Off Topic

I’m Dreaming of a Fright Christmas

By December 22, 2017 No Comments

Here in the United States, most of us spent the early part of December feverishly working out (and reworking) our Christmas lists, racking our brains to remember all the naughty things we did over the past year and investing a lot of brain power into putting the proper spin on them in our letters to Santa. The prospect of receiving a lump of coal in our stocking in lieu of gifts under the tree seemed daunting to our childish mind, and we hoped against hope that jolly old St. Nick would see pass our transgressions and find compassion in his heart to bring us all our hearts hoped for.

As much stress as that may have burdened us with leading up to Christmas, we had it easy compared to European traditions, which tended to terrify young children into obedience.

Krampus is a figure, believed to be of pre-Christian origins (likely an evolution of the Yule Goat tradition), who infiltrated Christmas winter celebrations in Alpine traditions as early as the 17th century. In contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved children with gifts, Krampus eagerly punishes the ill-behaved by stuffing them into a sack (or his basket) and swatting them with bundles of birch branches (Ouch!), before carting them off to the underworld for further punishment. (Talk about Holiday stress…)

Feast your eyes on these vintage illustrations that reveal the horror that is the Krampus tradition.

Just when you thought that that Krampus tradition couldn’t get any worse, you realize that he’s actually in cahoots with Saint Nicholas. I thought you were supposed to be a jolly old soul, big guy!

And now, the softer side of Krampus. Apparently, he has a weakness for the ladyfolk.

Luckily for those of us who live on the fence where naughty and nice lists are concerned, there is a solution.

Swink, an interactive design studio based in Madison, Wisconsin, created the handy Krampus Defence Kit. Paper Specs provided a nice video review of its contents. Note: use of this kit resulted in no friends of Swink being beaten or kidnapped by Krampus. I’d count that as a success.



Happy holidays, and may the Krampus fill up on the terrible children of your neighbors before he ever reaches your threshold.


All images in the post are believed to be part of the public domain. If we have included your copyrighted content in error, please leave a comment and we will remove it or credit you per your request.

About Robert W Williams

Robert is a Brand Alchemist specializing in archetypal analysis and strategy. When he's not blogging for Special Modern Design & Logos With Soul he works his magic at