Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Krampus, My Favorite Holiday Anti-Hero

I find the holidays malicious. Too much noise, too many gifts, too much pressure, too dark (literally). All the people I know are becoming ever more depressed: If they're not Christian, they feel weird. If they don't have a spouse, they feel lonely and alienated. If they have a spouse but no children, the supposed childlike delight feels like a living reproach. If they have children and a spouse, then still they can never do enough, have the holiday they're "supposed" to have. There's more: if you're not around your family you miss them, if half of them are dead, the holidays remind you of the loss, if you are around your extended family, it's sure to end with the police called to a domestic. If one tends toward depression, well, this is ground zero. The holidays remind you that you're poor, lonely, alienated, Jewish, and your loved ones are dead or annoying. And all the food makes you portly.

Enter my new favorite holiday hero, Krampus. My sardonic sister introduced us. He's the evil anti-Santa, an invention of the oddly sepulchral German imagination, intended to scare children. Apparently Krampus is a sort of Christmas devil who comes around to punish bad little boys and girls. In some versions he steals them. In other versions, he's sort of sexy and goes for the ladies with a light-hearted sadism and a birch switch. And at home, we wonder whether he was possibly a Jewish stereotype; the Germans have a bit of a track record with these. Anyway, I love Krampus. I relate to him. I have a crush on him even. He's the perfect antidote to all of the nonsense. Call me a cynic, call me a Jew, but Krampus really delivers.

Feast your eyes on some of the many incarnations of this Christmas ghoul:







30 comments:

just bob said...

Is Krampus related to Aunt Flo?

Megan said...

I've got a pretty good idea.

INNER VOICES said...

*leaves stack of dvds at back door and runs for the hills*

Brandy Rose said...

Evil santa, think I watched a horror movie about him once.

kylie said...

no idea

Skeeter said...

Nope, had to look him up. Pretty scary stuff for December!

Bet wishes,

Skeeter

Queen Goob said...

He’s not a once a year guy at MY house…..he visits on a monthly bases there.

Random Chick said...

Ahhh, yes. Krampus. I know him all too well. And I hate him.

Leah said...

Bob--"Aunt Flo" is one of the most hilarious euphemisms ever. I've always loved it. But no, as you can see, Krampus and Aunt Flo are unrelated...

Megan--was this your guess?

IV--thanks for the dvds--hopefully now Krampus won't come and get you!

Brandy Rose--you hit it!

Kylie--hope you enjoy the many faces of Krampus--

Skeeter, it is scary, isn't it?

QG--well, me too, really.

RC--I hate him too. But love him as well...

Mr. Shife said...

Krampus just made me piss myself. That dude is a little scary. I will definitely make sure I am a good boy because I don't want a visit from that dude. And before I forget - Happy Holidays to you and yours and see you in '09.

Megan said...

Why does this link thing keep happening to me? Sob! Do you know what I'm talking about? Can you see it, or is it just weirdo me?

Krampus is after me!!!!

just bob said...

Megan...

Try going to your settings -> comments tab and make sure you have "backlinks" set to hide. That may work?

Suzanne said...

That is one nasty MF.

*Runs to back door and grabs all the CD's IV left!* What a haul.

Thanks for this amazing post. And really, it was amazing till I had to look at his face!!!

XO

Suzanne said...

Also took the DVD's.

just bob said...

Thanks for this amazing post. And really, it was amazing till I had to look at his face!!!

That's what most women say about me!

Queen Goob said...

Hon? I don't call you Bobalicious because you frighten women away.....and look how smart you are, too, Bob. Everyone comes to you for answers.

Oh, sorry, HI LEAH!!!

Yeah, I knew who Krampus was but I was waiting for the chance to snag the DVD's....Suz beat me to the punch.

HI EVERYONE!

Queen Goob said...

p.s.

I'm diggin' the tongue.

Leah said...

Mr Shife, I feel certain that you're a good dude and Krampus won't come for you. Unless you want him to!!!

Megan, what happened with the links? I didn't see it.

Suzy--you don't find Krampus handsome?! ; )

Bob--we should all aspire to being like Krampus! And I hope he brought a little light into your bah humbug. Or maybe that's a little more bah humbug into your bah humbug.

Leah said...

Hi QG--we cross-posted! I love the tongue too. Apparently, according to legend, he simply licks people with it. Now if that isn't the stuff of both nightmares and dreams, I don't know what is.

Megan said...

Bob figured it out. Bob rocks.

I did not know who Krampus was. But I do now! I like learning things!

Old Knudsen said...

Looks like one of them der Pagan gods that they turned into Satan to me.

The thing I hate is total bastards pretending to be nice for a week.

Leah said...

Knudsen, how I hate those phony total bastards.

MJ said...

Krampus visits me from Hell once a month and outstays his welcome.

And stop sucking up to my date Knudsen.

MJ said...

That's ME talking to you about Knudsen, Leah.

Crap. Where do the commas go?

CSI Seattle said...

I had to look "him" up to know who he is. What a butthead...

Leah said...

MJ--I must admit that I did think Krampus might hold some allure for Old Knudsen--I try to back off, but each time the image of his face haunts me into action--I'll try harder--

CSI--Krampus? Or Old Knudsen?

Walker said...

Looks like a politician

kylie said...

everything about this post is wonderful.
the pics of krampus, the sentiments, the comments....

i always feel like an underachiever at Christmas. i dont really go for decorations, have no time for lots of traditional baking and all that.
i appreciate the significance to Christianity but i wouldnt say it excites me in a spiritual sense so that feels like i'm getting something wrong.
i love my family and we have a great time together at Christmas but i still resent the expectations...
so yeah, somehow Christmas becomes too much about what should be and not enough about what is

thanks leah

muralimanohar said...

That tongue is disturbing. Not in a good way. Seriously. *snork*

Karen ^..^ said...

I kind of like the tongue...

And I love, love, love your take on the holidays. My sentiments exactly.

I don't stress about it anymore.

I admit I mostly hate the holidays, and move on from there.

I try to get my kids something nice, and that's the extent of it.