In the Icelandic folklore, there is not just one Santa – there are 13!

Starting on December 12 through to December 23, they arrive to towns from the mountains, one by one, playing little tricks along the way.   Their names give hints to the mischief they perform: Þvörusleikir (Spoon-licker) and Pottasleikir (Pot-licker) steal food, while Hurðaskellir (Door-slammer) makes noise and Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage-pilfer) nicks sausages.

Each evening, Icelandic children lay a shoe on their window sill. The Yule lads leave a small gift in good children’s shoes – naughty children receive a cold, rotten potato instead.

Every day until 23rd, design gallery Spark Design Space has played “yule lad”, giving out a different design item as a gift “to the shoe in the window”. Here below are some picks from the shoes that represent the best in the Icelandic design today. Perhaps to add to next year’s wish list?


Above a new perfume by Andrea Maack, below new scarf by Vík Prjónsdóttir.

Something fishy by Róshildur Jónsdóttir is a fishbone model making kit. The cleaned cod bones look beautiful as Christmas tree decorations, too!


Above, Skvís poster by Siggi Eggertsson. The pattern is now available as a print textile too.

Below, Anatomy of letters print by Sigga Rún.

Below, beautiful home textiles by Scintilla.

The 2014 calendar by Snaefríd&Hildigunnur for Wrong for HAY.


Ps. The shoe itself is the adorable Dance Shoe by the Finnish design studio Com-pa-ny.

Images Courtesy of SPARK Design Space