Did you know that, relative to other letters of the alphabet, there are very few English words that begin with the letter K? There are several important words that do (knowledge, karma, kismet, kindness, etc.), but each of those meaty monsters would have constituted biting off more than I can chew today. My K post is already a day late, and I’ve got to ketchup! (Cue sarcastic rimshot) So I have decided to write about the comparatively simple, but many times more dreadful Krampus!
I don’t think that Krampus would make for a good picture book. He’s too scary. He makes the Grinch look like a pussycat. But as far as folklore designed to encourage (or, in this case, frighten) children into behaving, Krampus is pretty darn compelling.
Here’s how Wikapedia describes “the holiday devil”:
Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Christmas season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair.
It would seem that when some regions of the world found that Saint Nick’s naughty list wasn’t doing the trick, they decided it was time to pull out all the stops. I could see myself thinking twice about not sharing my toys if I thought this guy was coming to town.