|©2016 Don Arday.|
any illustrators over the last couple of centuries have created versions of Santa. Fewer have illustrated the antithesis of Santa--the half-goat, half-demon creature known as Krampus. The word Krampus
originates from the old high German word for claw (Krampen
). In Alpine regions, Krampus is a mythical horned figure represented as accom-panying, or under the control, of Saint Nicholas. Krampus acts as an anti-Saint Nicholas, who, instead of giving gifts to good children, gives warnings and punishments to bad children.
Europeans have been exchanging greeting cards featuring Krampus since the 1800's. Sometimes introduced with Greetings from the Krampus. The cards usually have humorous rhymes and poems with Krampus often featured looming menacingly over children. More extreme bits of lore suggest that if children misbehave Krampus will eat them.