Chimneyside Chats with Ouse

Graphic created by Lucas Seidel Design

Gather 'round the open fire for Chimneyside Chats - a monthly feature with holiday stories from our favorite artists. See what's in their stockings this year as they reminisce on Christmas memories, share their favorite recipe and more! Here's what Icelandic artist Ouse had to say:

Christmas is a bit strange in Iceland, at least to outsiders. Instead of one, we have 13 Santa Clauses (J√≥lasveinar), and we celebrate Christmas at 6 p.m. on December 24. 13 days before Christmas, we put shoes in our windows to collect gifts from all 13 Santas and if you were bad that year, you got a potato instead of a gift. 

Here is how Christmas goes for my family and me on the 24th of December. First, we are woken up by two of the Santa Clauses. They come to our house with gifts, sing songs with us, and mess around. After they leave, we open the gifts they got us and eat breakfast. The first half of the day we just chill; go out and have fun in the snow, get hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie. Right before 6 p.m. we go to church for about an hour. By the time we get home, my dad has made Christmas dinner. My younger sisters and I always try to eat as fast as possible so we can open the gifts under the Christmas tree. After everyone has finished eating, we go to the living room and start opening the rest of the gifts. 

I'm not sure how it's done anywhere else but for us, we always have one of the family members read out who the gift is for and who it's from. After everyone has opened their gifts and the mess has been cleaned up, we usually play board games, with whatever toys we got or watch a movie.

Learn more about Ouse and listen to the song she chose for our Chimneyside Chats playlist!
"Mistletoe" by Justin Bieber