How to Avoid Being Devoured by the Yule Cat

Almost Christmas! Who’s excited? The answer is me.

Today’s seasonally-themed subject is the Yule Cat of Iceland, aka the Jólakötturinn.

The description in Wikipedia reads thus: “The Yule Cat is a huge and vicious cat who lurks about the snowy countryside during Christmas time (Yule) and eats people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve.”

According to the lore, there are 3 steps to avoid being eaten by the Yule Cat.

  1. Do chores/work.
  2. Receive clothing for doing said chores/work.
  3. Wear awarded clothing.

It was nice for the Yule Cat to provide us with such precise, easy-to-read directions. Really, if you can’t follow those, it’s probably your own dang fault.

Now let’s talk about parental motivation via the Yule Cat. How does one get the children to put down their toys and rush to do your bidding? Why, you terrify them with tales of a giant, man-eating cat, of course! What other method is there? Especially if you want your kids to develop a healthy case of ailurophobia (fear of cats)?

I love the Christmas stories designed to strike fear into the hearts of children. It’s almost like we’re carrying a bit of Halloween forward into Winter, and I’m all for that. We could just have year-round Halloween, and I’d be a-okay.

Anyway, here is a video featuring a poem about the Yule Cat by Jóhannes úr Kötlum.

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