The Atheist War on Krampus


Tonight is Krampusnacht. I just can’t muster any enthusiasm for fighting it, though; there aren’t any shared social customs that we atheists in America enjoy, and I don’t see anyone trying to force me to celebrate it in a religiously specific way.

I guess I’ll just half-heartedly say it’s a silly tradition, but you should feel free to celebrate it however you want and in any ethically reasonable way for any random reason. Hmm. That seems to be my stance on Christmas, too.


  1. wzrd1 says

    Just please don’t fight against the traditional fruit cakes. I happen to quite enjoy them. :)

  2. Dauphni says

    And here in the Netherlands we have Zwarte Piet instead. Yes, that is blackface. People have been protesting it, but of course white people are claiming it’s not racist at all, it’s tradition and we shouldn’t mess with it because of “the kids.” This year about two hundred peaceful anti-Zwarte Piet protesters were arrested at once, because of course the police couldn’t resist being thugs.

  3. Silver Fox says

    Pagan, Christian, Krampus, St. Nicholas. Bah humbug. Just give me a nice glass of Petite Sirah and a wedge of rind washed cheese and I’m good to go.

  4. says

    Just don’t OK?
    If the Krampus isn’t part of your cultural tradition, just leave it alone and don’t turn it into another USAmericanized thing.

    We had a wonderful St. Nick’s Eve. We went to see A Christmas Carol, had pizza, strolled over the christmas market and ate churros. Now I’ll complete the playlist of Arabic christmas songs and then it’s bed

  5. Bruce H says

    Wzrd1, those fruitcakes make formidable weapons. For instance, they make terrific passive-aggressive re-gifts, perennial fuck-yous to your frenemies and relatives alike. Alternatively, you can use them as very effective, if unwieldy, projectiles.

    So, you can rest easy. Fruitcakes are indispensable in the War on Christmas.

  6. says

    I’ve never understood the antipathy against fruit cake. Made right — granted, that does not happen all that often — they are an amazing mix of bitter and sweet melded together with enough brandy to set a small fire. Or avoid the American fruitcakes altogether and go with one of the many alternate varieties: Dundee cake, stollen, panettone, keks, something like that.

    Stop the war on fruitcake!

  7. mailliw says

    On the 6th December St Nicholas rewards the good children and Krampus punishes the bad children.

    I’ve often thought that Santa Claus is a very sinister figure. He is running a covert worldwide surveillance network monitoring children’s behaviour. Despite repeated requests he has refused to reveal the moral criteria on which he bases his judgements. His elves work on below minimum wages with conditions and working hours that violate numerous other labour laws. He allowed merciless bullying of Rudolph until he found some use for him in the corporate plan.

    It is long overdue that a whistleblower exposed Santa Claus.

  8. Derek Vandivere says

    #8 / Dauphni: I wore my Zwarte Piet is Racisme sweatshirt all day on Sunday and didn’t get any dirty looks. I was a little disappointed. After so many years and so many discussion leading to a brick wall, all I tell my Dutch friends is that I’ll think less of them as a person if they black up…

  9. Callinectes says

    The only agreeable function of fruitcake is as a calorie-dense rationable foodstuff that appears to suffer from an indefinite shelf-life. Stock up for the apocalypse, and the looming threat of a diet comprised entirely of such hideous “food” will serve as a highly efficient motivation to prevent said apocalypse from ever occurring.

  10. Ichthyic says

    not so sure about that.

    last month I discovered a fruitcake we had put in a box and forgotten about.. a year and a half before.

    there was no mold. no sigh of decay of any kind.

    it was still edible. well, as edible as fruitcakes get anyway.

    even so… I couldn’t bring myself to eat 1.5 year old fruitcake.

  11. says

    @Ichthyic #13 – Traditionally, a fruitcake is wrapped in cheesecloth and soaked with brandy. This was originally done to preserve the cakes for later use: because they use ingredients that were expensive and difficult to get (back in the early 1600s when the recipe was developed), they were typically bought in large batches when they were available and a dozen or more cakes would be made in one go. The alcohol is antiseptic, and keeps the cake moist. Properly made and stored, a fruit cake can remain fully safe to eat for several years, much like a flask of brandy or a bottle of wine.

  12. Lofty says


    Don’t confuse those calorie dense blocks laughing sold as “fruitcakes” in supermarkets with the real thing. Last year I helped my partner construct two hefty fruitcakes totalling 20kg for a wedding party of 100 people. After about 3 weeks work the result was stunning. I see no reason why it shouldn’t delight the taste buds a year or two into the future. Real fruitcakes are made with quality ingredients, passion, skill and robust muscles.