I thought that maybe some of you may be interested in the Norse story of Christmas. Here is a link to the entire article on the website Wild Eyed Southern Celt, I Saw Mommy Kissing Jolnir Under The Mistletoe
It’s true, beautiful Celtic people–Santa used to be a Viking, a Viking god, no less.
The origins of our modern Christmas icon can be traced back to pre-Christian times, when the pagan people of northern Germanic and Scandinavia held feasts in honor of Odin, the warrior god of Norse myth, who also bears the names jólfaðr (Old Norse ‘Yule father’) and jólnir (Old Norse ‘the Yule one’). When Vikings began to first raid, then settle in England, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Wales, they brought their Yule traditions with them, and those customs were adopted by the native Celtic peoples, many of whom married and raised families with the Vikings (and that is how many of us Celts wound up with Scandinavian DNA in our family trees). Those adaptations are why you often hear Christmas referred to as Yule or Yuletide in those countries, and it is where we get our Yule log and yule ham(which used to be a boar sacrificed to Freyr) traditions.
In Scandinavian culture, Yule, as the celebration held at the winter solstice became known, was the time for Odin/Jólnir to drive back the Frost Giants and to lead the Wild Hunt across the skies, cursing those who mocked and rewarding respectful observers with gold. Odin also demonstrated benevolent qualities at Yule, disguising himself in a blue cloak and riding eight-legged Sleipnir to earth, where he left loaves of bread for anyone in need. Children began to leave a straw-filled boot for Sleipnir by the hearth, hoping Odin would reward them with a treat placed in the boot. [Wild Eyed Southern Celt]