Keep Krampus in Christmas

When I wrote the following piece five years ago, most people in this country had never heard of Krampus. Since then, he has appeared in numerous TV shows, been featured in toys and ornaments, and now even has his own Hollywood film! So in honor of his emergence into American pop culture, I’m re-sharing my original post. And although I know I had nothing to do with this surge in Krampus popularity, I’m going to go ahead and take credit anyway. 🙂

Keep Krampus in Christmas

I would be remiss during this time of season if I did not touch on the most dominant cultural event in the world: Comic-Con.  Just kidding.  I’m talking, of course, about Christmas—a time for joy, giving, family, and . . . listening to the oppressed majority complain that the secularist heathens of the world have declared war on their beloved holiday.  These Christmas purists lament that the true meaning of the holiday has been lost—that we in America have relegated a pivotal symbol of Christmas to the sidelines.  You know what?  I agree, and it’s high time we rescued this figure from the fringes of the yuletide wastelands and restored him to his rightful place at the forefront of Christmas prominence.  So join me in demanding that we keep Krampus in Christmas.

“Krampus?” you may ask, “what the grinch are you talking about?”  Well, why don’t you grab a cup of cocoa, sit down by the fire, and let me tell you a Christmas story.  In many European traditions, Krampus is a grotesque, devil-like being who accompanies St. Nick during the holiday season.  While the latter gives gifts to the good children of the world, Krampus punishes the naughty children in scary ways, and his myth is still prominent in many places around Europe.  It’s a shame that Krampus never made the trip to the States with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and Yule logs.  How much better behaved would children be if they feared retribution by Krampus?  I mean, what kid nowawadys is really afraid of a little coal in his stocking?  Today’s kids need something with a little more oomph to strike the fear of Christmas into them.

Imagine how different our traditions would be if Krampus had made it over here.  Song lyrics like “You better watch out,” “He’s making a list,” and “He sees you when you’re sleeping” would carry much darker connotations, while the most famous Christmas poem might have been entirely different: “Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, Krampus was stirring, he stomped on a mouse.”  And how much cooler would those claymation Christmas specials have been with a little taste of Krampus?  Over time, he could have become one of the more popular Christmas characters and, just as Santa Claus has become more benign over the years (from his darker beginnings), I imagine Krampus taking a similar path (also known as the Godzilla path): the bad guy in earlier films, the good guy in later films.  The older films would depict Krampus threatening Christmas while newer films would have him stepping in to save Christmas from some outside threat.

One could also imagine what a day in the life would be like for Santa and Krampus.  Do they talk to each other or not?  A trip around the world in that tiny sleigh would be a long time to sit there in awkward silence.  Do they live together at the North Pole?  Talk about the ultimate odd couple!  I could see Santa as the Oscar-like slob leaving his red suits all over the place, much to the ire of the uptight, Felix-like Krampus, who constantly yells at Santa to pick up after himself.  Or do they never see each other at all except on Christmas Eve?  Perhaps they just clock out at the end of the day like the wolf and sheepdog from that Warner Brothers cartoon: “Good night, Claus.”  “Good night, Kramp.”

How much different would our decorations be?  In Europe men dress as Krampus, carrying chains, bells, and switches to scare kids (and the adults use the Krampus festivals as an excuse to drink all weekend).  Perhaps our Christmas lights would be strung on festive chains, and maybe we’d have candy switches instead of candy canes.  On Christmas Eve, in addition to leaving milk and cookies for Santa, we might leave beer and brats for Krampus.  The possibilities are endless.

So let’s all work together to keep Krampus in Christmas.  And remember, kids, if you hear an extra set of hooves on the roof on Christmas Eve, you may just be getting a visit from the malevolent monster himself.  Pleasant dreams and Merry Christmas!

Writer, traveler, photographer, hiker, film/TV addict, amateur chef, casual gamer, and occasional tennis & saxophone player . . . in real life I do web design.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Humor, Writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Michael Rappa on WordPress.com
Archives
Categories

Join 298 other followers

Instagram Feed
Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - Lower Falls I hiked all the way down to the boardwalk below via the Red Rock Point trail. It was a long climb back up. #gorges #GrandCanyonoftheYellowstone #landscapes #NorthAmerica #Photography #rivers #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #waterfalls #Wyoming #YelllowstoneFalls #YellowstoneGorge #YellowstoneNationalPark #YellowstoneRiver #LowerFalls
Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - Another view of the Lower Falls from Artist Point. #gorges #GrandCanyonoftheYellowstone #landscapes #NorthAmerica #Photography #rivers #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #waterfalls #Wyoming #YelllowstoneFalls #YellowstoneGorge #YellowstoneNationalPark #YellowstoneRiver #LowerFalls
Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - Lower Falls viewed from Artist Point. Seems appropriate, as I count down to my upcoming trip to the actual Grand Canyon, to share a photo of a different “grand canyon” in Yellowstone National Park, featuring a majestic waterfall emptying into a stunning gorge. Of the many fascinating areas in Yellowstone, this among its most beautiful. #gorges #GrandCanyonoftheYellowstone #landscapes #NorthAmerica #Photography #rivers #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #waterfalls #Wyoming #YelllowstoneFalls #YellowstoneGorge #YellowstoneNationalPark #YellowstoneRiver #LowerFalls
Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming - August, 2017 One more from Shoshone National Forest. I love how this photo turned out, feels like an establishing shot for a Western. #buttes #forests #landscapes #mountains #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #shoeshonenationalforest #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming - August, 2017 Another shot of Shoshone National Forest, taken during my long drive across the entire state of Wyoming from Yellowstone to Deadwood, South Dakota. If you are driving to or from the Yellowstone East Entrance, you will encounter this gorgeous scenery along Highway 14. #buttes #forests #landscapes #mountains #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #shoeshonenationalforest #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming - August, 2017 Another shot taken in Bighorn National Forest. If you ever find yourself driving through Wyoming, I highly recommend leaving the freeway and taking a drive along Highway 14 through some amazing scenery like this. #bighornnationalforest #forests #landscapes #mountains #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #shoeshonenationalforest #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming - August, 2017 This is Shoshone National Forest, taken during my long drive across the entire state of Wyoming from Yellowstone to Deadwood, South Dakota. If you are driving to or from the Yellowstone East Entrance, you will encounter this gorgeous scenery along Highway 14. #buttes #forests #landscapes #mountains #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #shoeshonenationalforest #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming - August, 2017 This is Bighorn National Forest, a stunning drive up and down a mountain range through spectacular scenery. It’s an area that demands a return visit some day just to spend more time basking in its breathtaking beauty. If you ever find yourself driving through Wyoming, I highly recommend leaving the freeway and taking a drive along Highway 14 through this amazing national forest. #bighornnationalforest #forests #landscapes #mountains #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #shoeshonenationalforest #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Wildlife Loop, Custer State Park, South Dakota - September, 2017 Toward the end of my drive along Custer State Park’s Wildlife Loop, I encountered a massive field of prairie dogs. Here's one of the little critters. #animals #CusterStatePark #nature #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #SouthDakota #Travel #UnitedStates #wildlife #wildlifeloop #prairiedogs
Wildlife Loop, Custer State Park, South Dakota - September, 2017 On the way to Mount Rushmore I detoured for several scenic drives, including Custer State Park’s Wildlife Loop, which takes you through rolling green hills reminiscent of the English countryside. It’s a nice, pleasant drive, worth the diversion if you have the time. This photo features an antelope (lower right) relaxing in front of some of those hills. #animals #antelope #CusterStatePark #hills #landscapes #nature #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #rollinggreenhills #scenicdrives #SouthDakota #Travel #UnitedStates #wildlife #wildlifeloop
Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon - August, 2017 Knowing that Portland was only a 90-minute drive to Mount Hood, I couldn't resist spending my final night in Oregon at Timberline Lodge near its summit. The lodge was made famous by The Shining—Kubrick used exterior shots of the lodge to depict the Overlook Hotel. Although the interior was not used in the film, Timberline has fully embraced its Shining legacy. #historicbuildings #landscapes #mounthood #mountains #NorthAmerica #Oregon #OverlookHotel #Photography #roadtrips #theshining #TimberlineLodge #Travel #UnitedStates
Grand Teton National Park - August, 2017 Chapel of the Transfiguration (upper left) #ChapeloftheTransfiguration #chapels #GrandTetonNationalPark #historic #landscapes #MormonRow #mountains #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park - August, 2017 Mormon Row: T.A. Moulton Barn #architecture #barns #GrandTetonNationalPark #historic #landscapes #MormonRow #Moulton #mountains #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park - August, 2017 Bird overlooking Andy Chambers Homestead on Mormon Row. #birds #animals #GrandTetonNationalPark #historic #homesteads #MormonRow #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park - August, 2017 Mormon Row: Clark & Veda Moulton Homestead #architecture #GrandTetonNationalPark #historic #homesteads #landscapes #MormonRow #Moulton #mountains #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Michael is reading…
%d bloggers like this: