Ahhhhh sweet Christmas traditions!
"Christmas is nearly upon us and, with all its commercialism and saccharine rituals, it’s all too easy to forget the true meaning of the season. Thankfully, the sanctity of this glorious holiday is still appreciated in parts of Germany and Austria where good, hardworking folk remember that Christmas isn’t merely about the gifts; it’s about dressing up like a cloven-hoofed demon, terrifying children with violent, demonic folklore and drinking 180-proof licorice-flavored liquor until you puke.
For centuries, our central European friends have scared the bejesus out of their children with tales of Krampus, a hairy, seven-foot-tall, horned fiend with a suggestive, Gene Simmons-esque tongue who accompanies Saint Nick on Christmas Eve to beat the hell out of naughty children with whips and branches from a birch tree. Like Santa, Krampus carries a satchel, but instead of filling it with presents, he stuffs it with children who have been especially bratty, before tossing them into a molten pit of flesh-charring destruction. Merry Christmas indeed.” (from The Awl).