Characters Of Christmas
There are many alternatives to Santa Claus around the globe. I bring some of that folklore to light with my artwork and the stories behind them.
Sculptures are available for viewing anytime and they are festively illuminated around the holidays . Stop in and see what's new this year.
New for 2021
Yule Lads of Iceland
These merry but mischievous fellows take turns visiting kids on the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. On each of those nights, children place one of their shoes on the windowsill. For good boys and girls, the Yule Lad will leave candy. If not, the Yule Lads are not subtle in expressing their disapproval: they fill the shoe with rotting potatoes.
Central European folklore
Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as "half-goat, half-demon" who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts.
Jólakötturinn (The Yule Cat)
The Yule Cat (Icelandic: Jólakötturinn) is from Icelandic folklore, a huge and vicious cat said to lurk about the snowy countryside during Christmas time and eat people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve.
The threat of being eaten by the Yule Cat was used by farmers as an incentive for their workers to finish processing the autumn wool before Christmas. The ones who took part in the work would be rewarded with new clothes, but those who did not would be without, and thus would be preyed upon by the monstrous cat.
Folklore of Bavaria and Austria
Perchta was said to roam the countryside at midwinter, and to enter homes during the twelve days before Christmas. She would know whether the children had behaved well and worked hard all year. If they had, they might find a small silver coin the next day, If they had not, she would slit their bellies and stuff the hole with straw and pebbles.
This grumpy Christmas gift-bringer figure in the folklore of Germany is also preserved in Pennsylvania Dutch communities.
He is typically very ragged and disheveled. He wears torn, tattered, and dirty clothes, and he carries a switch in his hand with which to beat naughty children, but also pockets full of cakes, candies, and nuts for good children.