The countdown to Christmas has begun, and with festivities come Christmas creatures. Whether you’re looking out for mischievous lutins or can’t wait to hear Rudolph’s sleigh bells, there’s a whole world of characters you may never even have heard of. Here are some Christmas creatures that pop up each December in different places around the world. From the terrifying Krampus to the jolly elves, see how many you can spot this year!

Christmas Creatures Infographic

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24 Christmas Creatures To Look Out For In December

1. Rudolph

Where found: The North Pole

Naughty or Nice? Nice

Santa’s 9th and favourite reindeer who leads the sleigh through the darkness on Christmas Eve thanks to his luminous red nose.

2. Gryla

Where found: Iceland

Naughty or Nice? Naughty

A giant troll who leaves her cave dwellings to kidnap and feast on the naughty children who haven’t obeyed their parents.

3. The Yule Lads

Where found: Iceland

Naughty or Nice? Naughty

The 13 sons of Gryla, known for being mischievous pranksters. Each is identified by their own stunt, for example ‘Spoon Licker’ and ‘Window Peeper’.

4. The Grinch

Where found: Whoville

Naughty or Nice? Both

A grouchy green creature with a heart ‘two sizes too small’, the Grinch was not a fan of festivities until shown a little kindness.

5. La Befana

Where found: Italy/ Russia

Naughty or Nice? Nice

Also known as ‘Baboushka’ in Russia, La Befana is a gentle old witch. She travels the world on her broomstick, leaving cookies and gifts in children’s houses.

6. The Yule Cat

Where found: Iceland

Naughty or Nice? Naughty

Also part of the Gryla and Yule Lads’ household. This giant cat feasts on anyone, unless they’ve received new clothes for Christmas.

7. Lutins

Where found: Normandy

Naughty or Nice? Both

A type of festive hobgoblin. Although French folklore, lutins are also present in Lapland to help Père Noël (Father Christmas).

8. The Tomten

Where found: Scandinavia

Naughty or Nice? Nice

Similar looking to a garden gnome, it’s the protector of each household. It has a temper though, so leave food out on Christmas Eve.

9. Belsnickel

Where found: Germany

Naughty or Nice? Nice

Belsnickel arrives 2 weeks before Christmas wearing old rags. He comes to warn the naughty children to behave and reward the good ones with sweets.

10. Krampus

Where found: Austria

Naughty or Nice? Naughty

Half-goat, half-demon, Santa’s evil counterpart Krampus punishes the naughty children, while Santa leaves gifts for the nice ones.

11. Frosty the Snowman

Where found: Anywhere snowy

Naughty or Nice? Nice

With a corncob pipe and a button nose, Frosty the Snowman has the ability to come to life. If it’s cold enough you may see him dance around.

12. Elves

Where found: The North Pole

Naughty or Nice? Nice

The elves are Santa’s happy helpers, with large pointy ears and festive hats. They assemble children’s gifts at Santa’s workshop up North.

13. Mrs Claus

Where found: The North Pole

Naughty or Nice? Nice

Santa’s faithful wife. She helps by baking cookies for the elves, tending to the reindeer and even assisting with the toys all in time for Christmas.

14. Frau Perchta

Where found: Austria

Naughty or Nice? Naughty

A gruesome witch who doles out both rewards and brutal punishments to those deserving during the 12 days of Christmas.

15. Jack Frost

Where found: Anywhere cold

Naughty or Nice? Naughty

Made entirely of ice, he’s a sprite-like character that leaves a shiver wherever he goes. He’s responsible for the frosty weather in December.

16. The Ghost of Christmas Past

Where found: London

Naughty or Nice? Nice

According to Dickens, the Ghost of Christmas Past is a white-robed figure of indeterminate age there to remind you of previous years. 

17. The Ghost of Christmas Present

Where found: London

Naughty or Nice? Nice

A jolly giant wearing a fur lined green robe and holding a large torch, he can show you scenes of festivity around your neighbourhood.

18. The Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come

Where found: London

Naughty or Nice? Naughty

The most daunting of the ghosts, he resembles the Grim Reaper in a hooded cloak only showing a hand which points to the future.

19. Mari Llwyd

Where found: Wales

Naughty or Nice? Naughty

A zombie horse who rises from the dead every New Year’s Eve to remind the living of their existence and even try and get into their house.

20. The Whos

Where found: Whoville

Naughty or Nice? Nice

Residing near the Grinch, the Whos are jolly humans who uphold Christmas spirit. You can spot them by their characteristically tiny noses.

21. The Yule Goat

Where found: Sweden

Naughty or Nice? Nice

God Thor apparently rode a chariot led by two goats, since then the Yule Goat has become a huge part of Scandinavian Christmas’.

22. Ded Moroz

Where found: Russia

Naughty or Nice? Nice

The Slavic equivalent to Santa, he dons a blue fur coat and a magic staff. He delivers presents to children in person on New Year’s Eve.

23. The Snow Maiden

Where found: Russia

Naughty or Nice? Nice

The granddaughter and helper of Ded Moroz, she accompanies him on New Year’s Eve. Spot her in silvery blue robes and a furry hat.

24. Santa

Where found: The North Pole

Naughty or Nice? Nice

Originally known as St. Nicholas, the big man himself is renowned for bringing gifts to nice children around the world every Christmas eve!

How many did you recognise? We hope you have a fantastic Christmas!