This story article was originally published in 2003, so it’s not new, but I only just read it today, and had to share it here, if only to avoid losing track of it.
This is probably the most compelling account I’ve ever read of Odin as Yulfadhr/Santa Claus, with the observation that our traditions around evergreen trees are probably a reference to Yew trees, and from there Yggdrasil, which makes so much sense I can’t believe I never came across it before.
Ordinarily I associate Santa Claus with Freyr or Njordh, and I still suspect that Yulfadhr is one of the seasonal mantels that is not only worn by one deity. We know there’s more than one leader of the Wild Hunt, and I’m pretty sure there’s more than one wearer of Ostara’s mantle. There are almost certainly many Heides, although I’m pretty well positive there’s only one Lord and Lady (Freyr and Freyja) at a time, those, too, are technically titles, and I suspect they may also be passed from generation to generation in a mythic cycle. But I digress.
If you haven’t read it before, I must recommend Ms. Lynch’s deeply personal account.