From The Grand Nudge:
Have you ever heard of Krampus? This guy is getting a lot of press these days, but many of us have never even heard the name. In some parts of Germany, St. Nicholas is keeping some rather strange company. In this mythology, Krampus is a horned fellow not unlike your average furry, goat-footed demon and he and St. Nick are old buddies. The history of Krampus, much like many Christmas traditions, is murky at best. And really, I’m not overly concerned about the “why,” but rather the “who,” or at least what he represents.