It’s so strange how these memes work — I’d never even heard of Krampus, St. Nick’s evil companion, until last week and now I’ve run into it four times. Nat Berman, of Unreality Mag, just sent me this round-up of Krampus costumes. Here’s what Wikipedia says about Krampus:
According to legend, Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children.
In the Alpine regions, Krampus is represented by a demon-like creature. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria during the first two weeks of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December, and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells.
So coal in your stocking is apparently the least of your worries.