Santa's Helpers

Posted by Alicia On Thursday, December 16, 2010 0 comments

With Christmas approaching we've been watching some holiday movies to get in the spirit of things. The cute and joyful elves, running around a workshop making toys, getting Santa hot chocolate and having snowball fights were not always the type of creatures whom Santa associated himself with. These are the upbeat, positive men and women known as "Santa's Little Helpers". This is modern Santa. Jolly Santa. DULL Santa. The St. Nick of yore, however, ran with a more interesting crowd.

Brief history lesson: Saint Nicholas was the bringer of gifts. But there can be no mistaking the fact that Santa is an anagram for Satan. Back in the day Saint Nicholas was joined by a companion who has gone by many names but most often resembled the traditional horned image of the Devil. Saint Nicholas was the was the good man who gave out rewards, while his companion - whether he was known as Krampus, Knecht Ruprecht, Klaubauf, Pelznickel, Belsnickel, Hans Muff, Drapp, Le Père Fouettard or Zwarte Piet - was the other side of the coin.

Now, I say that this man/creature was the jolly man's companion, but it was much worse than that. Saint Nicholas wasn't going out for beers with this guy after a night of gift giving and/or whipping. This relationship was hierarchical and Saint Nick used this men for his bidding. The servants that accompany Saint Nicholas often wore black and carried a sack and switches. Now of course a saint doesn't want to get his hands dirty with the blood of innocent children. But to cast a man (or in some cases a half man/half goat hybrid) into indentured servitude and on top of that, force that man to kidnap, drown or beat small children does implicate the gift giving, red robe wearing "saint" in some forms of evil doing.

So enjoy this holiday, centered around a tradition of beating children and stuffing them in sacks.

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