Do you know about anti-Santa? Krampus is the pagan deity said to be opposite to the jolly old man who delivers gifts from the chimney. This woman postulates that the two mythological figures were friends despite the common held belief they were enemies. Everybody knows the Santa lore, you’re a good kid so you get gifts - but Santa comes after Krampus. The bad children are dealt with by Krampus who comes to claim them and then the following evening Santa comes for the children who are left.
One of the ways that Krampus observing homes could be identified was by bundles of birch twigs painted gold that would be hung on walls. This was to signal to Krampus that they knew he was coming with sticks and rocks and that they followed his rules. Bad kids would be taken with him back to his underworld home in Hell.
This woman explain what appeals to her about Krampus mythology is how it’s survived by clinging on to Christian mythologies despite many attempts to get rid of it. Belief is fundamentally what keeps these deities in power, keeping them alive in a sense by being on the mouths of practitioners at home. The Catholic Church actually tried to ban Krampus but the mythology surrounding him dug its claws into Christmas and stayed in popular knowledge.
Krampus followed a handful of other demon tropes that portrayed him as a horned and hooved devil constantly pursuing women in an incubus like manner and wanting to kidnap children to sweep them off to their lairs. Many pagan deities were given these traits to symbolize the Christian idea of the devil and in attempt to drive people away from their original worship. Fear not for your children, though, because there are suggestions for parents who want to keep their kids - even when they are misbehaving little brats. Don’t worry, they grow out of it - as long as you keep them safe from Krampus, that is.
The myths suggest chaining your kid up with iron so they can’t be dragged to the underworld. Child Protective Services feels otherwise. Offerings can also be left to try and appease this dark holiday deity, such as brandy and Krampus bread. This bread is described as being made with sweat and the essence of burning souls. If you don’t happen to have time to burn any souls, store bought is fine. It is also said Krampus can be defeated with a wooden stake similar to vampires, however the stake must be coated in the blood of a righteous man which sounds a lot like a felony of some sort.
Good luck out there this Christmas!