Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas! Santa is a Hobgoblin

Whelp, the yuletide festivus is upon us. Before you trundle off to gorge yourself on food and gifts (and you know you will, nobody waits 'till Christmas day anymore) I ask you for the gift of patience while I blabber on about Germanic gremlins. See, all across Europe there are myths of little wildlings that can be coerced into doing the household chores with a little offering of milk and honey. This usually ends in stolen underwear and bitter tears of disappointment, because fae folk are tricky jerks. Some people call them Kobolds, some call them Hobgoblins. My personal favorite is Lob lies-by-the-fire, the lubber fiend. They take all shapes and sizes from red capped Will Huygen Gnomes, to tall hairy beasts but they all follow the same rulebook: leave an offering of sweets, stay out of their way, and hope for the best. Some are more likely to screw you over than others, but they never mean any (permanent) harm. They just do it for the kicks, Jack. Nothin' personal.

What does this have to do with Christmas? Oh, everything. What do you leave out for Santa? Uh-huh, and you're not supposed to see him are you? Think about the name: Santa Clause. German for Saint Clause. When the Catholic church converted pagan cultures, they would replace the local gods and spirits with Saints to make the transition easier. Yep. You've been making deals with elves your entire life, and you never even knew it. And under a sacred tree no less! You naughty little pagan. So go on, lay out the cookies and milk for Santa the Gnome, and pray he just drops the gifts off and doesn't steal your left shoe. Not like last year...

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