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goat_jenny_nystromIn Sweden, Denmark and Norway, People leave out a bowl of Porridge Christmas Eve. While the children are asleep, the Jultomten goes door to door leaving presents for the children and he is believed to eat the porridge offered to him in exchange for his protection over the household and family. His sack of gifts and candy is pulled by his goat julbock (Yule Goat). Traditional Folklore depicts Jultomten as a small elf dressed in a red pointy hat and coat.

Norwegian folklore states that he has four fingers, and sometimes with pointed ears. His eyes glow in the dark.

There are stories of the Jultomten being a mischievous elf. He was often angry because the household forgot to leave his gift (the porridge) and therefore cause misfortune to the livestock on the household farm. There are children’s books about the Jultomten liking butter on his porridge but one night the farmer leaving it under his bowl and the cow goes missing. Jultomten is said to have watched the children to make sure they were well-behaved and mannered otherwise no presents on Christmas eve.  This sounds very much like the modern version of the elf whom we know as ‘The Elf on the shelf’ Coming to households to monitor the children and then report to Santa.

Gradually, commercialism has made him look more and more like the American Santa Claus

In Swedish and Norwegian Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘God Jul’.

In Danish Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Glædelig Jul’


Michael Bublé – “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” [Official Video] – YouTube.