It’s the holiday season and while the true meaning of Christmas brings joy, many believers wrestle with the idea of Santa. Kids love it but does it detract too much from what is being celebrated? Is jolly Saint Nicholas helping or hurting at this point? Glenn has more on radio this morning.
GLENN: The first department store Santa, when was it?
PAT: I'm going to say 1841.
GLENN: Shut up. Give me the show prep. 1841.
STU: I was going to go with the '30s. I don't know.
GLENN: Yeah. 1841. Store in Philadelphia brought Kris Kringle in. A neighbor of the store owner played Kris Kringle. He went into the shop on December 18th to lure in holiday shoppers. Santa arrived via the chimney with a sack that said, my friends shop at Parkinson's, on the side.
STU: It's not a good name for a store. It's a disease.
JEFFY: What are the odds?
PAT: It's weird.
GLENN: My question is: The whole Santa thing. I've been thinking about this a lot lately.
STU: We'll be careful here, of course.
GLENN: What are you talking about? Because he might bring gifts and if I say something he doesn't like --
STU: You don't want to give away what gifts he's bringing.
GLENN: I want my gifts from Santa. I'm totally cool with Santa. I got it.
I could go so many ways. It would be very very funny. But I won't now.
GLENN: So the question is: Santa being real, the overcommercialization of the whole holiday, how evil is that, that we have perverted this whole holiday and made it all about -- and it's all been done for shopping.
STU: I mean --
PAT: It's bad.
STU: Is it evil or a nice wonderful addition to the holidays?
GLENN: That's kind of where -- I'm really -- because it's such a great magical thing. It really is great. I love it. This is where -- have you guys ever heard of -- have you ever heard of -- what's his name Krampus. Yeah, Krampus.
STU: Bill Krampus?
PAT: Steve Krampus?
GLENN: This is from Europe. Krampus is the counterpart to Santa. And in 'The Immortal', which we will have out in book form next year, in 'The Immortal', you'll meet Krampus. But we're not taking him the way that the Europeans do. But he is -- Santa comes with Krampus, who is a demonic sidekick of Santa. I'm not kidding.
GLENN: If you're good, Santa gives you presents. If you're bad -- I'm not making this up. Look up Krampus. K-R-A-M-P-U-S.
If you're bad, Krampus beats you.
STU: This is the worst --
PAT: That's an awful --
GLENN: Yeah. Then he takes the kids who are bad. He beats them. Shoves them into a sack and carries them off to hell.
STU: I mean, that does seem like that is Krampus.
GLENN: Did you see the picture?
STU: He's terrifying.
PAT: Whose tradition is that?
GLENN: Eastern Europe.
PAT: That's pretty ugly.
STU: No wonder eastern Europe sucks.
PAT: That's why we left that stupid continent in the first place. Right?
It sucked. And it sucks now.
STU: Jeffy likes the women from eastern Europe.
GLENN: In 'The Immortal', you'll love Krampus. It will explain a lot. You'll just love Krampus.
So I'm looking at this. And there's reasons for -- for instance, the reason they did Krampus is because, you know, they were trying to show the other -- you have to be good. Naughty and nice. Now you don't even get coal.
STU: Yeah. That is an issue. Santa for a long time tried to do a naughty nice list. Tried to say, you're naughty, you're nice. Nice people get gifts. Naughty kids do not. That seems to have gone by the wayside. Maybe changed policies. Government interference.
GLENN: Now everybody gets presents. You don't get coal. You certainly don't get thrown into a sack and thrown into hell.
STU: Oh, that I might actually support.
GLENN: It depends on how bad you were. Don't make your bed a couple of times, I don't think we send you in the sack to hell, but three of four times, maybe.
In the Czech Republic, Saint Mikulas day, where people dressed as an angel, the devil, and Saint Nicholas walk around, handing out candy to children who sing a song or recite a poem. When the people have house parties, the devil covered in coal shows up in Santa's place. Terrifies the little children. The children have to sing a song for the devil to prove that they've been good. Otherwise, the devil takes a potato sack out, threatens to take them to hell in the potato sack. It's almost the Krampus thing. That's in the Czech Republic.
JEFFY: Starting to like this guy.
STU: Does seem like a role Jeffy can step into.
GLENN: So I'm glad we don't have that.
So honestly, is Santa good for our soul?
PAT: I think good. But you have to --
PAT: Here's what bothers me. When Santa becomes Christmas. For instance --
GLENN: You're going to love the immortal.
PAT: In the Santa Claus, the movie, there is a place -- we were just watching this last night. There is a place where Tim Allen as Santa says -- this is 'Santa Clause 2' --
GLENN: Well, 'Santa Clause 2' is where Santa is like ho-ho, I'm the devil. Nobody watches 'Santa Clause 2'. 'Santa Clause 2' sucked. That's the one with the toy -- that's awful.
PAT: He has to marry her by midnight. And he's explaining this to her right at five minutes to midnight or whatever it is. And he says, well, so, there's no pressure. It's just that, if we don't get married, I don't become -- I cease being Santa. And the kids go without presents, and they won't be happy. And Christmas ceases to be. But no pressure.
What do you mean Christmas ceases to be? What are you talking about? That's a horrific, bad message to send to kids.
STU: A little over the line.
PAT: Way over the line. I love the series.
JEFFY: I do too.
GLENN: I hate the robot thing.
PAT: I like the series.
GLENN: I like 2 except for the robot thing.
PAT: If you keep Santa in perspective --
GLENN: That's not happening. Everything about this holiday now -- I mean, Black Friday -- Thanksgiving was changed in the -- in the -- it was the last Friday of November. They changed it during the Great Depression just for the holiday sales. Everything -- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, what a great story. That was Montgomery Ward. They needed a hook to bring people in. Here's the first Santa. 1841. Kris Kringle comes in the story and says, my friend, shop at this store. Everything about this was about commercialization.
STU: Is that bad, though? I mean, you have a situation where tens of millions of children who were not raised in faith-based households consider the celebration of the birth of Christ that day the best day of the year. And maybe they won't learn all the whole truth about Christmas and believe the real meaning of it, but --
GLENN: That's a good point. But, remember, I'm the guy who told you about 20 minutes ago, I see dead people. I've been dead since 2008.
STU: And you told us about Krampus.
PAT: Which is a downer.
STU: A little bit. But there's hope there.
GLENN: You'll love Krampus.
STU: I don't think I'll ever love Krampus. Doesn't he bring kids to hell in a potato sack?
PAT: He's the guy who gives you cramps.