It seems every year I learn about the weirdest things when it comes to Christmas.  I remember the first year I learned about Krampus (long before a movie was made) and then the Christmas pickle.  This year I have learned about something called the Yule Cat.

Let me tell you this, this is not a cat that I would want in my home.  I have three cats (one recently adopted us the day after Thanksgiving.  Just showed up and made himself at home), and, let's just say, none of them are fashionistas.

Here is how the Yule Cat, or Jólakötturinn, in Icelandic, is described:

The Yule Cat  is a monster from Icelandic folklore, a huge and vicious cat said to lurk about the snowy countryside during Christmas time and eat people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve.The Yule Cat has become associated with other figures from Icelandic folklore as the house pet of the giantess Grýla and her sons, the Yule Lads. 

I guess the premise here is if you don't get new clothes by Christmas Eve then a big giant cat will show up and eat you?

Hmmmm...I know most kids hate getting clothes for Christmas so here's the excuse.  "I had to get you clothes, so you wouldn't get eaten by the Yule Cat."   Then on the other hand, what a great excuse to get new clothes.   I wonder if it counts if you go and buy your own clothes or if they have to be gits.

In all honesty, the Yule Cat was to promote hard work and good behavior.  Those who worked hard and finished their chores before Christmas would get the clothes as a reward, and those who didn't would get to meet the towering behemoth that is the Yule Cat and become a Christmas snack.

Lori Crofford
Lori Crofford

OK bad example, but it's fun to watch my cat Astro walk through our Christmas Village like a giant.

Here's a better example.

Now why couldn't we get into the Yule Cat instead of having that stupid Elf on the Shelf.  It's a lot less work.  But, then again, we don't want to instill the fear of human eating cats in our children.   Does Iceland have well behaved children? If they do, then....

I'm just kidding.  I'll stick with my fur balls and just hope they don't eat me because I didn't have clothes given to me by Christmas Eve.  I guess I better work a little bit harder before Christmas.

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