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Monday, December 16, 2013

Put the Krampus back in Christmas

Santa Claus: we all know the guy.  He's big, he's fat, he's jolly, he wears an unmistakable red suit and delivers presents to good children.

When you take a look back at the evolution of the Santa Claus mythology.  You'll notice that a great deal has evolved over the years.   Santa didn't always travel alone.  He used to have a posse that traveled the world with him ensuring that children were good.  While Santa Claus liked to use positive reinforcement in rewarding good children with presents, his friends were less forgiving and liked to use negative reinforcement and handed out beatings to bad children.

The first lost member of Santa's Posse is Zwarte Piet, or Black Peter.   Piet was Santa's right hand man, or personal servant.

From Wikipedia

He's also a white man dressed in horrifying black face minstrel makeup.  Maybe a black stereotype serving as a personal servant to fat rich white man isn't a great idea.  Maybe the less said about this the better.   Let's move along.

The most remarkeable member of Santa's super team was the beast called Krampus.

Krampus is a straight up hairy demon with a disturbing long tongue.  Krampus is based German folklore (where else?).  He takes corporal punishment to a new level.   He beats children with sticks and chains.   Instead of carrying presents in his sack he carries naughty children.  It is not disclosed what he does with the children.

For some reason, at one period in time sending Krampus based Christmas cards was perfectly acceptable, despite the fact that they are more horrifying then anything you would see for Halloween.  The term "Grub Von Krampus" means "Greetings from Krampus".

Let's take a look at these terrifying cards and remember:  Krampus is not Santa's nemesis, he is his friend.

Here is business casual Krampus.....

Here he is in the Krampusmobile...

Possibly the most disturbing card I have seen is this one of Krampus carrying a dead child around with a pitch fork.  Remember, this is a CHRISTMAS card.

And there is this super surreal card, where Krampus is roasting hearts with faces.

I actually wanted to make some of my own Krampus cards, integrating Krampus into some classic Christmas moments........Here is the only one that is not too offensive to show.....

Merry Christmas, ya'll.

BTW, all classic Krampus cards are vintage cards and the images do not belong to me.

The Carpetbagger

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