Bad Santas

Not all Santa Clauses are benevolent. Those of us who grew up in the favored and luxurious USA, a nation still burning through its natural resources which took eons to accumulate, and which we will squander during the next few decades, had as children an idea of Santa Claus as a kind and generous demiurge, a being who would grant us what our selfish youthful souls wanted badly. Maybe back in the 1960s!

Other cultures are a bit more realistic. As well as the nice Santa, there is his grim companion Krampus, a fearful man in Alpine European cautionary tales told to keep those pesky kids in check:


A related story from one of our most unreliable narrator gay comic writers David Sedaris:

Six To Eight…

The cartoon TV series Futurama also featured a malign Santa:

So you better think twice…




Filed under Essays and Articles

2 responses to “Bad Santas

  1. Joan

    I remember fearing a pretty malign Santa from my youngest days. Whoever wrote that song, Santa Clause is coming to town” better known as ‘You better watch out’, should be boiled in oil.
    For weeks before Xmas the ‘better watch out’ part of that mantra was sung to me by my mother.

    “You better watch out
    You better not cry
    Better not pout
    I’m telling you why
    Santa Claus is coming to town
    He’s making a list
    And checking it twice;
    Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
    Santa Claus is coming to town
    He sees you when you’re sleeping
    He knows when you’re awake
    He knows if you’ve been bad or good
    So be good for goodness sake!
    O! You better watch out!
    You better not cry
    Better not pout
    I’m telling you why
    Santa Claus is coming to town
    Santa Claus is coming to town”

    Does anyone but me get these vibes of grown-up Judgement Day from this song?
    The apparently Godlike qualities of this portly but invisible man pretty much hog tied my activities in the weeks before Xmas. I can’t imagine what I could have done to anger the old fellow, but Mom kept coming up with these threats. Apparently I was a fairly good pouter, which must have qualified me for the bad list..that and not being about to stand drinking orange juice.

    Soo I was pretty thrilled to finally find out that Santa was our parents. I figured at least I didn’t have to blame myself and the invisible score taker if the stocking came up short. BTW did anyone else get oranges and apples and nuts in their stockings? Geesh! What was she, some sort of early health nut?

    I firmly vowed that my kids would get nothing but unhealthy candy canes and cheap small toys in their stockings, and I have never regretted it to this day.


  2. Joan

    But if you really want to be scared to death (for no appreciable reason) Get a load of this:

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