Mae Clair’s Mythical Monday: The Christmas Lads (plus G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y)

Purrfectly GiftasticToday is the last day of the Purrrfectly Giftastic Christmas blog hop. Many thanks to Drea Beacraft for organizing such a great hop. You can find a list of all participating authors here.

Because today is also a Monday, it’s my chosen day of the week to share a bit of myth, superstition or folklore. In keeping with the Christmas theme, I found an interesting tale from Iceland about the “Christmas Lads.”

These were no ordinary boys but thirteen sons of an ancient she-troll named Gryla. Their job was to creep into unsuspecting households one at a time, beginning thirteen days before Christmas. A raucous bunch, they helped themselves to food, candles, grains, and anything they could get their destructive little hands on (these boys clearly had mommy issues!).

Each Christmas Lad had a special name and an assigned day to fulfill his personal brand of terror mischief  given task. How would you like to have this lot for houseguests?

December 12: Sheephold Stick
December 13: Gully Oaf
December 14: Shorty
December 15: Spoon-licker
December 16: Pot-licker
December 17: Bowl-licker
December 18: Door-slammer
December 19: Curd Glutton
December 20: Sausage Pilferer
December 21: Peeper
December 22: Sniffer
December 23: Meat Hook
December 24: Candle Grabber

The two that made an impression on me were Curd Glutton (he laps up all the milk curd he can find) and Meat Hook. This ingenious fellow hangs from the rafters and uses a hook which he lowers to snare lamb and other meats from cooking pots and platters. And let’s not forget Door-slammer. His special talent would get old really fast.

When Christmas Day arrived, the Lads left one by one, but not alone. Naughty children were stuffed into sacks and hauled back to their mother who served them up as a feast. Clearly, many parents used this tale to coerce their children into behaving through the holidays much in the same way parents today remind their kids of Santa Claus’ Naughty or Nice list.

bigstock-Santa-s-Elf-196461As time progressed the Christmas Lads underwent a metamorphosis, changing from wretched destructive visitors into friendly imps who left a gift for children who put a shoe on their windowsill. Beginning December 12th, the Lads made their nightly visits, eventually becoming our modern day version of the Christmas elves.

If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer this Christmas, I invite you to consider WEATHERING ROCK my paranormal / time travel romance about a Civil War colonel who is transported to the present where he falls for a woman who teaches American history.

For my part in the Purrrfectly Giftastic Christmas blog hop I’m awarding a $10 gift card to Amazon. If you’re interested in winning, hop over and “Like” my Amazon page for WEATHERING ROCK. Then leave a comment below letting me know you have.

I’d also be curious which Christmas Lad’s name from the list above you find the strangest. Don’t forget to include your email address if you’d like to be entered in my drawing. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow, so be sure to check back to see if you’ve won. Comment moderation is on. Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. I promise it won’t get lost. 😀

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Available for Purchase at:
Barnes and Noble
Lyrical Press

View Book Trailer for WEATHERING ROCK

15 thoughts on “Mae Clair’s Mythical Monday: The Christmas Lads (plus G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y)

  1. Interesting myth, Mae! As far as names of this curious bunch that stand out to me– I’d have to go with Curd-Glutton and Gully Oaf. I’d be interested to see how their names and tasks might be updated to reflect some modern times mischief that we’d find scary. As usual– I enjoyed you sharing some old myth with us, and you do it in the most clever way, my friend!


    • Oooh, cool idea, Venice . . . a modern update for the Christmas Lads. What a great idea. I’m glad you enjoyed my latest myth and had a chance to drop by! Merry Chistmas, my friend!


  2. Another intriguing story I knew nothing about — but I’m glad I do now. 🙂 I’m fascinated how creatures go from being something scary that will motivate good behavior, to something benevolent, and rewarding that good behavior. LOL I guess maybe it’s because they’re doing their job!


  3. I’m partial to Peeper. Don’t know why, unless it’s from an insatiable curiosity as kid to see if I could find Mom and Dad’s hiding place for the Christmas gifts. Thanks for sharing all these great myths, Mae. I’m loving them as much as I love to read and reread the old favorite fairytales.


    • Thanks, Stanalei. Peeper would definitely be one to get up to mischief. I used to go on those searches for Christmas gifts my parents stashed away too. I’m glad you’re enjoying my myths. Thanks for checking them out! 😀


  4. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!


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