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Clyde Lewis | December 5, 2019
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In the second week of November, just after the kids were counting their Halloween candy we explored the peculiar behavior of playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving. This has always been a pet peeve of mine for many reasons. I realized that this year I had to approach the situation with a little humor and those who are fans of my show are in on the joke.

When it comes to Christmas I am a traditionalist which in these times of overt commercialization of the Holiday makes me an old stick in the mud. I sound like an old man when I complain about contemporary artists belting out secular Christmas tunes, the Christmas count of money that was made on Black Friday and the continued playing of the song “Last Christmas” by George Michael, which I think is the worst so-called Christmas song ever.

This is not Christmas it is pop and I guess people like pop.

While I have reverence for the whole nativity and while I know that Jesus is the reason for the season, I shun the Christmas creep and celebrate something that I see as Halloween’s revenge.

I recognize the arrival of another Christmas character that was used to scare my family when we were kids. My aunt lived in Munich for many years and when she returned to the United States she and my grandmother would tell us all about Krampus.

While Saint Nicholas may bring gifts to good boy s and girls, ancient folklore in Europe also tells of Krampus, a frightening beast-like creature who emerges during the Yule season, looking for naughty children to punish in horrible way s or possibly to drag them back to his lair in a sack.

In keeping with pre-Germanic Pagan traditions, men dressed as these forest demons have been frightening children on Krampusnacht for centuries, chasing them and hitting them with sticks, during parades and winter festivals.

Krampus, whose name is derived from the German word Krampen, meaning claw, is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology. This legendary beast also shares characteristics with other terrifying creatures in many mythologies.

Although this being looks more demonic in nature many people do not realize that Krampus has a relationship with elves, fairies, satyrs and fauns.

In Catholicism, St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children. His Saints Day falls in early December, which helped strengthen his association with the Yuletide season. Many European cultures not only welcomed the kindly man as a figure of generosity and benevolence to reward the good, but they also feared his menacing counterparts who punished the bad. Parts of Germany and Austria dread the beastly Krampus, while other Germanic regions have Belsnickle and Knecht Ruprecht, black-bearded men who carry switches to beat children. France has Hans Trapp and Père Fouettard.

Europeans really pushed the thought of the good cop bad cop Santa experience and when we were kids “You better watch out, You better not Cry” was actually a warning that Krampus was coming to weed out the bad kids so that Santa did not have to deal with them.

The legend is part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Germany, where Christmas celebrations begin in early December. Krampus was created as a counterpart to kindly St. Nicholas, who rewarded children with sweets. Krampus, in contrast, would swat “wicked” children, stuff them in a sack, and take them away to his lair.

According to folklore, Krampus purportedly shows up in towns the night of December 5, known as Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night. The next day, December 6, is Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, when children look outside their door to see if the shoe or boot they’d left out the night before contains either presents a reward for good behavior or a rod bad behavior.

As I got older I always wondered why Europeans found it necessary to scare children with a demonic pagan monster.

The Catholic Church did it’s best to forbid people from using Krampus as a boogie man to scare children into being good –and yet his resurgence has actually triggered a negative response to Santa –as many fundamentalist Christian groups have claimed that both Krampus and Santa are one in the same.

However, what most people fail to realize is that Krampus is actually a symbol of Judgment Day. Krampus is actually the judge that either puts you on the evil list or leaves you alone to bask in the light of the good—Santa represents the good or while it isn’t popular to say, the messianic figure of Jesus.

It is actually a metaphor for the Second Coming.

Many biblical scholars are well aware that when Jesus returns he will not wear robes of white but a red robe.

In the 19th chapter of the Book of the Apocalypse, it says that he will wear robes that are dipped in blood. This is not a reference to the blood He shed on the cross. It is simply given in a militant context where the blood will that of his enemies. He wears robes that look as if he has tread in the winepress.

I always read that part of the bible when I was a kid and realized that his return will surely be that great and terrible day – great for the good people terrible for the bad.

Just like Krampus is terrible for the bad kids and Santa is great for the good ones.

I know there are a lot of people that may be lost on how I like to bring up strange and paranormal metaphors. It may seem like an oddity, but I have read many things about the outside influences that tend to have their way when the cold air intensifies and we tend to remain indoors.

The reigning power of the winter months is darkness, as the nights seem long and shadows tend to play tricks on the mind as they are cast away from the flickering fire.

The arrival of winter in ancient times was not as casual of an affair as it is now. The darkness of the solstice would envelop the villages and the countryside and many people would see it as a time of sickness and in some cases, it was a time to prepare for death.

Even before Christmas was even celebrated there were rituals that were performed that included the building of large fires and lighting trees with candles.

These rituals were meant to keep the winter beasts of the forest away.

During the cold winter months, these beasts would search for food and their prey would often be the animals of the farm. The sheep, the pigs, and even the dogs were found mangled and disemboweled as these shadowy creatures would move through the farmland.

It was also normal for these beasts to attack children.

Most of these creatures were quite possibly wolves or bears. However, there were other creatures that were reportedly seen that were described as cannibalistic giants that fed off of the blood of humans. They were unknown creatures of the woods. Their growls and howling were heard nightly and the crunching of the snow as they walked through town kept the little children under their beds and in the cellars where they could find safety.

For the pre-Christian Norse and other Germanic peoples, humans were far from the only intelligent or conscious life forms in the world. Every animal, plant, rock, river, lake, and other elements of what we today would call the “natural world” had its particular animating spirit. The world was also filled with countless beings that were indescribable.

Some were invisible, while others would be seen crouching at your bedside waiting to pounce and rip your heart out.

The giants, more properly called the “devourers,” were the chaotic spirits of night, darkness, winter, and death.

Krampus is thought to punish naughty children during the German Christmas season. The demonic creature is said to capture the worst offenders in his sack and carry them away to his lair. Krampus is said to be hairy, usually brown or black, and has the cloven hooves and horns of a goat. He has a long pointed tongue that he lolls out.

Depending on the story, Krampus may have chained shackles on his wrists, signifying his enslavement to St. Nicholas. Generally though, Krampus will be wearing several large bells (as a warning to any who hear them that he’s coming), along with a large wicker basket and birch rod.

If someone has been bad, Krampus will either threaten a beating with his birch rod or actually give one. If his target has been particularly bad, then Krampus stuffs them into his wicker basket, and drags them off to punish them for their crimes.

For most people, before the 1800s, Christmas was not a domestic quiet holiday; it was a holiday characterized by unruliness and irreverence. It was sort of like a combination of Halloween, New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras.

This certainly has fundamentalists reeling as many of them despise the Santa myth as they believe it clouds the thoughts of Jesus.

This year, there seems to be a dark shadow falling on Christmas and it is happening without the whipping and tongue-wagging of Krampus.

Now, this all can be a dark coincidence or a prank but it is certainly worth noting.

It all started in a small town in British Columbia, a newspaper made an unintentionally hilarious error in their advertisement for a local Christmas fair. The Comox Valley Record had a typo that accidentally invited everyone to take photos with Satan at a holiday event in Courtenay, B.C.

The paper was only printed on November 21, but the internet has wasted no time roasting them for it. The people of the internet don’t let anything slide, spelling mistakes included.

The advertisement, which got significant attention after it was posted on Reddit, accidentally highlighted “Photos with Satan” instead of “Photos with Santa” as one of the activities at Courtenay’s Christmas fair.

Well, of course, people were worried that their kids would be posing with the other guy in red but the typo was corrected and all was happy.

However, two weeks later something weird happened at the Internal Operations center at NORAD. A typo on an internal operations order diverted the beloved Santa-tracking program to describing the location of Satan this year from December 24–25.

Now, this was obviously a joke as there were those in on the joke saying that they would be eager to trace the sulfur trails and the clove hoof footprints on rooftops this season. I never really imagined the possibility of Santa or even Satan leaving behind a Chemtrail of sulfur, making everyone sick for the holidays.

The viral joke of Satan vs. Santa actually got the attention of the well known on Twitter account as the Prince of Darkness was complaining that he keeps getting Christmas wish lists from dyslexic kids.

However, while we can all laugh at the various typos that are aligning the Prince of Darkness and Santa, there apparently is a new book that has been published that has a lot of Christian parents worry that it may end up under the tree this year.

The book is called “A Children’s Book of Demons” by Aaron Leighton.

It is being widely distributed and it is sold on Amazon, at Walmart and some of the largest book stores in the country. Some people say that the book is actually a grimoire, a manual of witchcraft to invoke demons and the spirit of the dead for children.

Now when I first was aware of the book, I thought that Satanic Panic that accompanied it was overwrought but now after reading some of the summaries and activities in the book I am beginning to think otherwise.

For example, Leighton writes:

“Don’t want to take out the trash tonight? Maybe you’re swimming in homework? Perhaps that big bully is being a real drag? Well, grab your colored pencils and sigil drawing skills and dial-up some demons! But be careful, even if these spirits are more silly than scary they are still demons.”

Telling children to draw sigils and dial-up demons is a bit much but then you have some of the demon names that he has created that makes you think it is all in fun. Demons like “Flatulus,” whose talent is passing gas; “Quazitoro,” an expert at finding missing objects; and “Spanglox,” “the best-dressed demon in the underworld,” who offers cutting-edge fashion advice.

All of these demons is the book look like ugly dolls and cartoonish.

But each “demon” is accompanied by a sigil that is powered with magic and a “cute” drawing that is replete with occult symbolism. There is a big demon that wears a pentagram and another that resembles Baphomet.

There is even a sigil list that can be used to summon these demons; children are encouraged to reproduce their sigils, which are very similar to actual sigils in the Goetia – the classic reference work for black magic.

Goetia is a practice that includes the conjuration of demons, specifically the ones summoned by the Biblical figure, King Solomon. The use of the term in English largely derives from the 17th-century grimoire Lesser Key of Solomon, which features an Ars Goetia as its first section.

Some claim that this book is normalizing Satanism for children.

By catering to children’s wants and needs (chores, homework, etc.), the book over-simplifies the extremely dark and complex world of ceremonial magic and turns it into a fun game. However, any occultist will be keen to say: Black magic is not a game. And it is definitely not for children.

Some will argue that exposing kids to Santa or even Krampus is basically the same thing but at least Krampus or Santa do not encourage occult practices.

We all know Christmas is really just an extension of ancient winter solstice celebrations recognized the world over. Krampus and his do-gooder pal Clause are examples of established pagan figures adapted and assimilated to meet the needs of Christianity, in this case, the biblical devil and a benevolent saint, likely modeled after the Roman god Saturn. But tradition and culture have a way of bending with time. Today, Krampus is still used by parents as a deterrent, but his main role is as a continuation of cultural narrative in remote alpine regions of Austria and Germany.

Krampus has also arrived in the United States as a symbol of those who are anti-establishment and loathe the commercialism of the Christmas holiday.

Each year in the US, there are more and more celebrations of Krampusnacht.

While many people fear that this is just more proof of the war on Christmas, it can be seen as an ironic and obvious twist on the Grinch or even Ebenezer Scrooge.

It is always uncomfortable to say to people that the origins of the Christmas celebrations are evolutionary. We added a little of the birthday of Christ and somehow mashed up the pagan celebrations with it.

There were also Luciferian celebrations of light and of course there is also a little bit of the satanic because after all, the whole fantasy within the mythology is all about the war between God and the devil and in some ways it is also a ritualistic way of remembering Judgment Day and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Creating scary stories during the darkest Holidays is a hallowed tradition; a folk custom stretches back centuries when families would wile away the winter nights with tales of spooks and monsters.

The transition from Halloween to Christmas has always been a daunting task. As the nights darken and we head towards the New Year, filled with anxiety and hope, what better emissaries are there to scare us into being better to one another than the pagan winter monsters of the past.

Written by Clyde Lewis

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