Every culture that celebrates Christmas has at least one peculiar tradition. Christmas Pickle. Christmas Spider. Christmas Crapper. Over the years I have tried to incorporate some of these fun traditions into my family’s celebrations.
Last year, my good friend Scotty Schrier, introduced me to a Christmas character that will forever be part of my Yuletide lore. For that I am very thankful to Scotty. My wife… not so thankful.
After some quick research it was clear Krampus is not really meant for the young. Krampus, the Bavarian Christmas Devil, delivers coal to naughty children on Christmas Eve. He also carries a bundle of birch sticks he uses to whip the butts of very naughty children. Common sense would say I should probably not tell my children about Krampus; and by common sense I mean my wife. Since when have I ever listened to common sense?
James, why did Imogen draw this picture?
What picture? (I knew.)
If she has nightmares about this, you’ll be dealing with it!
It all started with a conversation about the Naughty List. My daughter is a stickler for details and in one book naughty children didn’t get presents but in another, they received coal in their stockings. After a quick conversation about coal she deduced Santa probably stopped giving coal because people don’t really use it anymore and it is too messy.
“Actually sweetie, Santa never did deliver coal.” (Oops. Did I do that?)
The story teller in me came alive as I wove a Christmas tale in the spirit of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Below is the child-friendly condensed version. I have a feeling as the kids grow older this Krampus tale will grow a little scarier.
Krampus, unlike the other Christmas Elves, was born with a tongue too large for his mouth, horns and hooves like a goat, and a furry body like a grizzly bear. After much ill treatment, Krampus fled to the mountains where years later, Santa called upon him to deliver Christmas Coal. The elves soon came to appreciate Krampus and learned that you should never judge someone by their appearance.
Does your family have any peculiar Christmas traditions?
After reading this post, and specifically seeing my daughter’s drawing, my good friend and fellow DadsRT Founding Contributor, Jimmy Ettele, sent me his interpretation of Krampus.