The annual Greenville Holiday Crafting Workshop was going quite well until Julia announced there wasn’t enough nori paste to go around. Things went steadily downhill from that point.
Posts tagged ‘Christmas’
December 5 was Krampus Day in a number of European countries with Teutonic roots. As many of you know, the fierce horned Krampus figures prominently in the folklore of Germany and Austria, and also in the traditions of Hungary and the countries of former Yugoslavia. The role of the Krampus is complementary to that of the benevolent bearded old man who distributes presents to nice children far and wide on Christmas. The Krampus rounds up the naughty children that Santa has passed by and proceeds to whip them with a switch of birch branches. Those who have been exceptionally bad are stuffed into a sack and taken to a remote location in the woods to be devoured by the Krampus.
This year saw an unusually large contingent of naughty children who disobeyed their parents, failed to do their household chores, talked back to their elders, refused to eat their vegetables and got into fights at school. Disciplining the lot of them kept the Krampus very busy and by the time all of the punishment had been meted out, the Krampus was exhausted.
President Obama was likewise very tired from fighting with the Republicans over raising taxes for the rich, saving entitlement programs and avoiding the looming fiscal cliff. The president had just wrapped up a brief chat with the Chancellor of Germany, Andrea Merkel, regarding the debt crisis in Southern Europe when the Chancellor suggested that Mr. Obama invite Krampus to visit him in Hawaii so that they could both unwind on the beach together. Krampus immediately sparked to the idea of escaping the cold German winter and promptly booked a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Honolulu.
Soon after arrival the pair proceeded to Hanauma Bay where they were served heady tropical beverages while being entertained by an exotic dance troupe recruited by the Secret Service. When the show was over, President Obama approached Krampus concerning a possible future contract with the US Department of Justice to castigate all those individuals appearing on the list of naughty legislators that the president has been compiling. Mr. Obama emphasized to Krampus that certain members of Congress had been very, very naughty.
Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle
Management at Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply had a great idea! Why not invite Santa’s reindeer to visit Laramie, Wyoming and entertain the city’s children, many of whom had never seen a real live reindeer. They advertised far and wide for this exciting event, and many looked forward to attending.
It will be a fun occasion for both young and old!
A festive way to forget about the cold
So Murdoch’s emailed the North Pole with a request
Santa, please send out your reindeer at our behest
Santa replied with a chuckle that was hard to hide
My reindeer could use a trial run during Yuletide
My trusted elves are rated in this sleigh type
I will accede to Murdoch’s request via Skype
Well, Santa had crossed swords with the regulators in years past
When the FAA rejected his flight plan as traveling too fast
And then cruelly ordering him to maintain Flight Level two-fifty
Heartbreakingly overflying the homes of the neediest kids in the city
Old Saint Nick summoned his attorneys across the nation
The same ones that deal with defective toy litigation
The lawyers all echoed in concert with conviction
“Magical flying reindeer are not subject to any known jurisdiction”
So, a ground crew of elves preflighted the sleigh
Making sure it was airworthy to soar away
The team was hitched up and in scarcely a flash
Reindeer and elves arrived at Murdoch’s in a dash
When the elf crew went in to announce the arrival of their flight
Murdoch’s store management could hardly contain their delight
That was until confronted by a gruff figure standing by the sleigh
Who brought tidings that would certainly ruin the group’s day
“No so fast,” said the Government Man all dressed in green
“Trafficking in reindeer is a crime most obscene
It constitutes a violation of Game and Fish regulations
Read Chapter 10, section 5(d)(ii)(F), if you have the patience”
“As sure as I stand here in my green galoshes
You are all dangerous vectors of deadly brucellosis
You will not set hooves on this pristine pavement
Begone at once or I will quarantine you in confinement”
For Rudolph this was the very last straw
This time the regulators really stuck in his craw
He had guided his team to this godforsaken town
Only to have a petty bureaucrat shake them down
Then Rudolph suddenly blurted out:
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on Donner and Blitzen!
Trot across the parking lot to Mingle’s Lounge
The first round’s on me, no need to scrounge”
They took seats at the bar and summoned the serving lass
While the children all pressed their noses to the window glass
The kids were speechless as they watched the spectacle inside
And beheld the reindeer as they began to imbibe
Rudolph bemoaned the absence of Christmas cheer
Prompting him to cry out, “Barman, another round of Reinbeer!”
Soon Blitzen was blitzed and Comet had lost consciousness
Both of them casualties of regulatory excessiveness
Eventually the barman said, “Gentlemen,” pointing to a sign
“You’re a delightful gang, but it’s now closing time”
So they gently lifted Comet’s face out of his plate of nachos
And carried him back to the sleigh like a sack of potatoes
Weeks later on Christmas Eve, Santa alighted on the roof
Of the residence of a ranger widely regarded as annoyingly aloof
Down the chimney he shimmied, stealthy as a mouse
To place lumps of coal in all the stockings in the house
Santa ate all the cookies and gave the milk to the cat
Who scorned the gesture upon realizing it was nonfat
Then Santa helped himself to the household’s best scotch
Before hurriedly exiting while glancing at his watch
Relaxing at home with Mrs. Claus in the wake of a busy Noel
Santa said “Honey, I haven’t seen my American Express card in a spell”
She promptly replied, “I gave it to Rudolph to fuel your sleigh
And before I could ask for it back, he was well on his way.”
The reindeer are planning to graze on a faraway hill
On the day that the mail carrier delivers Santa’s bill
For the gentle bearded old man will surely throw a fit
When he sees the large balance he is instructed to remit
Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle
After a long cold holiday season of scaring naughty children into exhibiting better behavior, Krampus takes a well-deserved vacation at a warm tropical location. On the beach on Maui, Krampus sips a cold refreshing beverage while enjoying a presentation by a local hula troupe.
In the United States, Santa is taken for granted. It is a foregone conclusion that Santa will always deliver on the presents. Kids in America don’t know how good they have it because no matter how naughty they have been during the year, Santa will never fail to bring them something. In fact, the very worst they can expect is that Santa will fill their Christmas stockings with lumps of coal. This is not the end of the world, because with the soaring cost of energy reaching unprecedented heights, the children can easily pool their lumps of coal and sell them to the local power utility and use the cash to buy the gifts that Santa did not bring due to their naughtiness.
However, in Europe, children have a lot more to fear, particularly in Austria, Switzerland, Croatia and Germany. In those countries, jolly old St. Nick hands out gifts on his feast day of December 6th. However, he does not punish children himself no matter how bad they have been. Instead, he delegates that task to a terrifying horned creature called the Krampus, who accompanies Santa on his visits and metes out punishment according to Santa’s instructions.
The children that Santa has fingered as naughty are seized by the Krampus, who whips them with a switch of birch branches or with rusty chains. In extreme cases involving exceptionally naughty children, the Krampus is said to carry them in his backpack to the forest where he proceeds to devour them. Alternatively, the Krampus simply stuffs them into a sack which he then tosses into a stream.
People who have observed the widespread lack of discipline, manners and work ethic that characterizes today’s youth have suggested that a serious dose of Krampus might be in order here in America.
The origin of the Krampus can be traced back thousands of years. It is believed that the Krampus was an evolution of the Norse god Loki that was slowly assimilated into Christian tradition. Many European countries today organize Krampus festivals on December 5th, the day before St. Nick arrives. A number of designated individuals dress up as the Krampus and go from house to house scaring children with their growls and their switches and drinking schnapps with their parents. As the night progresses, it is not unusual to see the Krampus throwing up in the gutter.
If a Krampus should approach you in the darkness of night, you will certainly know him by his long horns and his most unusual characteristic of having one humanlike foot and another that resembles a cloven hoof of a goat.