One of the biggest holidays of the year in Iceland is the 26 day Christmas season that begins on December 11th and ends on the sixth of January. Most of Iceland shuts down from noon on Christmas Eve until December 27th so that people can spend the holiday with their families. Around this time of year there are shorter daylight hours and an almost guarantee of a white Christmas.
Icelanders celebrate by decorating their houses with lights, attending Christmas concerts, ice skating, and food. Instead of the typical Santa Clause, Icelanders have 13 Santa Clauses that they call Yule Lads. Children put a shoe in their window, and as each Yule Lad arrives in the 13 days before Christmas, they leave a small gift in the child’s shoe.