In the U.S., many little girls and boys are told that, if they don’t behave, they won’t get any presents on Christmas.  Sound like a significant threat?

Some cultures–parts of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, and Italy–have an anti-Santa Claus, Krampus.  Krampus is Santa’s sidekick; he’s his evil twin, if you will.  He stalks the streets hitting people with switches.  If a child is bad, Krampus will take the child’s gifts away.  If the child is awake Christmas Eve night, Krampus will take the child away!

Krampus:

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Images found here, here, here, here, here, and herevia,

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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