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(6,907 posts)
Fri Dec 6, 2013, 07:53 PM Dec 2013

A question about schools and holidays

I have a question that I would like to hear opinions on.

I think that generally it is a good idea to introduce children to other cultures and other beliefs.

So here is my question. Today is Dec. 6. Do you think it would be a good idea at a public school for Krampus to visit fourth grade classrooms?

It happened in my children's school today. I know it was with good intentions of teaching about folklore. The German teacher dressed as Krampus and came into a math classroom, slapped desks with a stick and gave a boy a lump of coal. And the folktale was explained that in Germany Santa Claus keeps the nice list, an Krampus keeps the naughty list and brings naughty kids coal, spanks them with a switch, and carries children off in a sack to eat them.

Some of the kids were pretty freaked out.

Was this OK?

I feel bothered by it, but I'd like to hear some other opinions that might talk me down.


Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Yule season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair.

Krampus is represented as a beast-like creature, generally demonic in appearance. The creature has roots in Germanic folklore; however, its influence has spread far beyond German borders. Traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, northern Friuli, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Croatia during the first week of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December (the eve of Saint Nicholas day on many church calendars), and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells. Krampus is featured on holiday greeting cards called Krampuskarten. There are many names for Krampus, as well as many regional variations in portrayal and celebration.

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A question about schools and holidays (Original Post) d_r Dec 2013 OP
I don't see a problem with it Niceguy1 Dec 2013 #1
WOW…we just had Halloween…if that didn't freak you out, I really don't think Krampus... Tikki Dec 2013 #2
That doesn't talk me down yet d_r Dec 2013 #3
but honestly d_r Dec 2013 #4
All you can do is make it a parent teachable moment... Tikki Dec 2013 #5
that is good advice d_r Dec 2013 #6


(14,607 posts)
2. WOW…we just had Halloween…if that didn't freak you out, I really don't think Krampus...
Fri Dec 6, 2013, 09:09 PM
Dec 2013

should be a problem.

If Halloween and it's characters offend you then I could understand.

ps did the class get to eat some Stollen (yummy) after the presentation..if not, that I would be upset about.


(6,907 posts)
3. That doesn't talk me down yet
Fri Dec 6, 2013, 09:17 PM
Dec 2013

The thing is, children in the US have experience being eased in to Halloween for years. To me, the four-year-old Halloween for US children is a great time of working through real and pretend. But that's different from a scary character you don't recognize showing up in math class. I don't think that teachers dressed up on Halloween and went around to the classes, so that's not really working. They don't celebrate halloween or allow the kids to dress up that day.

I guess another way I'm thinking about it is, would it be OK for a teacher to dress up as santa claus and go to class talking about the naughty and nice list?

Remember, some of these kids are still believers. And some are still in the shakey zone. And some are Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas.

It freaked my son out a little but he got past it pretty quickly; another parent told me that the kids in another classroom were afraid to go out in the hall to the rest room after their meeting.

So it is still bugging me.


(14,607 posts)
5. All you can do is make it a parent teachable moment...
Fri Dec 6, 2013, 09:37 PM
Dec 2013

Go to the Library or the internets and share other Countries' Holiday legends and characters
with your child. Lose Krampus among the others.

You might mention to the teacher that a lesson before hand could have helped the class
better understand the character who showed up in class.


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