Forget about giving coal or switches to naughty children, apparently according to Austrian tradition you can call in a guy much, much scarier to set them straight.
Meet Krampus – the scary horned goat-like demon that visits naughty kids.
“Krampus is St. Nick’s evil side. He is the punishment for naughty children. According to lore, he shows up in town with birch branch switches in one hand, sometimes chains in the other. He, like his jolly counterpart St. Nick, also carries a sack, but his intention is to use it to drag bad children to hell, or at least to his dark lair….”
“In Austria and other parts of Europe, the tradition in which Santa’s evil helper roamed the village was once held somewhat exclusively on Dec. 5, the day before the Feast of St. Nicholas:”
“Originally, Krampus had just the one day. A few men in each town dress up in furs, heavy boots, and a ghoulish mask topped with horns–with a switch in hand. Then they go to all the houses with small children, and when the parents open the door they run in and act menacing–growling and cracking their switches. The children scream. After everyone’s had a good fright, the parents invite the men to sit down and have a few shots of kirsch or schnapps, which they always accept. Not surprisingly, by the end of the night the Krampuses’ growls are a little slurred, their switch-cracking is a little too close to the children, and parents have to make sure their kids don’t look out the window, lest they catch a glimpse of the Krampus puking in a gutter.”
Would you ever show your kids this or tell your kids this? Would it scare the heck out of them? This would scare my kids tremendously. You guys know I would never even show my kids this much less threaten them with it.
How bad would your kids have to behave to get the Krampus treatment? Have you ever given them coal or switches? (Michael said when they lived in Germany, he did get coal one year in his shoes instead of candy. He told the kids all about this. )