Which list will you be on?

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2014

We all know that Santa Claus keeps tabs on the children (or adults) who have been naughty or nice during the year.
Accordingly, if you are deemed worthy of the nice list, Santa will place many glittering packages under your Christmas tree.
What happens to the children on the naughty list? It was always my belief, when I was a child, that naughty children didn’t receive presents or found a lump of coal in their stocking.
Then, I learned about Krampus, the “Christmas Devil.”
According to nationalgeographic.com, the legend began centuries ago in Germany when Christmas celebrations were held in early December.
The name Krampus is derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw, the website states. He is described as the anti-St. Nicholas, and is adorned with horns, dark hair and fangs.
While St. Nicholas would reward children with goodies, Krampus, on the other hand, would swat “wicked” children with a bundle of birch sticks and take them to his underworld lair.
According to folklore, Krampus appears in towns the night before Dec. 6 when German children look outside their door to see if the shoe they had left outside contained either a present, for good behavior or a rod, for bad behavior.
The image of Krampus reminded me of Tim Curry’s Darkness character in the movie “Legend.”
In addition to my love for history, I have an affection for folklores and fairy tales.
It was fascinating to learn about this frightening counterpart to jolly old St. Nick.
I’m almost certain that the majority of children who knew about Krampus were certainly mindful of their behavior, especially around the holidays.
So now that we know what really happens to “wicked” children, let’s all try to be nice, not only during this holiday season, but throughout the year as well.

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