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Krampus The Misunderstood Winter Holiday Spirit

We’re just moving toward the end of the 2010 Yule holiday season now, but one thing is already clear: This is the year when Krampus was introduced to a large number of people living in the USA. December 2011 promises to be the first winter holiday season when Krampus breaks through to popular recognition. From there on, he may rival Santa Claus.

Why is Krampus? He’s a traditional European spirit of mischevious revelry around the time of the Winter Solstice.

Christians depict Krampus as a nasty devil who tortures, murders, and damns naughty children to eternal torment. I don’t buy that simplistic vision of Krampus, however.

Krampus was a part of solstice celebrations long before Christmas ideology came in with its moralistic stamp. Krampus can’t be truly satanic. He predates Satan.

As a trickster, Krampus exists outside of simple divisions between good and evil. Maybe Krampus isn’t a goodie goodie like Santa Claus, but that doesn’t mean he’s evil.

Krampus allows for a more adult kind of moral ambiguity than Santa does. Let’s face it – Krampus is more fun.

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