Steely Presents Original “Bad Santa”

January 4, 2014 | Filed under: Articles

LHS Members and their guests had no idea what to expect at the December 15th program “Merry Krampus” which was presented by Larchmont local and Christmas ornament collector, Bill Steely. After explaining the history of Saint Nick’s evil counterpart, Krampus, Bill showed a video of an actual Alpine Krampuslauf, a parade of young men in elaborate, grotesque costumes — the viewing experience punctuated by nervous laughter and occasional gasps from the audience.

“According to tradition,” said Steely, “if you were good, Saint Nicholas brought goodies. But for those children who misbe-haved, the punishment was Krampus: a whipping with switches for small offenses, but for the very naughty they would be grabbed by the creature’s long tongue and taken away to be eaten or sent to Hell!”

Afterwards, Bill showed some examples of Krampus items from his extensive Christmas collection. “Fortunately,” said Steely, “Krampus never became part of the Christmas tradition in the United States. Americans embraced the kinder, gentler Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus.”

— Dee van Eyck, LHS Board Member