We must know that if there is a word for it, it exists. Everything that has a name, and can be described with words, exists, not necessarily in the form that we have put it. But it still it exists. So Christmas elves, Santa Claus and Christmas lads exist.
It is just the form that we can argue about, not the existence of elves, Santa Claus and Christmas lads.
But they are not just the idea of men with weird hats and all kinds of other funny things, those forms were created from the joy, excitement, expectations, dreams and hopes and desires of small children waiting for Christmas and all the ideas of all the good things they would bring them. They are the memories of those who are older, apple fragrance and men in red clothes running around town on Christmas Eve to bring the children gifts and so many, many other things. It is called the Spirit of Christmas, no one can doubt that the Spirit exists and is alive within us all.
The Christmas spirit today is created from various elements, the joy of decorating the Christmas tree and the dancing around the tree, excitement and expectations of what is hidden in the small shoes in a windowsill, gifts under a Christmas tree, good food, art and decorations, warm socks, and strange men who come down from the mountains, to dance and sing with the children in the cities and towns and thus bring joy into their lives.
In Iceland Christmas is mostly about the children. We have 13 Christmas lads that come, one at a time, to the city and towns all over the country to bring the children a little gift, they put into a shoe that all the children put in the window before they go to sleep at nights. They visit the children in preschools and schools and sing with them Christmas songs and dance around the Christmas tree with them. The last Christmas lad comes on Christmas Eve, 24 December.
Then they go back into the mountains, where they live, one by one, until all are gone, on January 6th, normally referred to as þrettándinn (13th day).” It is often referred to in English as ‘Twelfth Night’ or ‘Epiphany’. By this day, pretty much everything is back to normal; everyone is back at work and schools have started. In the evening of this day, families usually get together, have dinner, say goodbye to Christmas by shooting fireworks and holding bonfires to burn off Christmas.
The night of the 13th is in many ways similar to New Year’s Night, amongst other can the cow’s speak the human languish, the king and queen of the fairies with escort visit the bonfires with the humans, so do trolls and other strange beings also.
This was about the spirit that we, up here in Iceland, have created, but it is to be found worldwide and is shaped by a range of cultures, religions and festivals that will please children. It is the Christmas Spirit, or should I say the spirit of all the festivals that people can think about to bring the children joy and happiness.
But the spirit is one thing and cold reality another and not all are able to find this beautiful spirit within them, see it and enjoy its warmth in the cold and harsh reality, so we got this great idea to create this beautiful and fun images to be sent out into the world, so the children could see them and know what we were talking. Thus we got Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, shoes in a window, lights, cookies, apple fragrance and all kinds of everything. These images are constantly changing, between countries, cultures and changing times. Thus, it is and should be.
We do not need to believe in Santa Claus and Christmas lads, and it is alright to tell the children about how and why we made them the way we did, such as they are, and even if it has been different in other countries if it is different, they are just glad to know that behind all this joy is a spirit that hovers over the earth and sends us the joy of singing and dancing and the peace of Christmas.
So do not ruin the idea of Santa Claus and Christmas lads, we do need them all, really, and we do not want to break the spirit up into small parts, the power of it is greater combined in all these aspects.
So, enjoy happiness, tread yourselves with cookies, apples and oranges, exchange gifts, keep the peace, be peace, and Merry Christmas to you all.