandic Santas. There are thirteen official Yule Lads. I gather you get to be official when you’ve been so annoying at one thing you get a reputation for it. Individual Yule Lads are each known for their preferred perversion – harassing sheep, snatching sausages, an affinity for that special yogurt stuff called skyr, slamming doors – real sick stuff.
What else would we expect from the sons of Grýla. Her main talent is the ability to detect misbehaving children, which turns out to be her favorite snack. She never passes up a good naughty kid stew.
With that kind of diet, it’s no wonder she’s been married three times. Or perhaps it’s her 15 tails. Or three heads. She is, by all accounts, a hideous beast of a mother.
She is said to have eaten her first husband, had a few spawn with her second (reports of his demise are unconfirmed) and now lives in a cave with her third, Leppalúði, with whom she had 20 offspring and a Yule Cat. I suspect those 7 other kids may have gotten eaten. The Ombudsman for Children’s Rights in Iceland may want to check into that.
If you don’t wear that new Christmas sweater, the Yule Cat will most likely eat you. Don’t risk it. The Yule Cat is deadly serious about new outfits.
So, put on your new outfit, go take a photo with the gruesome couple and start marinating your children. You and I both know they are hellions and Grýla is coming for them.
❄ A baby on a bbq!