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!
Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.