This Isn’t Your Grandma’s Krampusnacht


Over the past few years, Krampusnacht has become more acknowledged and celebrated in the United States. This celebration takes place on December 5, the day before Saint Nicholas (who approves of the Krampus’ work) rewards the good children on Nikolaustag. Read more about it here since I’d rather get to the storytime resources for planning an children’s library event around this holiday than break down the holiday and its history.


Here is a flyer template that I made for you to download and use:

The free fonts that I used for this flyer and other literature for this program are Graphik Text, St. Nicholas, and Gotenborg Fraktur.

For a display, you could use the image from the flyer and then print out the images below onto card stock, cut them out, punch a hole, and hang them from the ceiling using fishing wire. That would add some movement to the display and make it more eye catching.


This was one of the trickier aspects of creating this storytime. However, if you expand the theme of good vs. bad, antiheroes, or children behaving badly, then your book options are much more varied. Here are just a few:

  •   Matt Lake’s Night of the Krampus which includes some Krampusfied Christmas Carols (978-0692495223)
  •   Bailey Quillen Cooper’s Kris & Krampus Kringle (978-1483585017)
  •   The No, David! series by David Shannon (No, David! 978-0439129657)
  •   Quite a few of Shel Silverstein’s poems such as Sick and Listen to the Mustn’ts (Where the Sidewalk Ends 978-0060256685)
  •   The Berenstain Bears and the Bully by Stan and Jan Berenstain (978-0679848059). This one will need discussion such as “who in this story would the Krampus want to grab?”
  •   Ellen Javernick and Colleen M. Madden’s What if Everybody Did That? (978-0761456865)
  •   Lots of Eilleen Cook’s books such as But It’s Not My Fault! (978-1934490808) show kids behaving badly.


Here are several classic children’s songs that I’ve modified to be more festive. There are lots of opportunities for acting out the words. It would also be fun to get some cheap pillowcases and have each child stand inside one like it’s a potato sack race. Then they can jump to the rhythm while pretending that the pillowcase are Krampus’ bags.

Feel free to download and use:


Make Krampuskarten: Think “Christmas Cards,” but featuring Krampus.

Masks: Have the kids make scary Krampus masks to wear (or for their parents to wear). Bonus level – cutting out a slot for a tongue to stick through.

Stickers: Give these out for either attending the program, or for completing a passive program such as a scavenger hunt. Here’s a book of reusable Krampus stickers.

Photos: Either create a face-cutout photo op stand where the child (or parent) can be the hapless victim in Krampus’ bag, or if your library has a green screen, add them to a vintage Krampuskarten.

Flannel Board: Do a version of Tickle Monster with flannel pieces and board where kids can see the monster changed into not being scary.

A Surprise Krampus visit: Purchase this mask and have a staff member come charging into the storytime yelling. Please keep safety in mind! You might want to advertise that Krampus will be visiting depending on the age group.

Download and print out this drawing/writing prompt:

Now, I can imagine some knee-jerk reaction that this is all too scary for children. For sure it would be too intense for some, but others will revel in the scariness and monstrous aspect of this.

And there you have it: a good foundation to build a storytime around Krampusnacht and/or to add to your all-inclusive celebrations!

As always, I’d love to hear what you think – especially if you have ideas and/or resources that I left out (or if I need to adjust anything here if I was unintentionally insensitive to those who celebrate this).

Find out why I’m doing this.


This post was the most fun to put together out of all the holidays – even the Holiday one. But as I continued creating kids’ programming for various holidays, I realized that I had to get my tongue out of my cheek and treat them respectfully. I hope that I accomplished that goal.


As Krampusnacht has become more celebrated around the world, the publishing industry has responded with a handful of new titles.

  • Derek Sullivan and Kyle Sullivan’s Goodnight Krampus (978-0996578721) is a board book, but note that the main character is actually Santa. 
  • Krampus: A Holiday Message by Johnny DePalma and Kyle Brown (978-0692185766)
  • Krampus’s Great Big Book of Yuletide Monsters by Amanda R Woomer (979-8635702925)
  • Little Krampus And The Magical Sleigh Ride by Killian S. Wolf (978-1951140045) 

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