The Yule Cat


The Icelandic Yule Cat, or Jólakötturinn, is a holiday creature known for teaching lessons in the tradition of Krampus.  Some scholars say its legend dates back to the Middle Ages, although the oldest written records can only be traced to the 19th century.  When winter comes along and Yuletide is nigh, this enormous feline predator scours the farms of Iceland looking for anyone not wearing new clothing.  New clothes were given as gifts to those hardworking Icelanders who had helped to process the fall's wool harvest prior to winter, and those without them were fated to fall victim to the deadly jaws of the judgmental Yule Cat. 

This giant holiday horror is known to use its height to look in the windows of Icelandic homesteads to spy on those who haven't received the gift of new clothing that proves they were sufficiently industrious to survive another Yuletide season.  Those whose clothing doesn't reflect the merit of their work ethic are unceremoniously eaten by the Yule Cat.  So here's to hoping that your hard work this holiday season resulted in a gift of new clothing; otherwise you might want to be on the lookout for the wide, gaping maw of the Yule Cat.