Merry month of Christmas everyone. I'm too lazy to write something new, but (surprisingly) I do happen to have content. This little short list of different holiday figures in various cultures is something I whipped up a few years back to get into the holiday spirit. I'll write about these Christmas folklore another day more in depth.
Jólakötturinn- In Icelandic folklore, a yule cat that literally eats lazy people.
Grýla- Also in Icelandic folklore, a witch that has a hunger for naughty children.
Krampus- An anti-Santa that is half-goat, half-demon. In Germany, children left a boot out for either presents in it or a rod from Krampus. In modern central Europe, drunken men dressed up as Krampus would chase people in the street.
Belsnickel- This is a tradition that originated in Germany and lower Austria but carried over with immigrants in Pennsylvania and Indiana. Belsnickel is a disheveled man who'd pose as a family figure at Christmas dinners. Then, he'd reward the good children and beat the naughty ones.
Nisse- From Norwegian folklore, this is a gnome-like creature that protected families but if he doesn't get butter on his grøt, he kills your livestock. There's a similar creature in Sweden called a "tomte". This is related to Christmas because on Christmas eve, a girl pranked her Nisse by putting the butter at the bottom of the grøt. The Nisse thought there was no butter, because the butter is usually on top. Not realizing it was on the bottom, he killed the best livestock. When he discovered the butter when he came back, he immediately felt bad.
Joulupukki- "Yule goat"- In Finnish folklore, Joulupukki will demand gifts from people and then give it to good kids.
Frau Perchta- This derives from Eastern European folklore, where Perchta is a witch who performs punishments on naughty kids by cutting up their stomachs, ripping out their intestines and internal organs, and replacing them with garbage.
Since I wrote this years ago, I don't have access to the original resources I used. However, I'll be providing credit to any sources used in my blog from now on.