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Have You Been Naughty Or Nice?
Santa keeps track of which kids are naughty and nice and rewards the obedient ones with presents. For the naughty ones, there's Santa's colleague Krampus, bestower of lumps of coal. Our glass Krampus is 5.5" (14 cm) tall and can stand on its own or hang from the included string. Put this on the dark side of your tree if you think there's already entirely too much holiday cheer going around.
Are you curious...?
Pre-Christian Germans came up with Krampus, as you might expect, and his popularity as the enforcer of good behavior spread throughout central Europe and the alpine countries. Europeans celebrate the Feast of St Nicholas on Dec. 6. The night before is Krampusnacht, when the hairy goat-like demon takes to the streets, swatting wicked little children with his bundle of birch branches (or sometimes with a whip). Particularly bad kids go back to Krampus's lair in his white sack. Our sources don't say what happens to them after that. Sometimes Krampus travels with St Nick, sometimes by himself. It is customary to offer Krampus schnapps. The early Catholic Church was not amused by celebrations involving goat-like wild creatures and tried to stamp out Krampus without much success. After their 1934 civil war, the Austrian rulers prohibited the Krampus tradition, again with limited results. As recently as 1950 Austria distributed a pamphlet called "Krampus is an evil man," but his popularity only surged.