by Samantha Perez

In Iceland, naughty children are not given coal in their bright red stockings. Instead, they are visited by a mountain troll named Grýla. This sinister giantess leaps down the icy mountains in search of all the children with dark hearts. Once they are found, she hides in their room until they are fast asleep. In the near mist of the night, she slowly crawls up their bed, and uses her long boney hands to abduct them, and eats them!

However, she is not alone in this devious act. A group of men with long white gruff beards known as the “Yule Lads” visit the children throughout December, 13 days before Christmas. Each man, sons of the Grýla, run down the mountain on dark nights. Their actions range from a harmless prank to murder. Originally there were 13 “Yule Lads”, but as the years have passed more people claim to have seen an increase in numbers. Despite this, some “Yule Lads” are thoughtful enough to leave nice small gifts for the warm-hearted children.