Ian-Patrick's Mailart & Postcards

Documentation of my responses to mail art calls, collaborations & exchanges through the postal system. If you wish to do an exchange mail me something with a return address on it:

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Santa Claus's lesser known accomplice ...Krampus!


Santa Claus may be a wonderful symbol of the holiday spirit, but time and consumer society have warped him to the point where he makes little sense. The idea behind Santa, originally, was to carrot-and-stick little boys and girls into good behavior—he’s got a list, he’s checking it twice, and if you fall under the ‘naughty’ category it’s switches and coals for you. But what child in America is at all afraid of receiving a lump of coal under the tree? What child even knows what a ‘switch’ is? Thanks to a range of factors—Dr. Spock and Mattel are high on the list—Santa’s beneficence is a fait accompli.

Alpine Europe, on the other hand, doesn’t have this problem. This is because years ago St. Nick’s job was split—while the jolly old elf delivered the goods, an evil, goat-horned spirit called the Krampus brought switches and bad dreams to the boys and girls of Austria, southern Germany, Switzerland, and far northern Italy.

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