Saturday, December 20, 2014

Deck the Halls

Anyone who has read this blog in the past knows that last year I made a solemn vow (and I believe also the year before) that there would be no more ornaments bought for our tree.  Enough was enough!  It was fine when we had the 9 ft tree but now that we are in closer quarters there are three feet less to decorate.  And that makes a difference - this year certain decorations were not even taken from their place in the big decoration box.  However ....  and you just knew there had to be a however didn't you?  As we decorated the tree I realized that there was one Christmas legend that was missing:  we didn't have a Krampus!  I mean how can you have a Christmas tree without a Krampus on it?

Well that has now been remedied and an image of the beast is now hanging on our tree as a warning to all bad little boys and girls!

Krampus now hangs on our tree - ready to give a sound switching to naughty boys and girls;
and ready to cart the very bad off in his basket to.... well heaven only knows where.
For those of you who may not know Krampus is a demonic sort  who shows up on Saint Nicholas Eve (December 5th)  to punish all the bad little boys and girls in Austria, Bavaria and Eastern Europe.  The naughty are given a taste of his switch and the really bad are thrown into his basket and carried away - some say to his lair others to hell.  Now if that doesn't make you behave yourself nothing will.

Frankly I'm not sure I would trust either Saint or Demon to bring me a gift
the way they are portrayed on this Austrian greeting card.  One looks almost
as ill-natured as the other.

Krampus often accompanies the good Saint on his rounds on December 6th - I mean you can't expect a saint to do the dirty work can you?  So it seemed only right and proper that if we had someone to punish the bad we needed someone to reward the good.

Cut out sheets like this were popular at one time, particularly in Germany and England
- and the days before Christmas were spent cutting, pasting and assembling all manner of
decorations for the holiday.
I have a bad habit (well several really) of buying facsimiles of the sheets of old cut out toys, theatres etc.  I have every intention at the time of purchase of snipping, cutting, folding etc but often the lovely coloured sheets languish for months or sometimes years.  A fine example is my working model of the Pantomime Theatre in Tivoli complete with Peacock Curtain.   And another would be the Sankt Nikolaus that I bought in Dresden just after Christmas back in 1998.  It was meant to grace our Christmas festivities in 1999 but somehow got rolled and stored away.  It moved back to Canada with us and saw three or four more moves until I came upon it - creased and a bit worse for wear - just last week.  So foam board, glue stick, exacto-knife and paper fasteners in hand I pasted, cut and assembled him last Sunday.  

Finally Sankt Nikolaus has taken his place greeting anyone coming to our door between now
and January 6th. 
He now welcomes all the good boys and girls who knock on our door with a promise of all manner of games, horns, drums and goodies.  And once inside as they can look at the tree and see what would have been waiting for them if they had indeed been naughty rather than nice.

December 20 - 1999: Macau is handed over to China by Portugal.


Anna said...

These old-fashioned cut-out decorations are lovely!

When you mentioned the legends of Christmas, do you mean your entire tree this year is following that theme? Is an image of it in another of your posts?

Ur-spo said...

Your ornaments (like everything you have) are exquisite and wonderful. I like the notion of a Krampus. Of course, being a Jungian, we always have to have Shadow for every good light.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You know that cut-out decoration looks suspiciously like Santa on top and Krampus on the bottom. O Eternal Duality!