The Icelandic jólasveinar (jóla-sveinar) are not any santa-cocacola man, St.Nicoai from Mira. Óðsmál teaches that they are our gone forefathers, visiting us at the delicate time of yule-tide.
In Iceland, we die into a mountain.
Paying reverence to ancestors may have been banned during the dark ages of Roman-Empire rules about what to worship only. But of course we kept on bringing gifts to wights, and elves, and late forefathers during the delicate time yule-tide.
If we have heard of our Icelandic jólasveinar as bad guys stealing food and frightening kids, know this to be lies.– perhaps to ban forefahters’ worship.
But we might have used little lies in turn: “Oh, they came from the mountains and stole some food” – (but that was, of course, our offerings to them — smile).