Holidays

Kallikantzaros
A goblin of Greek legend, these monsters live underground until Christmas day, where they can then emerge and stir up mischief until returning Jan. 6. Unless a home is protected -- with a basil sprig, wooden cross and bowl of water -- the creatures will swarm, wreaking havoc. Connected to vampire and werewolf lore, they can appear half-beast and half-human with glowing red eyes. Some men, especially those born at Christmas, can transform into Kallikantzaroi.
pocolover1957, flickr
Bumble
It was discovered in the 1964 stop-motion animation TV special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that the flying reindeer have socialized with a fellow cryptid, the Bumble, a yeti-like creature known as the Abominable Snow Monster of the North. The large, white Bumble has the ability to bounce, but is prone to sinking. The creature is also apparently enraged by glowing red noses and all things connected to Christmas -- but legend has it that it can be domestic by removing its teeth.
Thinkstock
Magic Snowmen
A certain level of sorcery is at play during Christmas, where -- according to a 1950 musical account sung by Gene Autry -- snowmen are reanimated due to potentially-possessed items such as a felt hat. The snowmen can also grow legs to assist with walking through traffic stops. At least one incarnation of the magic snowman, which appeared at the North Pole along with the red-nosed reindeer in 1964, prefers to offer moral guidance and sing about silver and/or gold deposits, and holly/jolly Christmases.
Eleonora Gianinetto, flickr
La Befana
The holiday witch of Italy, Befana delivers gifts to good children on Epiphany Eve -- the night before The Three Wisemen were said to arrive at Baby Jesus’ manger. The stories of Befana vary, but she is an old woman who encountered the Wisemen and turned down an invitation to join them on their quest because she was too busy sweeping. She has a change of heart, and tries to find Jesus, but is never able to. Now she travels on a broom, still searching, and visiting children in the meanwhile.
istock
Time Traveling Ghosts, Inhuman Entities
During Christmas, ghosts and entities conspire to teach important lessons to the morally bankrupt. As Charles Dickens detailed in his 1843 novella A Christmas Carol, the spirit of a doomed business partner might appear, followed by a shapeshifting being with a flame as its head. This androgynous spirit will transport a “Scrooge” into the past, while a jolly giant with a green robe teleports the individual through present events. Finally, a foreboding Grim Reaper of a future yet-to-come zips into the future, and portends of misery and death. Dickens also dabbled with moralistic Christmas goblins and ghosts in other tales, such as The Chimes and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain. At least one other story featured an inter-dimensional angel who slipped a man into a parallel 1946 to show him a world where he doesn’t exist, and that he had a wonderful life.

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