Gifts of food and drink are left out for the 13 jólasveinar: yule men descendants of Gryla the Ogre who bring the harvest. They arrive one each day with gifts starting thirteen days before Christmas and disappear in reverse order, ending on Twelfth Night. Names: Stekkjastaur: Sheep Frightener, Giljagaur: Gully, Stúfur: Stump,Vörusleikir: Ladlelicker, Pottaskefill: Pot-licker, Askasleikir: Bowl-licker, Hurdaskellir: Door-slammer, Skyrgámur: Cheese Gobbler, Bjúgnakrækir: Sausage-grabber, Gluggagægir: Window-peeper, Gáttaefur: Keyholesniffer, Kjötkrókur: Meat-hook, Kertasníkir: Candle-scrounger.
Odin joins groups around the fire, sitting in the background and listening in to hear if they are content or not. He occasionally leaves a gift of bread for the poor. The goddess Gudrún Rysserova of Völsunga saga and her consort Bileygr (Weak-Eyed), Herblindi (Host-Blind), Tvíblindi (Double-Blind), and Helblindi (Death-Blind) whose eyes need to be opened with a hook lead the Yule host. Clans, living and dead, gather as one. Minni memory-toasts, are popular. The twentieth day of Yule or Knuts Day (January 13) is the end of the festival period. December 23 is Thorlaksmessa, St. Thorlakurs Day. (4, 11)