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24 fings wot make Yule Yulenique, like

I don’t know about you, but for me the Advent seems to revolve around lists: the Christmas card list, the presents-to-buy list, the numerous to-do lists, the wish list, endless shopping lists, etcetera.

Not that I’m knocking this phenomena. Lists are good, particularly when you’re feeling listless. In fact, if it weren’t for my lists I would probably spend most of December walking in circles around the house, trying to remember what I was going to do next. I blame SAD.

So anyway, in keeping with my oh-so ambitious goal of blogging about what we do here in Niceland at Christmastime, here is The Iceland Weather Report’s list of 24 things that make Yule in Iceland unique, as brainstormed by YT and EPI in bed last night:

  1. The Yule Lads of course and their ogre of a mother, Grýla
  2. The dreaded Yule Cat
  3. The pressure to deep-clean the house before Yule arrives
  4. The pressure to bake more cookie varieties than the Joneses during Advent
  5. Kids putting their shoes on windowsills and getting prezzies [or potatoes] in them
  6. Going out to at least one Yule buffet during Advent
  7. Eating mandarins
  8. Rigorously observing family traditions
  9. Rigorously eating the same thing for dinner every Christmas Eve
  10. The Christmas book flood
  11. Everyone getting at least one book for Christmas
  12. Putting up the tree on the 23rd and taking it down on the 6th of January [Twelfth Night]
  13. Rancid skate parties on the 23rd of December
  14. Everyone going downtown in the evening of 23rd December
  15. Putting candles on the graves of deceased family members on Christmas Eve day
  16. Putting clean sheets on the bed for Christmas Eve night
  17. The radio going silent prior to 6 pm on Christmas Eve
  18. All the church bells throughout the nation ‘ringing in the holidays’ at 6 pm on Christmas Eve
  19. Celebrating on Christmas Eve with the immediate family
  20. Celebrating with the extended family between Christmas and New Year’s
  21. Spending a lot of time in bed over the holidays, reading
  22. Selling fireworks unrestricted to the public for New Year’s Eve [and the resulting mayhem]
  23. Big bonfires on Twelfth Night, with the Elf King and Queen making an appearance
  24. The whole nation observing these traditions [with their own minor variations].

Excellent! Here I now have a list of things to elaborate on as needed over the coming days. And of course if you’re particularly curious about anything, do speak up. We welcome your suggestions, particularly while we’re suffering from Scatterbrain Affective Disorder [ScAD].


I’ve yet to go outside, but it looks pretty damn cold. There’s a thin sheet of ice like glass on the parking lot – meaning it’s one of the few days a year when you’re supremely grateful for the asphalt-destroying winter tires with the nail-studs in them. It’s just gotten light outside [current time 11.13 am] and it’s 1°C. Sunrise was at 11.09, sunset due for 15.33.



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