Children throughout eastern Europe eagerly await December 6th, which is known as St. Nicholas' Day, to see if the kindly old St. Nick has filled their shoes with goodies and candies. But for the naughty kids, well....they're lucky if they're still AROUND on the morning of December 6th because the night before is KRAMPUSNACHT.
In Norse mythology, Krampus is the son of Hel, a goddess who resides over the location of Hel, where a portion of the dead go after death. Krampus' appearance also borrows heavily from other Pagan entities from various locales, resulting in a horrifying embodiment of all that is...Christmas? He comes during the night of December 5th----Krampusnacht----and to the mildly naughty children, he might whip them with his switch or even leave the kid's parents a switch so they can do the whipping. The super naughty kids, however, might get thrown into Krampus' sack of horrors and carried off into the night.
Over the past five years or so, Krampus has increasingly become more popular throughout the United States, and this year, Luke and I finally got to meet him and St. Nick!
Oddbird, A Gift Emporium, located in Charleston, WV had a special Krampus/St. Nick meet-and-greet on Saturday evening. When I saw it come up in my Facebook news feed, I knew we absolutely, positively had to go. We got there a few minutes early, so we took some time to look around the shop. I was super impressed! This was my first time at visiting Oddbird, and I was blown away by the unique selection of gifts, art, clothing, and household goods they offered. Everything was extremely reasonably priced, and all the staff were extremely sweet and helpful....including St. Nick and Krampus!
Since we were there a few minutes early, we just happened to be near the back of the store when St. Nick came out. Luke was thrilled, especially since this was his first meeting with Santa this season. St. Nick immediately came over to him and told him HE was the first KID he'd seen that year! Luke thought that was awesome and talked about it all evening, lol. He had a nice lil' chat with St. Nick and then out came Krampus to join us.
Luke was a little unsure of Krampus, but Krampus was very good to him, lol. He shook his hand and told Luke that he wasn't on his naughty list, so he had nothing to worry about. We did a little more shopping, finding lots of cool gifts for family and friends (and a Krampus ornament us!), and then met the Christmas-y duo out front for a photo.
I was very pleased with the whole experience, and am so glad we got to come out Saturday evening to support an awesome local business, partake in a few refreshments, and meet a very polite and well spoken demon. It was a great kick-off to the holiday season for us! A very special Thank You goes to the Oddbird Gift Emporium for hosting the event. Please check them out on Facebook and on their website, and if you're local to the Charleston, WV area, go check them out in person! They really do have some awesome stuff and you're guaranteed to find something for just about everyone on your list...including yourself! Also, if you'd like to learn more about Krampus and Krampusnacht, NatGeo has a very informative article to check out HERE.
*Behave yourselves out there....because Krampus is coming Monday night!*