Thursday, December 31, 2015

Snow Maiden

The Snow Maiden is a Russian fairy tale about a couple who wished for a child; one winter, they saw the other children making snowmen, and decided to make their own snow child. The snow child came to life in the form of a little girl. The snow maiden lived with the couple as their child, but was clearly supernatural-she grew quickly, was happiest in the cold, and avoided the fire. As spring came, she became sadder. The other children invited her to play in the forest, a game of jumping over a small fire. When it came the snow maiden's turn, she jumped, but evaporated into the air as she went over the fire and was never seen again.

The Snow Maiden list of tales on D. L. Ashliman's page has a couple other related tales from around the world; the plots are different (for example, most other versions seem to include a fatal romance), but they have something in common: tales involving supernatural winter females all seem to end very tragically. 

The story of the same name ("Snegurochka," translated "The Snow Maiden") has been made into a play and an opera in Russia, but again the story is a bit different. The daughter of Spring and Frost wishes for human companionship, but is not capable of true love; once she does finally fall in love, her heart's warmth melts her and she dies. The story has been redone with a slightly happier ending, such as Ruth Sanderson who keeps the heroine alive, but as she learns to love she becomes a mortal human, so the ending is still bittersweet, as she will now have to die someday. These tales bear a resemblance to mermaid tales, in which romances are almost always doomed.

Illustrations by Ruth Sanderson

The Snow Maiden used to be commonly seen in Russia at Christmas in the form of ornaments and decorations; but when the celebration of Christmas was discouraged after the Russian Revolution (it was too bourgeois and religious), she was moved to New Year's, which was allowed in 1935. She has been associated with being the daughter of Ded Moroz, or Grandfather Frost, a Russian gift-giving version of Santa Claus who delivered presents on New Year's Eve.

Ukrainian Ded Moroz

Also, doesn't this Sanderson illustration for "Snow Princess" scream "Beauty and the Beast" to you?

Angela Barrett

Monday, December 28, 2015

From Toys to Husbands: Children and Romance in Fairy Tales

I got to see two productions of "The Nutcracker" this year, one that my student was in, and then I wanted to see the Joffrey's classic production of Nutcracker one last time before they switch to a different production next year!

One thing that stood out to me this year as I watched the story unfold was how odd it was that Clara is such an odd mixture of child and woman. At the beginning of the story she is very excited to be getting dolls and dolls beds for Christmas, but the whole story is a romance. Although she doesn't marry the Nutcracker Prince at the end of the ballet, E.T.A. Hoffman's original story makes it all the more jarring-the heroine (who was originally named Marie) begins the story at 7, and the conclusion says that she and the Prince were "married after a year and a day." Yes, some time has passed, but not long enough for that to be any less troubling!

Cameron's Frog Prince
Katharine Cameron

Yet this is not a new issue in fairy tales (and yes, I'm aware that "Nutcracker" isn't technically a fairy tale). I've already mentioned that I find it kind of creepy that the Princess in Frog Prince is so childish at the beginning, especially in the Grimms' version-her golden ball (another toy) is her favorite thing, she needs to be taught (in a rather condescending manner) about the "importance of keeping your word" (not the danger of letting strange supernatural males sleep in your bed), and after throwing the frog against a wall, she all of a sudden marries him.

Rackham's Snowdrop
Arthur Rackham

Yet another seven year old fairy tale character ends up married in the Grimms' version of Snow White. Some say that she must grow during her enchanted sleep, but even then it's hardly more comforting-she would still emotionally be a little girl after waking up (there are plenty more disturbing things about the Grimms' Prince I won't go into here). And why is her age even mentioned? Unlike Clara/Marie and the Frog Prince's bride, her story could have happened to an older teenager/young woman. Her stepmother is jealous of her beauty-an odd thing for a seven year old girl-and she is tempted not by toys, but by an apple and beauty products. Removing the age from the story would make total sense.

I've already done a little looking into the fact that, in other cultures, many girls really did get married off extremely young (see Frog Prince and Marriageable Age). It's possible that in some of these stories, the idea of a young girl going right from baby dolls to making babies would have seemed more natural, but it's also possible that the extreme and sudden transition was intentionally meant to show how unnatural the process felt for many of those young girls. Often fairy tales served to be the voice of the voiceless, as women passed down their experiences to those in the next generation.
Joffrey Ballet

Yet maybe it's not all that unnatural. It's very common for young children to have romances, even though they are not sexual ones. I remember having my first "boyfriend"at age 6. It was a label that really had no meaning, but for many people of all ages, having a significant other can be more of a status symbol or form of identity than anything else. Children see romance stories all the time, and it's natural to have crushes, even though they might not think through the logical outcomes of those crushes.
Joffrey Ballet

And stories like the "Nutcracker" may just be an exploration of that odd time when young girls are still children in many ways, but starting to feel that pull towards adulthood. It can also be seen as a sweet story of a girl's first crush-in the Joffrey version, Clara is the only one to join in both the children's and the adults' dances.

Thoughts on the subject?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Fir Tree and the Snowman

Hans Christian Andersen has some cold weather appropriate fairy tales, but fair warning; they are among his most depressing and pessimistic.
Vintage Postcard

"The Fir Tree" (summary, full text)is a tale about a young tree who can never appreciate the stage of life he is in-he longs to be bigger, and once he is big he wants to be cut down like other trees, and once he is cut down and made into a Christmas tree, his glory lasts for only a night and he is discarded and eventually burned. On the one hand, the importance of being content with your current life situation and appreciating what you do have is something that I need to be reminded of sometimes, but in the tale it comes across as a bit preachy. Scholars say that, although Andersen had already written his share of sad tales, "The Fir Tree" is the first to express the pointlessness of life.

The story, when retold, is sometimes given a more hopeful ending-like following a pine cone from the tree that is thrown into the forest, to perhaps become another tree. It's been made into a children's book and I remember flipping through it once and thinking they made the ending a lot happier but now I don't remember how...

The tale has similarities to a later story of Andersen's, "The Snowman," (summary, full text) in which a snowman falls in love with a stove, and goes the way of all snowmen and melts. The story is thought to express Andersen's frustration in his own love life (which reads like a soap opera...someone should really consider making a tv show out of Andersen's life, you can read a little of the background for "The Snowman" on wikipedia).

This version of "The Snowman" has probably been overshadowed by Raymond Briggs' similarly tragic story, but at least Briggs gives the Snowman a sweet friendship with a little boy, and a magical night's adventure to keep it more bittersweet and less outright tragic. The problem of inevitable melting is solved by Frosty the Snowman, who is made of magical Christmas snow and able to come back every Christmas. Although Frosty began as a song in 1950, he has become a sort of modern folk tale, and he and other characters such as Rudolph have been ingrained into the idea of traditional Christmas lore.

Hopefully this post wasn't too much of a downer-Merry Christmas/happy holidays, dear readers!

Also-for more on Andersen's sadder Christmas tales, check out what Aiyanne Chan wrote about the history of Andersen's "Little Match Girl" over at Fairy Bat Tales!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Old Magic of Christmas

Here's a library book I found that I think many of you would enjoy:

’Tis the Season for Witches, Elves, and a Legion of Ghosts 

Not so very long ago, Yuletide was as much a chilling season of ghosts and witches as it was a festival of goodwill. In The Old Magic of Christmas, you’ll rub elbows with veiled spirits, learn the true perils of elves, and discover a bestiary of enchanted creatures. Rife with the more frightful characters from folklore and the season’s most petulant ghosts, this book takes you on a spooky sleigh ride from the silvered firs of a winter forest to the mirrored halls of the Snow Queen. Along the way, you’ll discover how to bring the festivities into your home with cookie recipes and craft instructions, as well as tips for delving more deeply into your relationship with the unseen.
Praise:“Steeped in history and adorned with a bit of enchantment, The Old Magic of Christmas is the perfect book to read by a winter’s fire with a mug of mulled cider in hand.” —Deborah Blake, author of The Witch’s Broom
“ . . . a fascinating journey into the stories behind the tinsel and bows.”—Doreen Shababy, author of The Wild & Weedy Apothecary
“ . . . an intriguing little tome that explores the darker side of the Yuletide holiday.”—Ellen Dugan, author of The Enchanted Cat
The book is a great way to enjoy the season we're in and learn about some of the older folk beliefs and traditions associated with  the Winter Solstice, Christmas, and New Year's. At some points the book can seem a little disjointed, but it really is a difficult thing to summarize all European folk traditions from the winter season. Most tales and legends vary slightly from place to place, and the book gives an overview rather than containing full stories. Still, there are a lot of interesting tidbits, and Raedisch will sometimes point out connections between the Christmas traditions and other famous fairy tales or fantasy literature.

I also appreciated what Raedisch pointed out in the introduction-the book, despite delving into the darker side of Christmas, is not meant to be Christmas horror, or to present all winter traditions as dark/violent. I find it fascinating to see how cultures adapt to the darkness and cold. It's natural that some beliefs would reflect the fears and terror that long dark nights would bring, especially before electricity. But a lot of the traditions are about defying the darkness-celebrations of light and goodwill almost serve to defy the gloom.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Elves at Christmas

The notion of elves being toymakers in the North Pole is a relatively recent one; however, there are much older folkloric beliefs concerning elves and their antics around the Christmas season. Elves might use that night to come to your house and have a party, and they might clear a dance floor if the family is out at church and frolic. They might also help themselves to your holiday feast! To get rid of them you can usually just turn on the lights, but be sure to be kind to them-you don't want to get on the bad side of elves, but they just may give you a gift in exchange for a favor! Some households would either leave porridge outside for the tomten (or elves/gnomes), or even leave a feast out on the table for them on Christmas Eve. This ritual is described more in the Christmas Carol at the end of this post.

In Iceland, New Year's Eve is Moving Day for the elves. It would be best to stay out of their way, but the very brave may try to use that as an opportunity to ask them what the future holds or receive treasures. Although, the ritual involves lying on the ground outside all night without falling asleep or moving, so it is often more dangerous than anything.

Encounters with elves can even be deadly at Christmas time, such as in the folktale of Hildur (who in some versions is a fairy queen but sometimes a Queen of the Elves). At her farm, a shepherd turns up dead every Christmas morning, and the cycle is doomed to continue until someone can break the spell.
Illustrations by Erik Forsman

This Swedish Christmas Carol, "The Gnomes' Christmas night", describes some of the actions of the tomten -from here.

Tomtarnas Julnatt

The Gnomes' Christmas Night

Christmas Carol

Midnight reigns,
It's quiet in the houses,
Quiet in the houses.
Everyone sleeps,
The candles are put out,
Candles put out.

Look, there comes
The gnomes out from the corners,
From the corners,
List'ning, watching,
Sneaking on their toes,
On their toes.

The nice people
Have left the sweet food,
The sweet food,
On the table
For a band of gnomes,
Band of gnomes.

How they frolic,
Skipping between dishes,
Between dishes,
Whisper, murmur¹
"It's good, the Christmas food,
Christmas food."

Porridge, ham,
The little piece of apple,
Piece of apple,
Ah how sweet
It tastes for little Gnomie²,
Little Gnomie².

Now the games!³
Happy laughter sounding,
Laughter sounding,
'Round the tree³
The gang merrily swings,
Merrily swings.

Night is ending.
Soon the friendly gnomes,
Friendly gnomes,
Quickly, neatly,
Putting all in order,
All in order.

Then, back
Into the quiet corners,
Quiet corners,
The gang of gnomes
Sneak on their toes,
On their toes., The Old Magic of Christmas by Linda Raedisch

Monday, December 14, 2015

Aubrey Beardsley's Cinderella

I recently came across some information about Aubrey Beardsley being possibly the most controversial illustrator of the Art Nouveau period, which surprised me because I was familiar with his Cinderella illustration, which seems pretty un-provocative to me:

So I did a little digging to see if he had done any more fairy tale art that might be either subversive, or what significance there might be in his taming down his own fairy tale illustrations. In general he embraced "perverse and grotesque erotica," you can read more/see some of his famous images over on Wikipedia.  However, it turns out that he wrote his own version of the Cinderella story to accompany his illustration, and although the image itself may seem innocent enough, the story is more along the lines of the "dark/twisted" fairy tale interpretations that are popular today.

Beardsley's own interpretation of the classic Cinderella story, appearing in The Yellow Book of July 1894, clearly personifies the powerful role that fashion has within a society. Beardsley changes the ending of the story to turn happy children's fairytale into a murderous mess of fashion and jealousy. Beardsley's version thus addresses the reader,
You must have heard of the Princess C. with her slim feet and shining slippers. She was beloved by the prince who married her but she died soon afterwards poisoned according to Dr. Gerschovius by her elder sister Arabella, with powdered glass. It was ground I suspect from those very slippers she danced in at the famous ball, for the slippers of Cinderella have never been found since. [Quoted Heyd 123]
Jimmy Choo slippers-$4,595

I can't find the actual full text for the story online, does anyone know where it can be found? On the one hand, many of us are getting a little tired of the whole "let's make fairy tales DARK and VIOLENT and for ADULTS!" movement, but Beardsley's ending was at least original and not jumping on a trend; and there's a sense of realism especially when contrasted with Perrault's Cinderella completely forgiving her stepsisters with no apparent consequences for either their behavior or the tensions in their relationship.

Beardsley was specifically criticizing the world of high fashion, and his works suggest that he "believed that Victorian fashion was a dangerous and powerful means to control and constrict women." (also from

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Snow Queen Film Adaptations

I was at Target the other day and noticed this Snow Queen dvd for sale. I was surprised I hadn't even heard of it before! I tried looking it up but the reviews are so opposite it almost seems like people were watching completely different movies (the first reviewer said it was a great family film and her 6 year old granddaughter loved it; another mentioned nudity??).

I also found some other relatively recent adaptations of "Snow Queen" that have, apparently, been overshadowed by "Frozen". So, throwing this out there to you readers-have you seen any of these? What did you think (since I really think some reviewers were mistaken about which movie they watched...)?

Special Edition BBC
"Based on the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen and featuring music performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Snow Queen is a heart-warming story of friendship and the triumph of love over evil. When Gerda and her mother take in the penniless street urchin Kay, powerful forces emerge that will take both children on a magical journey and test their friendship to the extreme. One cold winter night a splinter of ice pierces Kay's heart and makes him angry and unhappy. He soon becomes enchanted by the Snow Queen and is taken to her palace in the frozen North. Gerda decides that she must do whatever she can to rescue her friend. Faith, love and courage lead Gerda on a perilous quest through strange lands and past terrifying creatures. Will the little girl in the red velvet cloak be able to match the power of the Snow Queen?"
The Snow Queen (2005) Poster
BBC 2005

Snow Queen (2002) Poster

"The Snow Queen is a powerful story of friendship and the triumph of love over wickedness. The story follows a young woman who is forced to battle the wicked snow queen in order to save the soul of the man she loves."

Snow Queen (2012) Poster

"The Snow Queen created the world of eternal winter where the polar wind cools human souls and clearness of lines obscure emotions. A girl named Gerda, her pet ferret Luta, and Orm the troll must save her brother Kai and the world."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Faerie Magazine

The Winter edition of Faerie Magazine is out, for those who subscribe or want to search for it in bookstores. And although it's off season, the summer issue is now available to download for free!
Available through 1 or 2 year subscriptions

Temporarily available for free download

Sunday, December 6, 2015

How St. Nicholas Became American Santa

I've read other books on the history of Christmas tradition/Santa Claus before, and shared some of my findings here. It's not technically a fairy tale, and I usually try to avoid myths and legends to keep blog material more focused, but I make some exceptions because I really love Christmas and it's an interesting topic that influences all of our lives this time of year in some way.

I'm finding Stephen Nissenbaum's "The Battle for Christmas" to be the most in depth look at the American Christmas tradition I've read so far, and incredibly fascinating. In other books/articles I've read, there's almost always some attempt made to link Santa to various European traditions-the legend of St. Nicholas and the stocking, even the bizarre article I linked to last year about how the visions of flying reindeer came from a small Siberian tribe getting high off of mushrooms. While interesting, Nissenbaum claims that none of these traditions had any direct influence on the creation of the American Santa Claus. Other traditions were later incorporated, especially as America grew more diverse, but "The St. Nicholas ritual did not cross the Atlantic," at least not in the way we think. The Puritans who settled in America avoided holidays, and especially celebrations of saints days, since they were not Catholic.

In order to understand the creation of the American Santa Claus one needs to look at the Christmas traditions that were part of American life and the concerns of the people who did reintroduce St. Nicholas to December. Christmas in New England in the 17th century was shockingly different than today's celebrations. You may have heard of the Puritans, or Massachusettes itself, declaring that it was illegal to celebrate Christmas. This seems harsh and completely unnecessary, but actually most of us probably wouldn't approve of the way Christmas was celebrated at the time either. It was seen as a time when the working class could essentially get away with anything. It was, historically, the one month of the year that farming communities could actually enjoy fresh meat and alcohol before it had to be preserved or would spoil, so drinking and eating to excess was part of the tradition. Raucous behavior, indulging in physical and sexual appetites, were all part of the Christmas season the Puritans fought against.

Another part of the celebration was wassailing, a term I vaguely thought of as meaning caroling and drinking spiked egg nog or something similar. Wassailing was actually the practice of the poor people entering houses of the rich and demanding food and drink. For generations, in Europe, the upper class tolerated this practice; it was a seen as a way for the working class to let off steam in a confined way, and for the landowners to assuage any guilt for being harsh masters during the year. It was a time of socially switching roles, which actually served to enforce the usual roles of masters/servants for the rest of the year. (Knowing this, the verses of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" make much more sense, as the singers demand "Bring us some figgy pudding" and then threaten "for we won't go until we get some.")
English figgy pudding

In America, the working class still hung on to this tradition of disrupting the houses of the more wealthy, but unlike their ancestors, the upper class was not willing to participate. Christmas and New Year's were a time of invasion of privacy for the wealthy, or for gangs standing in their lawn all night banging on drums and playing fifes. The police had little ability to identify and punish the groups of disguised individuals roaming the streets.

Enter the Knickerbockers-or the group of elite New Yorkers whose writing introduced St. Nicholas to the population, presenting him as a quaint New Amsterdam tradition of Dutch descent, when no records indicate his presence in America before John Pintard published a broadside in 1810. (The Knickerbockers weren't even Dutch, but British Americans). St. Nick was then  mentioned in the writings of other Knickerbockers, Washington Irving and most notably Clement Clark Moore.
John Pintard's Broadside that reintroduced St. Nicholas to America

Till that point, St. Nicholas was still represented as he was known in Europe-a powerful bishop who came not on Christmas Eve, but his name day, December 6 (Happy St. Nicholas Day!!). He would reward the good children but punish the bad-in what Nissenbaum calls a mini version of Judgement Day, meant to inspire fear in children.
Jan Steen's "Feast of St. Nicholas" portrays children on both the naughty and nice lists; the boy on the left is crying and being mocked by the other children

Everything changed with Clement Clarke Moore and his legacy, "The Night Before Christmas." The vision he presented of Santa Claus was unlike any image of St. Nicholas before.

1. St Nicholas lost his power and authority. Instead of being a tall bishop wearing his robes, Santa Claus became a tiny elf (Santa in the poem did not have to use magic to fit down the chimney, because he and his reindeer were all miniature).

2. St. Nicholas became one of the working class. The pipe that he is described as smoking is "the stump of a pipe," which at the time was something only the working class would smoke-the upper class smoked long pipes.

These two changes made Santa much  more akin to the working class visitors that disturbed the writers of the Knickerbocker group, only the nature of his behavior was significantly different.

3. Rather than demanding, Santa Claus "said not a word" and gave generously

4. The lamented "old fashioned" Christmas tradition of giving to the needy and inverting social status remained, but now in a way that did not require the rich to mingle with the poor or tolerate their disruptions. The tradition was now family focused, and it was children who became the grateful recipients of gifts. In fact, Moore's poem mentions nothing about the threat of a switch or a lump of coal-Christmas is now not a time of fear but of goodwill toward all.

This poem was designed to meet the needs and fears of the upper class feeling threatened by the expanding working class (the previous year, Moore's estate had been disrupted as New York expanded its grid system of streets, paving Ninth Avenue through his property). Yet, it became a classic-because it was malleable enough to meet the desires of America as a whole. Santa evolved more after that, becoming fat and jolly and the myth grew, but Santa Claus as we know him can really be traced back to New York in the early nineteenth century.

Again, I've read about some of these interesting "fun facts" of Christmas history before but Nissenbaum really explains how some of these seemingly bizarre traditions developed and then evolved.

First Santa illustration-published with Moore's original poem
Left Santa illustration-Thomas Nast

Friday, December 4, 2015

Frozen Fairy Tales

I was thrilled and honored to receive a copy of Frozen Fairy Tales, courtesy of Kate Wolford and the fine people at World Weaver Press! There's been lots of buzz about the book over at Enchanted Conversation and around the fairy tale web, and it was definitely one of those books I wanted to keep an eye out for.

I love the concept of collecting fairy tales that are winter-themed but not necessarily Christmas. Winter can be really hard, with the cold and the dark, and once Christmas is over there's not that much to look forward to until Spring (there's a reason Narnia was cursed with "Always winter, but never Christmas"-how awful would endless January be?). Very few books and movies are set in non-holiday winter, they all seem to have pleasantly mild weather. When I actually see/read of characters bundling up, shivering, and extremities getting numb with cold, I get a sense of "oh I can relate to that!" because it's something many of us deal with for several months out of the year, depending on where you live.

This would also make an excellent Christmas present-it can be enjoyed for the next few months and doesn't have to be put away with the holiday decorations! I'm all about seasonal traditions and I think having special traditions for January and February is one of the best ways to battle the winter blues.
I've started the book but want to save some of the stories for after Christmas, for that reason. So far I'm really enjoying it, though. In fact, the first night I had a chance to sit down and read, I was looking all over for the book, and couldn't find it anywhere. I asked Tony if he had seen my copy of "Frozen Fairy Tales" and he was actually sitting in bed reading it! (He had turned randomly to "The Ice Fisher" and he enjoyed it-so it appeals to those who are more casual fairy tale fans as well!).

As with any collection of short stories, some of them resonate with me more than others. So far I really enjoyed Steven Grimms' "Faithful Henry", a retelling of the Frog Prince. Grimm (great last name alert!) did a really good job of taking the odd aspects of the original brothers Grimm tale and making so much more sense with them. It really is a strange story in ways-the Princess is childishly obsessed with a toy ball and in the brothers Grimms' version it became all about telling kids the importance of "keeping your promises" which makes it all the more creepy that this young and immature Princess who needs to learn such basic lessons would be immediately married off to the Prince who came from a frog she just hurled at the wall. Also, the character of Faithful Henry seems so randomly thrown in at the end. In Steven Grimms' version he makes sense of all these things, spinning it in a new light, as well as weaving in Winter as a character  in a really interesting way.

In a completely different vein, Lissa Marie Redmond's "Buffalo Wings" was another favorite of mine-it's a fun modern story where the fairy tale words crashes into a hipster coffee shop, and the main character has his own fantastic adventure.

It's interesting to see how the different authors use winter as a setting and a theme in the stories. I also noted that in almost all of the stories I've read so far, winter doesn't stand alone. At least one other season is mentioned, and is sometimes one of the main themes as well. Symbolically, and literally, winter never lasts forever. It's part of an ever changing cycle, and each season plays an important part. Yet even in the midst of the coldest, darkest winter, there is always hope of sping.

I'll be back with more comments as I read through more of the stories in the coming months!

UPDATE: If you would like to win an ebook version of "Frozen Fairy Tales," be sure to enter the giveaway at Enchanted Conversation! You have till December 18 to enter

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Krampus movie

Is anyone going to see the new Krampus movie? My friend recently told me about it and I thought a Christmas horror movie based on folklore had potential. 

The plot from IMDBWhen his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family's home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

 I know some people get tired of the same holiday fluff over and over, and it seems like the message of every Christmas movie is "having Christmas spirit=you are a good person." Which is why it seems kind of redundant, even if they go from a horror angle, to say that Krampus comes because a little boy "lacks holiday spirit," which isn't even true of the Krampus folklore, who punishes kids who are naughty, not disillusioned. Doug Norrie predicts on CinemaBlend that the tone seems like it won't find the right audience-too scary for kids, too corny for adults. I like reading about the creepy and folkloric aspects of Christmas as much as/probably more than the next person, but I'm not sure if I want to see this. Thoughts?
But it's timed fortuitously-the movie comes out December 4, and Krampusnacht is December 5, the night before St. Nicholas Day! And for those wanting more of Krampus, Kate Wolford has a Krampus themed anthology: