Tis the season.
Update: Don’t Forget About Krampus
Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Christmas season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair.
Krampus is represented as a beast-like creature, generally demonic in appearance. The creature has roots in Germanic folklore; however, its influence has spread far beyond German borders. Traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, northern Friuli, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia during the first week of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December (the eve of Saint Nicholas Day on many church calendars), and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells. Krampus is featured on holiday greeting cards called Krampuskarten. There are many names for Krampus, as well as many regional variations in portrayal and celebration.
Via: Huffington Post:
Most Christmas traditions were stolen directly from the pagans. The Christmas tree, the Yule log, wreaths, candles, the very date itself (which used to fall on the Winter Solstice, long before the Gregorian calendar was adopted), gift giving, holiday cards in verse, wassailing (or just plain getting drunk with holiday cheer), holly, mistletoe, kissing under the mistletoe, the “12 days” of Christmas, eating a feast, even hooking up at the office party — pretty much none of these had anything to do with Christians. All were pagan winter holiday rituals without a shred of connection to the baby Jesus whatsoever, before the church decided to file off the serial numbers and declare such traditions their own. Ironically enough, the biggest Christmas tradition that today’s traditionalist religious leaders tend to decry — Santa Claus — is one of the few that arose directly from Christianity itself (there really was a Saint Nicholas, although all the “magic elf who gives naughty and nice children presents” trappings were added later).
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