The 7th Blog of Christmas: Ghosties and Ghoulies?

Yeah, I’m behind. Shocking, right? Anyway, I’m getting caught up so that I can wish you…Season’s Greetings? 



This holiday may you be
blessed with the sentiments of the season: peace, love, and…terror? Back that
up. I think there’s been some holiday confusion. Ghosts, ghouls, and fear
belong at Halloween, not Christmas. Even then, it’s done in good fun. Watching
a frightening movie or donning a scary mask gives us a chance to laugh at our
irrational fear. As adults we know the movie is fiction and the mask is
plastic. But to a six-year-old the fear of chained ghosts, child-stealing
demons, or worse, present-stealing monsters doesn’t seem so irrational. Yet
these are the ‘Christmas stories’ we tell our kids.

Granted, there aren’t too
many six-year-olds reading Dickens before bed, but it is a bit odd that one of
the most famous tales of Christmas is really a ghost story. The spirits in A
Christmas Carol
may not be overly
terrifying, especially in the children’s adaptations of this tale, but they are
ghosts, ghosts that warn of eternal damnation, nonetheless. Besides, any Harry Potter
fan will tell you that the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is clearly a
soul-sucking Dementor just twitching for Voldy to give the order to suck out
Scrooge’s reforming soul.

Speaking of reclamations,
Dr. Suess’s Grinch isn’t exactly warm and fuzzy prior to his transformation.
“You’re a mean one” doesn’t quite cut it for a green, hairy monster who sneaks
into people’s homes during the night to rob them of their Christmas. Frankly, I
find many of Suess’s characters a little creepy, but the long-fingered Grinch
with his sleazy voice and evil eyebrows is particularly terrifying.

But nothing beats Krampus
of the Alpine countries. Forget Marley’s chains and the Grinch stealing
presents. The Krampus is a horned demon meant to resemble the devil. He carries
a rusty chain, a whip to beat children with, and a bathtub with which to carry
away the particularly bad ones. Forget Elf on the Shelf or the threat of coal.
Krampus is some serious brand of nasty. If Christmas is mainly for the kids,
Krampus is for the bitter, child-hating relatives who wish the family rugrats
would not just disappear, but be carried away to the depths of hell.

Okay, I’m having a change
of heart about the elf. Perhaps a jolly little toy to keep the kids in line is
the way to go. It certainly beats the alternatives. Anyone else sleeping with
the lights on tonight?

Haunting, ah, I mean Happy Holidays!

Special thanks to K. A. Krisko for suggesting Krampus as a blog topic this year. I always love learning new things, especially freaky and somewhat terrifying things!


Filed under The Rest of Life

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