THE EVE ONLINE HOLIDAY CELEBRATION IS IN FULL SWING
The Yule Lads have been spreading cheer throughout the EVE Universe, gifting things to all EVE subscribers both naughty (most of them) and nice (a stalwart few). Seven Yule lads--from Stubby to Door-Slammer to Bowl-Licker--have given their gifts with more to come, including a unique gift that is sure to provide the space-faring players of the world’s largest gaming universe plenty of holiday joy. The unique “advent calendar” style of gift delivery will be open a bit past the holidays so those traveling can return to New Eden (or re-subscribe) to receive the myriad space goodies.
AN OLD ICELANDIC TRADITION
The Icelandic Yule Lads bear little similarity to the world-famous Santa Claus, who is descended from St. Nicholas, patron saint of children and sailors. In contrast, the Icelandic Yule Lads are descended from baby-eating trolls called Grýla and Leppalúði, and their original role was to strike fear in the hearts of children. Grýla traditionally went so far as to bring along the ‘Christmas Cat’, a black panther-like beast who will hunt down, kill and eat any child that doesn't get at least one piece of clothing as a Christmas gift. The mythos was so terrifying that in 1746 a public decree was issued to prohibit parents from frightening their children with monsters and fiends like the Yule Lads.
FRIENDLIER GANG OF LADS
After this decree, the Yule Lads became increasingly benign and eventually ceased to be a threat to children's lives, though they continued to be thieving scoundrels. In popular culture the Yule Lads often take on the 20th century appearances of their foreign colleagues, both in terms of conduct and appearance. Icelandic children now consider it perfectly normal for a small group of identically-clothed red-and-white Santa Clauses to march through malls and down shopping streets.
THIRTEEN DAYS OF MISCHIEF AND GIFTS
Officially there are thirteen Yule Lads, although dozens more appear in various folk tales and stories. Tradition holds that they come down from the mountains one-by-one on each of the thirteen days before Christmas, and then leave in the same manner. A poem from a popular book about Christmas, published in 1932, solidified the names and characteristics of the thirteen most well-known Yule Lads.