There are many ideas expressed this time of year about how to “fix” Christmas, and most of those ideas are garbage. The most popular proposed solution seems to be divorcing the holiday from its relationship to materialism and consumerism, which seems like it would be a fine idea to consider if I could actually hear the salient talking points over the crisp, bass-heavy music pumping through these Beats by Dre headphones (available at Best Buy for only $299.99). No, the only viable solution is to manipulate the narrative the holiday is situated in — hey, it worked for changing out national perception of Lebron James — which means doing away with the silly Santa fable we’ve coddled our children with and instead introducing the story of Krampus.
Krampus, as you probably know, is a hircine and serpent-tongued demon who, in Alpine Christmas traditions, accompanies Saint Nicolas around the town. His job is to terrify the bad children, and the punishments he deals out can range from simply beating kids with sticks to stuffing the most poorly behaved ones into his basket to be carried off to a midnight feast and/or Hell. Basically, he’s the holiday creature Greg Schiano would most support, and the benefits of introducing Krampus into our cultural Christmas narrative are threefold:
1) It would do away with the whole coal-as-punishment thing
I’m sorry, but I never understood why the threat of receiving coal in a stocking was supposed to inspire me to act responsibly. Why would we reward greedy, whiny brats with a precious and non-renewable resource? Isn’t that what government oil subsidies are for? Using coal as a deterrent for bad behavior is a flawed and broken system.
2) There would be innumerable debates about authenticity
If you’ve ever seen footage of a Krampuslauf, then you would know that dressing up as Krampus and drunkenly running through the streets is something die-hard Krampus fans take seriously. Since every Alpine country has a slightly different version of Krampus, introducing his myth into our culture would create an environment in which bearded hipsters could endlessly debate as to whether or not someone’s Krampus outfit is entirely accurate/authentic. There’s really nothing we do better as a country than appropriating traditions from other cultures and then pointing judgmental fingers at those poor saps who fail to appropriate with 100% accuracy, and bringing Krampus into our Christmas tradition would only increase the opportunities to scoff at the inauthentic. (And imagine the outrage over the racist Krumpus Halloween costumes!)
3) There would be endless editorials about the potential damage done to children
Imagine the click-bait headlines! Imagine the armchair analyses! Imagine all the debates formatted as false binaries! Is the threat of Krampus psychological damaging to children? Is worrying about the potential psychological damage done by Krampus reflective of the exact attitude that creates so many spoiled children? If we eliminate dodgeball and bullying and Krampus, then how will today’s children be tough enough to fight the Nazis? These are just some of the thrilling questions you could be debating on Facebook with some guy you barely remember from high school, and those valuable arguments can’t be had without first installing Krampus into our cultural psyche.
So let’s welcome Krampus into our arms this holiday season. Really, it’s the only way to save Christmas. (And “Children Roasting on an Open Fired” and “What Child Is This (That Tastes So Damn Good)?” would be an awesome carols.)