Traditionally, the evening of December 5 is when Krampus goes on the hunt for naughty children to punish or abduct. Twenty-four years ago, my mother and I witnessed our first Krampuslauf (Krampus run) in Salzburg, Austria. (You can read all about it here.) At the time, the whole Krampus kulture (see what I did there?) wasn’t widely familiar in the United States. Possibly it’s still not, but it’s better known that it used to be. Krampus now has his own website, his own YouTube channel, even his own ugly holiday sweater. His popularity is only going to spread, and why not? In a culture fascinated with the undead and American Horror Story, who can doubt that a dark demonic twin to St. Nicholas, with a tongue that beats Gene Simmons’ by a mile (literally) and who skulks about terrifying children will enjoy unlimited popularity as time passes?
To help contribute to that cultural impact, here’s a writing prompt that involves Krampus:
Instead of writing a letter to Santa, write to Krampus. What will you say? Massage his ego with volumes of praise and admiration? Ask him where he takes all those naughty children? Request he visit an errant significant other with switches and other punishments? (Maybe that’s a pleasure, depending on your preferences) Ask him to friend you on Facebook?
Be careful, though. If a Krampuslauf takes place in your neighborhood, you could be in for a wild time. (Read my Austrian account to see how intimidating the Krampuslauf can get.)
You might also like: My very first writing nudge on this site was about Krampus. Give this one a try instead if you prefer (or get really ambitious and do both).