In parts of Germany and Austria, a creature called Krampus appears around St. Nicholas Day to spread torment and havoc—in a playful way. Twenty years ago, my mother and I made a holiday trip to Europe to see some of the Christmas markets. In Salzburg, on St. Nicholas Eve, we were startled by the appearance of a Krampus gang. They blew horns, rang cowbells, threw firecrackers, and generally caused mischief.
Maybe it’s time we had our own Krampus-like figure in the U.S., a kind of anti-Santa. Create one especially for your town, state, or region. What does this creature look like? What animal elements does it combine? (Fur? Horns? Claws?) What does it do to stir up mischief? Instead of naughty children, who does your Krampus-like creature steal away? (I think mine will cart off lying, ineffective politicians. Or those annoying vendors in the center of large shopping malls.)If you’d like to read more about Krampus, see The Devil and Good St. Nick and What’s With All the Krampus Hits?