December 18, 2009

Days of Christmas: Day 18: The Darker Side of Christmas

(This post was written partially by Sparklebot, and partially by Troubletron. You might say we tag-teamed it.)

Sparklebot: Troubletron and I have been working very hard this year to make Christmas a wondrous and magical experience for Littletron and Teenbot. But, after the not-so-sneaky-pre-Christmas-present-opening debacle, we have been seeking other Christmas traditions--traditions that will teach the children not only about magic, but also about discipline. We started and finished our search with a group of people who know how to deal with bad little children: the GERMANS.
We looked to the folks who bring us stories like Der Struwwelpeter--a boy who gets his fingers cut off for not clipping his fingernails. Germans also gave us The Brothers Grimm, whose REAL Cinderella story features evil stepsisters having their eyes pecked out, and cutting off their own toes. This is the kind of example we need to set in our home.

So, we've been re-examining Santa Claus.

Troubletron: As some of you may know by now, I am no huge fan of Santa Claus. To me, he is a criminal mastermind who hides behind a veil of misinformation and LIES!! (See HERE) It's a big cover-up that most of us are in on! However, I have recently stumbled upon something that has me rethinking my total and complete dislike for Saint Nick.

That something is the Krampus.

We all know the legend of how, on Christmas Eve, Santa brings gifts to all the good boys and girls in the world. Sounds lovely. There is a question that rarely gets asked though: what about the boys and girls that are BAD?? Some people say they get coal in their stockings or they get no gifts at all. But, is that enough of a deterrent? The short answer is NO! That's why he takes this guy with him..........
Santa's right hand man, er . . . demon . . . . er . . . demon-man.
Sparklebot: So, according to our lovely friends, the Germanic peoples, this horned, long-tongued fellow accompanies Sinter Klaus and "handles" the bad children . . . and grown-ups . . . by putting them in bags and tossing them in the river, or "birching" them ("birching" is like caning, only with a birch limb), or other forms of EFFECTIVE terror.

Meanwhile, Santa looks on with delight. Almost too happy.

We are liking the idea of the Krampus because of its medieval roots, and its no-nonsense message. But we also like how Krampus has evolved and begun using more modern means of transportation (something Santa should consider).We're also fine with the more modern representations of Krampus shown off in Austrian festivals today. Terrifying!

Troubletron: Now THAT is a reason to be a good boy or girl, right?

But, this leads to a more important question that I hope you are asking yourself. Why does Santa roll with the likes of Krampus?

The only answer I can come up with is that Santa, as I suspected, is PURE EVIL! Santa's going to need some major spin to get out of this! After all, a person should be judged by the company they keep, right?

Not a sermon, just a thought.

Sparklebot: Krampus has lots of websites. My favorite was HERE. But, you can also read up on him on Wikipedia, obviously.

4 Robot Reactions:

JakieWakie said...

For accuracy's sake, Der Struwwelpeter did not get his fingers cut off. Konrad, a character in the book who sucked his thumb, got his thumbs cut off. When his mother arrived home and saw what had happened, she wasn't even upset. Bwah hah hah.

Der Struwwelpeter himself doesn't really have a story. It seems like the poem in that book is just "look how freaky Der Struwwelpeter looks, all because he wouldn't cut his hair or his fingernails".

Shackles2Garlands said...

I love that you posted this. Some of these traditional stories are slowly being forgotten, even amongst Germans. They are considered too cruel and violent for children today (in a world where even a light spank causes parents to raise their hands in the air and run screaming off into the night, you can see how these tales would be considered a form of torture). To me, they were always just tales. I didn't believe in any of the creatures, anymore than I believe in Santa or a great sky wizard. But they taught something that parents today woefully lack a talent with, and it's disciplining children. Children will try to get away with things because it's human nature. However, many parents today seem determined not to be parents, but to be more of a wise friend to their kids. They cower at the idea of the causing anything that make their kids potentially hate them. Unfortunately, sometimes it can't be helped. It's tough to be a parent.

R. Siren said...

Der Krampus! I had forgotten about him. Excellent to see the German holiday traditions of fear and discipline getting noticed.

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