So, my dears, we have arrived at Christmas week. Everyone is waiting for the Great Shaman to make his appearance. Who is this shaman, you ask? Why it's Santa Claus in his true form! If you want to read all about it, check out my blog post from December 12, 2012.
Santa would be my #1 fey of the holidays. There are, however, those people who wait for other personages to visit during this sacred season. Who might they be? Well, let's take a brief look. All I can say is: kids today could certainly benefit from a visit or two from some of these darker figures! Here, then, are the rest of the twelve “feys” of Christmas:
Hans Trapp: (France/ Belgium) This scary tramp follows St. Nick on his rounds, dispensing lumps of coal to naughty children, and flogging those that behaved the worse. He is sometimes called “The Whipping Father”. I bet he'd replace visions of sugar plums in your sleep!
Gryla: (Iceland) Gryla is the mother of the Yule Lads (see below). She is a giantess who lives in a cave. Throughout the year, she can smell the children who misbehave. At Yuletide, she leaves the cave, seeking out these children. When she finds them, she eats them. And you thought YOUR holiday menus were wild!
Yule Lads: There are 13 of these gnome-like creatures. These show up in the village 13 days before Christmas, leaving either rewards or punishments on the window sill. These could be either toys or rotting potatoes. How nice.
Belsnickel: (German). This little guy, dressed much like Santa, comes to town two weeks before Christmas. He carries with him a switch. This is to frighten children into being good, so Santa will leave them presents. (Nothing like positive reinforcement!)
Pere Noel: (France) Papa Noel comes to your door on Christmas Eve. You must leave out your shoes filled with carrots and treats for his donkey. He will take these offerings and – if you are good – leave toys and treats for you. If you are bad – you get coal. The treats or coal are only big enough to fill your shoes. See, I like this. It cuts down on unleashed greed. Happy Xmas! Here's a ball, a pencil, and some caramels. Here's some marbles, an orange, and a peppermint stick. Be happy with small things! (Or course, a new cell phone, or a ruby ring, would also fit in my shoe. Ya hearin' me Papa?)
Ded Moroz: (Russian) The Soviets had to secularize the Christmas holidays. But, how do you kill off Santa? Simple – replace him with Ded Mozor. He is the embodiment of an old Russian folk figure, “Old Man Frost”. His companion is his granddaughter, “The Snow Maiden”. Together, these make personal appearances and hand out little gifts. (It's Russia. They probably PRAY for extra coal!)
Yule Cat: (Iceland) The Yule Cat lurks around the Christmas countryside. If it comes across someone who did not receive new clothes, it eats them. See? Stop complaining about the socks and underwear from Granny – she's saving your life!
Krampus: (German) Krampus is my favorite! He looks like the devil, has a sack or basket with him, seeks out terrible children and, when located, hauls them off to hell! Talk about being direct! How Teutonic! There are Krampus parades, Krampus runs...it's glorious! There are tons of old postcards featuring Krampus. Search for them on Google. They are special!
Perchta: (German) Perchta is “The Bright One”, a possible version of Holde the Goddess of Winter. She has a “light” side, which brings luck and fortune if seen, and a “dark” side which chases away demons. Either way, seeing Perchta is a good thing – unless you're a demon.
Tomte: (Sweden) Tomte is a little, elderly man who brings gifts to good children. I guess he is kinda like an elf on the shelf...with dentures.
|Baker Street Babes - 221B door|
A few weeks ago, SNL introduced a new character for the holidays...Sump N' Claus. Check it out!
|Baker Street Babes Xmas Tree|
Happy Holidays, Everyone, from me and the Rufus!