Tag: Christmas

Robert Louis Stevenson (public domain pic from Wiki Commons)

A Christmas Sermon – Robert Louis Stevenson on Wikisource

Robert Louis Stevenson (public domain pic from Wiki Commons)
Robert Louis Stevenson (public domain pic from Wiki Commons)

In ‘A Christmas Sermon’, a short public domain text available on Wikisource, Robert Louis Stevenson meditates on the holiday season, death, morality and man’s main task in life: “to be honest, to be kind… to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence.”

‘A Christmas Sermon’ appeared in a collection of essays entitled ‘Across the plains: with other Memories and Essays’ (1892) and was written, along with The Master of Ballantrae, shortly after Stevenson’s father had passed away and while Stevenson himself was recovering from a lung ailment at Lake Saranac, New York, in the winter of 1887.

More openly-licensed Christmas texts can be found at Wikisource’s Portal:Christmas including Is There a Santa Claus? (1897).

Wikisource, the hyper library hosts over 340,000 out-of-copyright longer texts (plays, poems, short stories, novels, letters, speeches, constitutional documents, songs & more) as demonstrated by the range of texts on Robert Louis Stevenson’s page here.

Yule cat (from Public Domain Super Heroes)

Yule Lads and Yule cat – on the greatest Open Education Resource: Wikipedia.

Yule Lads – on the greatest Open Education Resource: Wikipedia.

 

The Yule Lads - Picture taken by Inga Vitola CC-BY via Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/360around/8438686745/in/photolist-dRGtz4-dBRVEa-dBGFuw-5MeWDT-dBGFTu)
The Yule Lads – Picture taken by Inga Vitola CC-BY via Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/360around/8438686745/in/photolist-dRGtz4-dBRVEa-dBGFuw-5MeWDT-dBGFTu)

 

Yule lads are 13 trolls from Icelandic folklore who put rewards (or punishments) in shoes laid out on windowsills by children on the 13 nights in the run up to Christmas. Some Yule lads are mere pranksters while some are… homicidal monsters who eat children.

You can find out more about the Yule lads (and when they’re due to arrive in town) on the greatest open education tool; Wikipedia.

But just in case, below is a list of their names & descriptions so you can watch out for them (and their monstrous Yule Cat)!

Yule cat (from  Public Domain Super Heroes)
Yule cat (from
Public Domain Super Heroes)

 

Icelandic Name English translation Description
Stekkjarstaur Sheep-Cote Clod Harasses sheep, but is impaired by his stiff peg-legs.
Giljagaur Gully Gawk Hides in gullies, waiting for an opportunity to sneak into the cowshed and steal milk.
Stúfur Stubby Abnormally short. Steals pans to eat the crust left on them.
Þvörusleikir Spoon-Licker Steals spoons to lick. Is extremely thin due to malnutrition.
Pottaskefill Pot-Scraper Steals leftovers from pots.
Askasleikir Bowl-Licker Hides under beds waiting for someone to put down their bowl which he then steals.
Hurðaskellir Door-Slammer Likes to slam doors, especially during the night.
Skyrgámur Skyr-Gobbler A Yule Lad with an affinity for skyr.
Bjúgnakrækir Sausage-Swiper Would hide in the rafters and snatch sausages that were being smoked.
Gluggagægir Window-Peeper A voyeur who would look through windows in search of things to steal.
Gáttaþefur Doorway-Sniffer Has an abnormally large nose and an acute sense of smell which he uses to locate laufabrauð.
Ketkrókur Meat-Hook Uses a hook to steal meat.
Kertasníkir Candle-Stealer Follows children in order to steal their candles.