There are many places on this earth with very strange traditions. In some of these places, it isn’t enough to just be weird, they have to get straight fucking crazy. During a time normally marked by most westerners for charity, family, friends, and gifts, there are parts of Europe that recognize more than the traditional red clothed fat man at this time of year. No, this isn’t about baby Jesus. It’s more like a horrible hairy demon that punishes the kid’s on Santa’s naughty list by throwing them into a basket and beating them mercilessly with a switch. Some versions tell of the Krampus dragging particularly bad children to Hell. Merry Christmas, children!

This concept of the anti-Santa has been around for quite a while in Europe, and has taken on different forms, but the Krampus is easily the most well known and well defined character fitting this mold. Throughout Europe there have been other companions who followed St. Nicholas on his gift-laden tour de force across the world, but none of them have been as obviously sinister as our friend featured in the comic.

Nowadays, the Krampus is supposedly enjoying a bit of a popularity surge after a lull in the mid 20th Century. Some folks dress up as a rather impressive looking Krampus before Christmas and prance about the streets in some European cities, a practice I’d like to see start happening here in the United States. Nothing says Christmas like a horned hairy demon with a long tongue and a penchant for vengeance against misbehaving children. As a matter of fact, why don’t we just station a Krampus in every mall across the country? Holiday shopping would be a much more relaxing affair, I’m sure, if children everywhere were terrified of being taken away by a goddamn monster.

Oh wait, I’d forgotten. Adults are the ones that typically act like absolute maniacs over holiday sales.

Maybe the Krampus could expand his target demographic…

It’s a bit surprising to me that the Krampus never really made it here in the United States. It’s been a hallmark of American society to push blind justice and not to reward bad behavior. The Krampus is like a demonic Judge Judy. You’ve been bad? Suffer immediate and overly ridiculous punishment.

Give that guy a TV show. The ratings would be through the roof.

Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. I’d meant to wish people a happy Hanukkah, but finals week was a nightmare and I sort of missed the deadline for that one. Please accept my belated well-wishing.

That said, I hope everyone takes the time to appreciate their family and friends regardless of what you celebrate. I also hope that students enjoy the time they have away from school. Krampus knows I will!

Hopefully, I can now start catching up on comics instead of writing blog posts a day after when the comic should be up! Har Har!