Since we are somewhere between Halloween and Thanksgiving, I thought I would mention a guy who harkens both fear and yet makes us thankful when we are well behaved! His name is Krampus and he is a European folklore figure that is still celebrated in certain countries today.
A companion to St. Nicholas, Krampus represented all that St. Nicholas did not. While St. Nicholas would hand out treats and goodies to all of the good children, Krampus would grab the bad children, throw them in a basket on his back and take them away. Today in some European towns, Krampus festivals feature lifesize likenesses of Krampus who come bearing chains and horns down the center of town and horrify onlookers with their red eyes and large horns.
Typically depicted as either red or black, Krampus has a long tongue, horns, a tail and oftentimes one foot and one hoof.
The Krampus featured in this post is a spun cotton version I created via commission for a special client. Of European heritage, this client remembers Krampus from her youth and wanted a reminder of those earlier holidays. A scrap face, Dresden trim and vintage crepe paper are all elements that make up this holiday heirloom.
And you thought that nothing under the tree or in your stocking was the worst that could happen for bad behavior! You better watch out....