“31 Days of Krampuslaufen”
I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite–only a sense of existence. —Henry David Thoreau.
Merry something to you Now that Arts DEVO has officially tapped a foot in time with the bobbing head of Marty Parker and the rest of the cheer-loving rock stars in The Yule Logs (during a rockin’ Christmas Preview set on Sunday), he has planted both feet firmly in the “holiday season.” But what’s that mean? What’s my reason? A sustained feeling of the warmth from loved ones, and lots of downtime for playing music and seeking out weirdness—weird art, weird films, weird people, weird stories … Weird Chico! (Speaking of Weird Chico, did you see that ad to the left of this column, for the Keep Chico
Weird Talent Show? Submit your weirdness today!)
Mrs. DEVO and I have a few little traditions, but I’m always open to trying new ones. Last year, I explored the wonderfully ridiculous world of Krampus, the punishing, chain-wielding counterbalance to Santa Claus on the naughty/nice scale. (Wee ones out of line this year? Not to worry, parents: Krampus will leave a lump of coal in their stockings or simply chuck them in his sack and scurry them away and out of your hair!) And, if for no other reason than the amazing art on the “Gruss vom Krampus” greeting cards, I think I’ll be keeping that wacky demon in my holiday plans.
In fact, I’ve kind of fallen for the fuzzy, party-happy realist, and he’s got me thinking about laying the groundwork for a more all-encompassing set of traditions, something kind of my own invention that provides a foundation upon which to build lasting memories by (respectfully) co-opting the best moves from everyone else’s fun stuff. The traditional “First Night of The Yule Logs” will serve as my holiday alarm clock; Thanksgiving will be my holiday warm-up (stretch those stomach muscles!); and Krampusnacht, on Dec. 5, will be the kick-off for 31 Days of Krampuslaufen (aka “Krampus running”), ending on Jan. 5 with me wassailing away the
Twelfth Night in a mulled-cider haze:
Dec. 5: Krampusnacht: Chains, torches, schnapps—good, clean holiday fun. Dec. 6: On the first day of Krampuslaufen, my true love gave to me, a hollowed-out goat’s head mask. Dec. 7: Fill out and mail off my Krampuskartens. Dec. 8:
Bodhi Day: In honor of the
Buddhist day of enlightenment, I will don my Krampus mask, head into the woods, chop down a Christmas tree, and meditate in the cool mountain air until my feet get too cold. Dec. 9-20: The 12 Days of Krampercise: During which I live at the gym, sweating away the cheer. Dec. 21: Winter Solstice. Dec. 22: Teach the young ones the traditional theme song (liberally excerpted from DEVO’s “Merry Something to You”): Any old dance that you like to do/ Happy holidays!/ Eat, bite, drink up, nibble, gobble, chew/ Happy holidays!/ Merry something! To you!/ Merry something! To you!/ Deedle deedle deet deet/ Deedle deedle deet deet/ Doodly doodly doo! Dec. 23:
Festivus: Airing of grievances, feats of strength, etc. Dec. 24: Christmas Eve. Dec. 25: Christmas. Dec. 26: Boxing Day. Dec. 27-30: More Krampercise (really work the spare tire). Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve. Jan. 1-4: Days of rest. Jan. 5: Twelfth Night: Don my skirt for the Feast of Fools—“I am the
Lord of Misrule!” Jan. 6: Pack it all up and throw the tree on the pyre.