The War on Christmas, an endless battle for the real reason of the holiday season has been fought through the ages and been won time and time again, not by the little baby Jesus, but by Santa Claus.
From Constantine, to Martin Luther, to the present day, religious conservatives have tried to crush gift giving, merriment and inclusive winter celebrations in order to have the holidays be only about their religious beliefs.
But the real miracle of Christmas is that nobody can kill Santa, and not just because he never existed, but because Santa represents a universal need for people to exchange gifts, power and comfort during the difficult winter months.Today we’re talking with writer and cultural anthropologist Gerald Cole, who is putting together a book on the unusual origins of Christmas, the battles over the traditions of the winter holidays and the many demonic companions of Santa Claus.
Why didn’t Santa’s monstrous sidekick Krampus catch on in the United States the way it did in Germany and Austria?
Join us as we talk about the devilish Krampus, Black Peter the African slave reinterpreted as a chimney sweep, La Befana the Italian Christmas Witch and many other Yuletide folks you may not be familiar with.
Plus, Santa Claus, polar bears and Coca Cola and why Halloween has a lot more in common with Christmas than you may think.
[Originally posted on 12.05.11]
The Krampus Song – The Krampus Song: YouTube