What’s happening at the Library: Krampus

Published 10:04 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Krampusnacht is Dec. 5th, which means Krampus is coming.

Many know about the man in the red suit who brings good children toys and gifts for Christmas, but fewer know who handles the naughty kids. Those kids are handled by Krampus, a creature with cloven hooves, goat’s horns, and a long, forked tongue. His handling of these naughty children involves everything from using birch rods on them to carting them away to the underworld.

Such a creature might seem to be an ill fit for a season about peace on earth and visions of sugar plums, but he has fans worldwide, especially in Austria and Germany. Some towns in Germany have a krampuslauf, or “Krampus Run,” where people dressed as Krampus will roam the streets and frighten attendees (think the Running of the Bulls with less messily trampled grownups and more playfully frightening children). These Krampus celebrations were even brought over to the US, culminating in events like Columbus, Ohio’s Krampus Run and Louisville’s Krampus Celebration. It’s not bad for a creature relegated to existing in Santa’s shadow.

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For those who still feel Krampus has no reason to be part of the season, it should be noted that there are plenty of scary holiday stories. Sure, Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” is a popular example (and it’s a classic example) but there are plenty of examples that blend the merry and the macabre. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (DVD Animation NIGH) combines Tim Burton’s signature spooky style with stop-motion animation hearkening back to Rankin-Bass Christmas specials like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (J DVD Children’s SANT). Many might remember “Gremlins” (DVD Comedy GREM) for their mischievous and malevolent monsters but it takes place during a snowy holiday night whose silence is ruined by said monsters. There are even darker takes on the holidays like “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” (DVD Horror RARE), a Finnish film that features some Gremlin-like elves. One of my personal favorites in this genre is, of course, “Krampus” (DVD Horror KRAM), which stars the other big guy doling out some punishment to naughty families.

There are a lot of stories that all celebrate the holidays in their own way, just as everyone celebrates the holidays in their own way. Whether you’re a Hallmark movie fan, or Krampus fan, the library can help you find many ways to celebrate:

Check out our lobby this month to see where you can help others this holiday. You can bring used blankets for pets in need, bring toys for Toys for Tots, or coats and cans of non-expired food for Operation Happiness. Sure, this puts you on the nice list, but it’s also just great to help those less fortunate.

On Dec. 6th, at 2 p.m., the Kentucky Picture Show’s feature showcases four women in Ballygar, Ireland, circa 1967. There’s just one tantalizing dream for these women who hope to taste freedom and escape the gauntlet of domestic life: a pilgrimage to the sacred French town of Lourdes. And with a little benevolent interference from their cheeky and rebellious priest, close friends Lily, Eileen, Dolly and Sheila are the “lucky” few to win this ticket for a journey of a lifetime at their riotous local raffle night. Rated PG-13. Popcorn and snacks provided.

Why should kids be the only ones to get storytime? On Dec. 7th, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m,. the library will be having Adult Storytime. Sit, enjoy some snacks, have some fun, and listen to some classic and contemporary stories being read aloud. Feel free to bring your favorite short story to read and share with others. Napping is not allowed because you won’t be able to get to sleep later.

Please join us on Saturday, Dec. 9th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the library’s Holiday Open House. We have a full day of fun activities planned, including music, storytellers, crafts, writing workshops, light refreshments, and activities for all ages (children, teens, & adults). Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be here from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30–4 p.m. for photos.