I've unwittingly stumbled upon a goal for 2012: start a Krampus tradition in Lewisville. What's Krampus? I just learned about it from the excellent, free, Now I Know newsletter:
A goat-man creature bound to service by the Devil, Krampus’ origins trace back to Germanic traditions from before the advent of Christianity. Per the myth, Krampus goes from home to home (in some places, along with St. Nick), seeking naughty children. Some get off with a stern warning, but for the truly bad children, you better watch out. Krampus throws these children into his sack (or, in some traditions, into a washtub he drags behind him) and carries the child off, to be made into Christmas dinner.
Been rotten this year? No need to get nervous on Christmas Eve; if you’ve made it that far, you are in the clear. Krampus makes the rounds on the night of December 5th, being the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas. As is customary, many people dress up in Krampus costumes that night (as seen above) and take to the streets that night, going home to home “scaring” children. The custom further suggests giving these false Krampuses a drink (schnapps is recommended) to make them go away.
Now I just need to figure out how to get myself one of these masks before 12/5/12.