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.
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 Lads – on the greatest Open Education Resource: Wikipedia.
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)!
Harasses sheep, but is impaired by his stiff peg-legs.
Hides in gullies, waiting for an opportunity to sneak into the cowshed and steal milk.
Abnormally short. Steals pans to eat the crust left on them.
Steals spoons to lick. Is extremely thin due to malnutrition.
Steals leftovers from pots.
Hides under beds waiting for someone to put down their bowl which he then steals.