Krampus knows who is naughty. Oh, yes he does.
When it comes to holiday mythology, Krampus is a blast from the Bavarian past. Those pagans had some pretty weird myths that persist even to this day.
Today the common wisdom is we don’t want to scare little Jimmy or Janie around the holidays, and heaven forbid we use anything involving Christmas gifts (or the absence thereof) to bribe children into good behavior. We wouldn’t want to give the little critters nightmares or saddle them with performance anxiety, now would we? We just want everyone to get his or her 12th place trophy, so nobody has to endure any of the humiliation that is rightfully deserved when one’s performance completely sucks. That goes right along with that old standby,”Stay behind with the rest of the class,” and all of that happy PC horseshit that has put most of the American educational system squarely in the shitter.
Because a parent with the motivation to home school won’t take your shit, or your excuses, kids. If I had to do it over again…I would not have subjected my son to public schools (even though they weren’t quite as bad then.)
Heaven forbid we do any damage to his or her precious little self-esteem- even if by sheltering children we consign them to a life of mediocrity and allow them to become habitual freeloaders and whiners and just plain people who suck.
Back in the dark ages (rural Ohio in the 1970s…) it was more than OK to hang the fear of no Christmas gifts over children’s heads. You could scare kids in any way imaginable to make them behave, as long as it didn’t leave any marks, bruises or bleeding that would be visible in public.
He knows when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake.
He knows when you’ve been bad or good…and he’s here for your soul to take!
Ok, so I may have confused Krampus with Freddy Krueger (I did have quite a thing for 80’s slasher flicks back in the day) but it’s sort of the same concept.
I can agree that keeping a child in a constant state of terror has its disadvantages, especially when one factors in stress-induced illnesses, but as far as behavior control goes, you can’t beat fear. I spent most of my childhood scared shitless of virtually everything, but the upside was, I was quiet and didn’t cause trouble. I was mortally afraid to cause trouble, because in my world even cutting a popcorn fart would bring down the Wrath of God. In my mother’s economy farting was considered a sin that you had to bring to Confession. Really. Farting.
The bad thing was that I got in trouble even for doing things most parents would consider “right” – such as hiding in a corner reading and trying to remain invisible so I wouldn’t get the shit beat out of me by my sisters and the neighborhood kids. Most parents would be delighted if their children were quiet and unobtrusive to the point of blending into the wall.
I got really good at making myself scarce. It is a valuable skill even today. Especially today.
Of course, as in all things, balance and moderation is the key. It disturbs me that the message to kids today is that no matter what you do, we just luv, luv, you anyway, and we think you’re fantastic and excellent and perfect, even if your only skill is sucking up valuable oxygen. Nobody ever dares to tell a child his or her performance sucks even when it clearly does. When parents and teachers purvey the 12th place awards and all that feel good nonsense, it sends a message loud and clear that ending up being 40+ wearing Hello Kitty jammies and playing video games in your parents’ basement is a perfectly viable path to pursue.
My parents took the opposite extreme. They took the noblesse oblige narrative to a level unheard of today. I got the constant covert message that, “You suck even when you excel, because you can do better.” I got grounded and lost basic privileges for “B” grades, for instance.
Most of the time this works out for me. Unless someone wants me to do something I utterly hate, or anything late at night.