Now that the Christmas holiday season is upon us I am reminded of the other side of the Christmas story. Everyone knows how the Jolly old Elf Santa Claus has his list of good and bad children and how the bad ones get coal in their stockings while the good children get presents. Yet you seldom hear of Krampus the dark creature that punishes bad children and used to be the counter side to Santa Claus' good influence.
While he appears to be more Nordic / Teutonic in origin he is found in some Slavic lore as well. Explaining the goat looking demon that was occasionally seen on earlier Christmas cards or adds in papers and magazines years ago.
At this time I do not teach my grandchildren about Krampus as I think they are to young and still need a little magic to believe in. Yet as they get older I may introduce them to the history of Krampus and how he punished the bad children.