‘Twas the fight before Christmas: Krampus would win against Santa

Recently, a mythological winter being has arisen to challenge the popularity of the ever-jolly Saint Nick: Krampus.

Originating from pre-Christian Central European folklore, and instantly recognizable by his goat horns, monstrous face, and disturbingly long tongue, Krampus is something of a dark counterpart to Santa Claus.


Krampus, a dark counterpart to Santa Claus, is a figure from pre-Christian Central European folklore. Krampus punishes children who misbehave, and is celebrated on Krampusnacht on Dec. 6.

However, while Santa punishes naughty children with lumps of coal, Krampus prefers the more direct approach of beating bad kids with sticks.

Alternately, in other versions of his story, Krampus steals children away in a sack. In some darker versions, he even eats them. Better watch out, indeed.

Which brings us to the real question – who would win in a fight, merry toymaker Santa Claus, or terrifying goat-man Krampus?

The answer is obvious: be on your best behaviour, kids, because Krampus would beat Santa with one hand behind his back.

At least assuming that Krampus can end the fight before Santa catches him, that is.

The first element to consider must be the diet of each competitor. While Santa dines on milk and sugary cookies, Krampus’ diet of children is full of lean protein – all the better for his physical fitness and endurance.

I will, somewhat reluctantly, concede that Santa probably has enormous strength in his back and arms from hauling around a sack filled with gifts for all the children of the world. If Santa did manage to catch Krampus, he would probably be able to bear-hug him and restrict Krampus’ breathing. His superior strength could only come into play after getting a hold on Krampus or landing a hit.

However, Santa has also made the grievous tactical mistake of having a beard, which can easily be grabbed in hand-to-hand combat. Furthermore, Krampus’ origins predate Santa’s, so he has more life and fighting experience behind him.

Krampus also has speed on his side. Apparently, the top running speed for a goat is around 24 km/hour, so the half-goat can easily outrun the sluggish St. Nick. As long as Krampus can end the fight quickly, he can emerge victorious.

On the other hand, Krampus could use another method: deliberately prolonging the fight to tire out the old toymaker. If he can exhaust Santa, his opponent’s superior strength won’t matter.

Even in an unarmed fight, which is the assumption in this scenario, Krampus has the advantage of his horns, which could be used to gore an opponent, sad though that would be for the children awaiting a visit from Santa.
Whether through speed or endurance, the victor seems clear: Krampus could “sleigh” Santa as easily as children tear through wrapping paper.

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