My friend Anne reminds us that it's Krampus time (be sure to watch the catchy Krampus YouTube video). In fact, tonight (Dec. 5) is Krampusnacht for Austria and several other European countries who know a good thing when they see one.
For those who don't know, Krampus is no less than the Anti-Claus, the guy jolly ol' St. Nick put in charge of doling out suitable punishments to bad little boys and girls. He might take away your presents and leave you with nothing but a lump of coal. He might whack you with his big stick/bundle of birch branches (and should you happen to be an attractive young female he'll do this to you anyway, just for the hell of it... maybe copping a feel or two in the process). If you've been really bad, he might stuff you in his sack and... take you away (where is left unspecified, which is much scarier than a particular location).
Yeah, Krampus is sort of a demon frat boy on a drunken rampage, but he's a Big Deal in Europe where on this very night men dress in elaborate Krampus costumes and parade through the streets having a grand ol' time (more here). People even exchanged Krampus postcards, which beats the hell out of the sweet, sappy, maudlin, Yuletime crap my relatives send.
The Saturnalian, Cacophonic, Discordian aspects are slowly gaining popularity in the U. S. which, believe me, I'm all over like maggots on garbage--alternative December belongs to Cthulhu and Krampus! Let's make it so!