Pity the poor tourists that spent Christmas in Reykjavík and failed to realize that virtually everything is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A grand total of four restaurants were open on the 24th, for example – including one fast-food place. Lots of people eating fish and chips for Christmas dinner, apparently. Yowsa.

… Before I go any further with any of this, I must wrap up the Yule Lads because I cannot bear not finishing what I’ve started and I shall have no peace until then. I have been gnawing my fingernails to the quick all Christmas just at the very thought of it. [Not.]

Now, the last Yule Lad to arrive each year, on the 24th, is Kertasníkir – Candle Beggar. This impudent fellow crept around behind the children who were enjoying their brand-new candles [because traditional Yule gifts in Iceland were candles and playing cards in days of yore when everybody was poor and lived in mud huts and had to eat rotten food]. The story does not state why he snuck around after them, but judging by his brothers’ track record and indeed his very name, I’d suspect he had rather subversive motives.

Except I thought you might be interested in this: Gallup did a poll in December that found that nearly 80% of Icelanders have a favourite Yule Lad. Topping the list of favourites was Stúfur [Stubby, to me and you] with 30%, and right behind him was Kertasníkir [Candle Beggar] with 28%. Meanwhile the Licker Bros [Pot Licker, Pot Scraper Licker and Bowl Licker] came in last [no surprises there].

Moreover, supporters of the current government are more likely to have a favourite Yule Lad than those who are opposed. Stubby is the favourite among supporters of all government parties except the Left-Greens, who tend to favour Candle Beggar. People with a university degree are more likely to have a favourite Yule Lad than those who do not; and those in a higher income bracket are also likely to have a favourite Lad than those with a lower income. Women are more partial to the Yule Lads than men, and residents of Reykjavík are less likely to pick favourites among the YL’s than people from neighbouring municipalities or rural areas.

Fascinating stuff. I invite you to draw your own conclusions at your leisure.

… from the UK, who were interviewed on the evening news and who expected there would be snow at Christmas in Iceland and, indeed, for most of the year. [Clearly they had NOT been reading a certain blog. I’ll say no more.] It rained like gangbusters all day yesterday and all day today and it’s still raining and lord only knows when it’s going to stop. Temps have been above freezing obviously, currently 1°C, and the sun came up at 11.22 and went down at 15.36.