After an unusually stressful year, parents across the nation are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Krampus, the supernatural being of Alpine lore who arrives at Christmastime to frighten ill-behaved children. American parents, driven to the brink of sanity by pandemic lockdowns, online schooling, and constant proximity to their children, are hoping that Krampus will offer a respite from 24/7 parenting.

The parents interviewed wished to remain anonymous, and were all in agreement that their children could benefit from a visit with the goat-footed demon. “My kids haven’t stopped fighting for eight months,” an exhausted mother explained. “If Krampus takes them for a day or two, maybe it’ll finally be quiet around here. Even if he only took one, that would really help.”

Krampus, known in European folklore as the sinister counterpart of St. Nicholas, is a popular figure among horror fans. This year, many new fans have been drawn to his legend, hoping for a break from their children’s behavior. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in corporal punishment,” said one irritated father. “But if Krampus decides to swat my kids with a birch rod, it’s out of my hands. Maybe it’ll finally teach them a lesson.”

Parents hope that Krampus will teach their children the true meaning of Christmas.

Another parent, mother of two teenagers, agrees. “Krampus can take my kids back with him for as long as he wants,” she said. “My daughter can get her ring light out of my living room and film TikToks from his lair for a change. As for my son, maybe a few days without the Xbox will teach him not to steal my credit card. I’m still trying to get the money back for those OnlyFans charges.”

All the parents agreed that they love their children, and do not want Krampus to take them forever. However, they are hoping for a few days of free babysitting and some lessons about the importance of family and the true spirit of Christmas. “If Santa Claus works with Krampus, he can’t be that bad,” one dad suggested. “It’s probably like good cop, bad cop.”

As of press time, none of the families interviewed were aware that Krampus traditionally arrives on December 5th, meaning that their children had escaped his wrath for at least another year.

About the Author

Kristin Cleaves writes horror and dark fiction. Her work has been published by Quill and Crow Publishing House, Ghost Orchid Press, Black Telephone Magazine, and more.

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