One of the nice things about Christmas is the leverage it gives you over your children. Holding Santa Claus over their heads is a time honored tool that really works.
“Knock it off or Santa won’t be coming!”
“What would Santa think of you not eating your broccoli?”
“Keep it up you’ll get coal in your stocking!”
And here lies the real reason we dread kids discovering the truth about Santa —not becasue it spoils the magic, but because we lose a great behavior modification tool. But while the Santa threat is effective, the Germans make us look like amatuers when it comes to Yuletide intimidation. Say hello to Krampus.
In Germany Krampus is Santa’s evil sidekick who does the dirty work. You don’t expect Saint Nick to be nasty to children, do you? That’s why he’s a SAINT. But with Krampus all bets are off.
Krampus has been described as “A gruesome horned incubus” who beats the little ones with chains. From Wikipedia: “Images of Krampus usually show him with a basket on his back used to carry away bad children and dump them into the pits of Hell.”
Well, I’d say that being dumped into the pits of hell is a little worse than a lump of coal in your stocking, right?
The dark side of Xmas is very big in Europe. For example, in France children are threatened with a visit by Père Fouettard. Legend has it that Fouettard was an evil butcher who kidnapped and dismembered little children. Santa is said to have enslaved Fouettard and brought the children back to life. Now THAT is a Christmas story.
Now, fine people of Christmasland, some good news: Krampus is seeing a huge upswing in popularity —so much so that he showed up recently on the Colbert Report.
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Blitzkrieg on Grinchitude – Hallmark & Krampus|