The ‘Christmas Cat’
An old Icelandic folklore states that everyone has to get one new piece of clothing at Christmas. Anyone who was left out was in danger of being eaten by a malicious beast called the Christmas Cat. The Christmas Cat is Grýla’s cat (see Yule Lads) and every effort was made to ensure that no-one would “go to the Christmas Cat”. Thus, everyone worked very hard to make a new piece of clothing for each member of the household.
The first stories about the Christmas Cat arose in the 19th century and were probably aimed at lazy children. It seemes to have worked as, to this day, everyone gets a new piece of clothing either before or at Christmas.
Similar stories exist about a bull in the Baltics and about a goat in Norway.