The Yule Lads Are Still Here!
Last Friday, Icelandic person Rulebook Heavily introduced the SA Forums to the horrible festive beasts of his native land. The Yule Lads stay for a two-week spell, so all the previously introduced trolls are still in your house, licking your spoons and slamming your doors. But here's the final batch, ready to sniff your doors and swipe your sausage! As a bonus, we have a comic depicting a baffling Catalonian custom involving a sentient log, and some amazing illustrations klaivu made for the Netflix Instant-available Finnish Christmas-horror movie Rare Exports.
This lad loves himself some sausage. They would usually hang from the rafters of any given house, and he'd climb up and hook him some nice meaty sausage, slurping and salivating all the while, then fondle until finally he'd bite hard.
Now that I've made all my male readers intensely uncomfortable, honestly this dude isn't so bad. It used to be a big deal that on the feast of Saint Žorlįkur (Icelandic patron saint whose feast day is on the 23rd of December) you would eat a type of Icelandic sausage called bjśga (made from ground sheep or horse meat), but this has fallen out of favor and been replaced with things like skate for no real reason I can determine. These days he just embraces the inherently dick-jokish nature of his position in life.
Defense against Sausage-swiper:
- Man, be chill
- You can totally spare a sausage
- He's pretty cool
So, yeah. Window-Peeper. Ostensibly he's a petty thief, peeping in through the windows looking for small unguarded objects to steal. He sees you when you're sleeping and he knows when you're awake. And he's a magpie, too, because he'll take pretty much anything. Your keys. Your phone. Your change. Your remote. What he does with it all, no one knows.
But look at those kids. They know what he's really all about. He's in it for the thrill.
And he's a lascivious and shameless voyeur at that, taking thrill not only in whatever you do illicitly but also in the very act of peeping through your windows. Hell, he loves it so much that a lot of the time he carries around his own window frame just to peep at you through it.
He... He has issues.
Defense against Window-Peeper:
- Blinds and shutters.
- Some form of psychological assistance.
- Don't make eye contact (he'll start telling you about his problems)
Doorway-Sniffer is another kitchen stalker, to return to the classic theme.
He has an abnormally large nose with which he sniffs out a traditional Christmas treat called Laufabrauš, or Leaf-Bread. As the name suggests he will sniff at it from behind the nearest door, but his nose is so acute he can detect its baking for miles and miles around. This is bad because pretty much every household wants to buy or make this stuff.
Laufabrauš is a type of fried flat cake, and making these is a bit like making Christmas cookies - it's an activity for the whole family. It's pretty good stuff, traditionally served on its own or with a bit of butter spread on it!
So essentially this doorway-sniffing asshole not only gets people to do the hard parts for him, he also pretty much up and steals the house's supply of Christmas cookies that the whole family spent its time baking without so much as a hello. His brothers may be petty assholes, but this is a certain refined level of directed Christmas misery at work.
Defense against Doorway-Sniffer:
- Eat all the Laufabrauš before Christmas (not very hard)
- Whenever you see an ajar door in the kitchen, slam it closed to catch his schnoz
- Keep all the baking under lock and key
- Be silent but deadly
His name refers to his preferred mode of stealing your Christmas meats: hooking them through the chimney. Why the chimney? Because they'd either be kept in the rafters, and the chimney would be up there to waft the smoke out, or because it's how poorer people smoked their meat leading up to Christmas ("poor" meaning pretty much everyone).
Note that climbing on top of the house there isn't difficult. That's grass he's standing on. Houses in Iceland at the time these things were written down were essentially hobbit holes, and in fact that may be where Tolkien got the idea. (He had an Icelandic maid for a while.)
Defense against Meat-Hook:
- Just... don't hang your meat in a wooden rafter with an open chimney above it?
- Seriously that's it that's what he does
- He's not happy about Saint Nick stealing his schtick
- Oh and he's carrying a frikkin' meat hook, don't mess with him
Now we're getting into the real bastards, from stealing the special Christmas baking to straight-up hooking the Christmas steak. What could the last one do that merits him coming so late?