You better not pout, you better not cry, I’m telling you why…Krampus will drag you to hell in his basket and eat you.
I just discovered this lovely legend from the Alpine regions of Europe. Krampus is the enforcement side of the St. Nicholas story. Coal in your stocking? No presents? Kids don’t believe those threats. Try telling them that a demonic figure with horns and a long red tongue will beat them with switches or chains, or even take them to hell never to be seen again.
In Europe, St. Nicholas comes on the eve of December 6th, not Christmas Eve. But just as Santa Claus made the leap over the Atlantic Ocean and changed his schedule, I think we should invite Krampus to do the same. Our Christmas is so nice, so sugary sweet, so boring. It needs a little horror to make it interesting. Can you imagine if every mall Santa had a Krampus nearby? If the Macy’s parade featured a devil coming behind Santa Claus and threatening children with physical harm? Now that’s something that would make every child as nice as possible.
In fact, Krampus has his own parades all over Europe, and it seems he is gaining some traction in the U.S. Sometimes there are hundreds of Krampuses in these parades. Yes, what Christmas in America needs is fear.