Scare the Bejezes Out of Your Kids This Christmas

I’m all for a little scare to the little ones, but when I learned of Krampusnacht, even I needed to temper it a bit. Turns out there’s a Germanic myth surrounding St. Nicholas. (I have German heritage, so I feel obligated to give it a go). Turns out that St. Nicolas would visit houses on the eve of his sainthood, December 6th (read, his death). So we’re off to a morbid start.

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In anticipation of this visit, the household would leave out their shoes. If the children in question were good, then St. Nicholas (and I suppose the angel) would slip some candies in the shoes.

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This is all good. Kids get to mack out on treats. Everyone’s happy. Oh, did we forget the devil being led by chains behind the angel. Well, he has a purpose. If the kids were naughty, then he would chase them around (and possibly torture them) until they promised to be good.

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Apparently, if you refused to repent, then he’d stuff you in a basket and take you to hell (no confirmation if this is the origin of “hell in a handbasket”).

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St. Nicolas seems fine with all this. In fact, the Krampus serves as his personal chauffeur.

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This is an amazing print by Phineas X. Jones for the Krampus.

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“Krampus” by Phineas X. Jones. 12″ x 12″ 6-color Screenprint. Ed of 34 S/N. $25

I’ll leave you with a “cute” postcard of the Krampus sailing off into the sky with some (I’m hoping naughty) babies.

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Tim Kane