The Yule Lads have been spreading cheer throughout the EVE
Universe, gifting things to all EVE subscribers both naughty (most
of them) and nice (a stalwart few). Seven Yule lads--from Stubby to
Door-Slammer to Bowl-Licker--have given their gifts with more to
come, including a unique gift that is sure to provide the
space-faring players of the world’s largest gaming universe
plenty of holiday joy. The unique “advent calendar”
style of gift delivery will be open a bit past the holidays so
those traveling can return to New Eden (or re-subscribe) to receive
the myriad space goodies.
More about the Yule Lads…
AN OLD ICELANDIC TRADITION
The Icelandic Yule Lads bear little similarity to the
world-famous Santa Claus, who is descended from St. Nicholas,
patron saint of children and sailors. In contrast, the Icelandic
Yule Lads are descended from baby-eating trolls called Grýla
and Leppalúði, and their original role was to strike
fear in the hearts of children. Grýla traditionally went so
far as to bring along the ‘Christmas Cat’, a black
panther-like beast who will hunt down, kill and eat any child that
doesn't get at least one piece of clothing as a Christmas gift. The
mythos was so terrifying that in 1746 a public decree was issued to
prohibit parents from frightening their children with monsters and
fiends like the Yule Lads.
FRIENDLIER GANG OF LADS
After this decree, the Yule Lads became increasingly benign
and eventually ceased to be a threat to children's lives, though
they continued to be thieving scoundrels. In popular culture the
Yule Lads often take on the 20th century appearances of their
foreign colleagues, both in terms of conduct and appearance.
Icelandic children now consider it perfectly normal for a small
group of identically-clothed red-and-white Santa Clauses to march
through malls and down shopping streets.
THIRTEEN DAYS OF MISCHIEF AND GIFTS
Officially there are thirteen Yule Lads, although dozens
more appear in various folk tales and stories. Tradition holds that
they come down from the mountains one-by-one on each of the
thirteen days before Christmas, and then leave in the same manner.
A poem from a popular book about Christmas, published in 1932,
solidified the names and characteristics of the thirteen most
well-known Yule Lads.