Christmas in Iceland: Gifts
In past centuries, each member of an Icelandic household received an article of woolen clothing as a Christmas gift. In the twentieth century Icelanders began to give each other more and different gifts. For example, candles, books, and packs of playing cards became popular gifts. In the second half of the twentieth century a new custom evolved. Children place a shoe on the windowsill in the weeks that precede Christmas. If they have been good, the Christmas Lads will fill the shoe with candy. If not, they might leave a potato there instead. Researchers believe that this custom was imported from Germany some time around the 1920s.