MURRIETA (CBSLA.com) — It’s the time of the year when Christmas decorations adorn houses for blocks in communities throughout the Southland.
But one entry in the Annual Holiday Home Decorating Contest in Murrieta that features a mythical creature from European folklore has sparked complaints from residents.
The house in the 37000 block of Floral Creek Circle features a large handcrafted Krampus, who is sometimes referred to as “evil Santa” or the “Christmas devil” and dates back to pre-Christian Germanic traditions.
With a doll on its back and a broomstick in its hand, the clawed black creature is perched on the second-story window of resident Stori Nagel’s home next to a sign reading “Greetings from Krampus XOXO.”
“If you’re bad, Krampus comes to see you,” Nagel told CBS2’s Tom Wait. “If you’re just kinda bad, he hits you with a switch, if you’re real bad, he kidnaps you, and if you’re really bad, he eats you.”
Nagel, who is German and Swiss, said she saw the display as a way to educate her community on the origins of familiar Christmas traditions like Saint Nicholas and the Yuletide tree – as well as a commentary on contemporary American culture.
“There’s no punishment anymore,” she said. “Kids get Christmas presents and they ain’t even good, there’s no consequence.”
However, at least one parent said they fear the display could scare little children simply looking to enjoy a popular street for viewing Christmas lights.
“I was appalled that the city of Murrieta would allow someone to enter a home with a theme representing the devil,” one parent, who asked not to be identified, told the Murrieta Patch. “My 3-year-old was frightened by the home and I was disgusted. I’m asking that you help make this disrespectful issue known to the residents of Murrieta.”
But neighbor Mel Davis said he saw no problem with the unusual display.
“I really like it, only because it is different,” Davis said.
A city Parks and Recreation official said that while the display is “unconventional,” the entry is legitimate and the contest remains open to all residents.
Residents are being asked to vote on the 30 official entries for this season’s contest by Dec. 18.