Meet the Krampus

Were you one of those children bored with the saccharine goodwill oozed by corporational profit-driven Christmas ad campaigns? Was the threat of getting a lump of coal and a couple of sticks not nearly enough to deter you from accumulating a hefty tally of pre-holiday misdeeds? Did you ever just look at that big, red sleigh and know something was missing? If so, allow me to introduce you to the Krampus.

Yep. That’s a baby in his bag, and he ain’t deliverin’ it, either.

The Krampus is a companion to Santa Claus in some European traditions. He’s the yin to the yang, the devil to Nick’s savior. He’s the enforcer, the allocator of punishment. The Bad Ass. In many traditions, the Krampus is more mischievous than wicked, laying down a single silver branch in lieu of presents to represent the offending child’s misdeeds. But, in other traditions, he carries a bundle of sticks for kid-whipping. In some instances he goes so far as to drag along chains, rattling out the rhythm to which he will later pummel the little ingrates. He even has a night, December fifth (or sixth, depending on where you look). Because loud, obnoxious boys like to be loud, obnoxious drunks, the holiday has been taken over by inebriated young men who dress up in their Krampiest best and take to the streets, beating the crap out of people with sticks for the hell of it. Apparently, it’s not a good night to be a young woman and need anything from the local store.

Despite his spiraling decline into an excuse to get drunk (ring a spiked, eggnogish Christmas morning bell to anyone?), I find the Krampus fascinating. Not only does this mean–oh happy day–that Santa hauls around his very own nasty demon, it also means the Krampus’ existence removes all vindictiveness from the Jolly Man’s shoulders. And I like that. Santa can forever remain the symbol of unconditional generosity, and the Krampus will deal with the putting of boots up tiny backsides.

Knowing the Krampus is wandering out there, ready to smack me in the head with a fistful of linked steel has indeed inspired me to rein it in for the next few days. Maybe even lay off the “f” word. Well, at least cut it down to every two words, or so. In case you’re still disinclined to be good, for Krampus’ sake, here are a few more images:




Thanks once again to my suitably nefarious friend, X, for turning me on to the wonders of the Krampus. Happy Krampus Day, X, and the same to all of you.

About Avery

I am a roller derbying, dark fantasy author. This blog chronicles my adventures in life, writing and skating. View all posts by Avery

11 responses to “Meet the Krampus

  • Avery DeBow

    Steve — I’m inclined to agree.Laughingwolf — I’m here to serve.Lana — Erp!Eric. — Exactly! That’s what made it love at first sight for me! Thanks for stopping by.

  • eric1313

    Santa totting around a demon to do the dirty work, ehh? I like that. Santa’s like the Godfather!

  • Lana Gramlich

    Eek! He looks & sounds kind of like my abusive mother! We must flee!

  • laughingwolf

    that’s pretty funny, thx av๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Avery DeBow

    Charles — What interests me is how we’ve sanitized the whole Saint Nick thing, completely eradicating his darker half. I wonder if the Country’s current negative situation becomes a prolonged period of darkness if we will see a resurgence in such creatures.Sqt — I believe many of the current generation of spawn should have an encounter or two with a Krampus.Sidney — I almost missed out, too. Had my pal not pointed him out to me, I’d still be living a sad, Krampus-free life.Cynnie — Monster myths are one of my favorite topics, and even more interesting to me is the universality of them, how each shares similarities with the other.I hope you don’t mean kicking Santa’s ass–pretty brassy thing to say this close to Christmas.๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t know if I could beat up a Krampus or not. Depends on how good he is with those chains.

  • Cynnie

    that scares me :(I spent a few years of my life in Pawnee Oklahoma and the local indians ( yeah yeah native americans or whatever they’re called now ) but they would tell stories of a half deer half man creature ..and it follows you and kills you ..and dont look at it in the eyes because then you’ll become tranced and thats when it goes in for the kill ..arghhh!I couldnt walk anywhere by myself for eons..I still get skittery thinking about it..I like santa..I think i could kick his ass if i had to .Deer man with hypnotizing eyes..not so much

  • Sidney

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Sidney

    Whooa, kind of scary looking. I’d missed out on the Krampus, but it brings a nice, eerie little chill.

  • SQT

    I love this. I think he should be much more well known, and included in the Christmas tradition everywhere. I bet you kids would be a tad more well behaved if they had the threat of the Krampus.

  • Charles Gramlich

    Seems like a fun loving sort of guy. Interesting how every good needs its evil.

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