How did I not know about Krampus! Krampus is a Shadow Santa Claus who appears, it would seem, from the end of November through and up to Christmas. When the big Claus appears. I love Krampus and had I known of him would have been celebrating all along. He looks like a stealer of children, does he not? Of course I’ll have to read up more about this creature of myth and lore.

Originally Published by, and From Atlantic Monthly magazine

A Visit From Krampus—Saint Nick’s Dark Companion

While tales of Saint Nicholas feature him bringing gifts to good boys and girls, ancient folklore in Europe’s Alpine region also speaks of Krampus, a frightening beastlike creature who emerges during the Yule season, looking for naughty children to punish in horrible ways—or possibly to drag back to his lair in a sack. Krampus associations in villages hold parades without Saint Nick, frightening children on Krampusnacht, chasing them and hitting them with sticks, during an (often alcohol-fueled) run through the dark streets.