Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Dark Side of Noël

Here were are again, another year gone and Christmas is only a few days away... that means, it's time to dust off my old post about the scariness that is Le Père Fouettard, and reveal the sinister side of Christmas in France...

(originally titled Nothing Says Christmas Like a Flogging and posted 15th December 2009)

OK, this is weird. I was doing a little reading about French Christmas traditions. Figure since I'm here, might as well find out the happenings of the holiday, French style. And there is no use asking The Boyfriend, he is useless at relaying this kind of information.


In France, Santa Clause is Père Noël, nothing strange there, but Père Noël has a partner, and it's not Rudolph. It's an evil man named...dun dun dun.... Le Père Fouettard.

(I think the "dun dun dun" adds a nice dash of scary, don't you?).

According to my sources (the ever reliable Wikipedia),  Le Père Fouettard was a guy who kidnapped three little boys, robbed them, killed them, and then chopped them up and put them in a stew.

Holy Reindeer Droppings! How the Fudge does this guy end up having anything to do with Sugar Plums and Mistletoe? Apparently, Jolly Ol' St. Nick some how discovered the crime (maybe when Le Père Fouettard's name was flashing in red lights all over the naughty list) and magically resurrected the children (nice tie in to J.C. there - it is his birthday after all). Le Père Fouettard ends up feeling bad and becomes St. Nick's partner and goes around with him on Christmas.

But get this, Le Père Fouettard doesn't become all full of holiday cheer like Ebeneezer Scrooge, he's still sinister, so instead of handing out pressies, he punishes all the naughty children instead. Usually with a good old fashioned flogging.

Nothing says Christmas like a flogging.

Safe to say, I'm usually a well behaved girl, but after reading about you know who (don't want to type his name again in case it has some sort of Beetlejuice effect) I'm going to be on my best behavior this holiday season.

Don't want you know who coming to town.



  1. Bloody heck! That explains a lot :)

  2. hello ... im Adam. I like your blog. I intend to exchange links blog. So that we can mutually grow your friends .. I wait for your arrival and we hope to exchange links

  3. oh, what in the world! That is one creepy story lol, but very interesting, i never knew any of that lol thanks for sharing :)

  4. If I can't sleep tonight, I blame it on your very scary blog... it will have nothing to do with my being enormously pregnant :) and ONLY to do with Père Fouettard. But I forgive you for scaring little children and pregnant women, it is Christmas time afer all!

  5. Laughing at the dun dun dun... you are just too cute. I know you are the type of girl I would have a blast hanging out with. Even in Provence where there is not much to do I am sure we would have a blast. xo

  6. wtf? that's the craziest xmas story i've ever heard... but maybe it keeps kids reasonably behaved this time of year? flogging/death sounds more severe than a lump of coal, i guess...

  7. I'm sorry. What?!? He put them in a stew? That's the worst thing ever! Do little French kids hear this story growing up? Gross. I'll stick with Rudolph and elves any day and take coal over a flogging.


  8. I just woke my mother up from laughing after reading this post (the Beetlejuice reference! Ahahahaha!)

    And what is this story...omg..a creepy man robbed, sodomized (I added that one) and sliced up little boys and then becomes an administrative assistant (let's just call it what it is) to Santa who spanks bad children?

    Only in Europe...

  9. Oh he's like Krampus! If I ever have kids, I will threaten them with the tales of Krampus/Pere Fouettard.

  10. i think i recall this post... mostly because i really dislike the idea of floggings. lol

  11. Oh my gosh!!! What a holiday story to tell the kids!!! :o) As if Santa wasn't scary enough! Now he has a little boy bludgeoning posse! Sheesh!

    You will have to tell me how Elf turned out in French! :o) I'm kind of wondering how all the humor will translate over... :o)

  12. fouttard? oh my frenchies... oh my!

  13. whoa i don't remember any mention of Le Père Fouettard back in my france days. sounds creepy.

    hope your christmas has nothing to do with that little man. :)

  14. Talk about scaring the kids into keeping off the naughty list, LOL!

    I hope you have a lovely Christmas!

  15. wtf? that is tres bizzarre. i was just having a facebook conversation about the weird christmas traditions in spain. i lived there for a year (along time ago). they have a pooping man in every nativity scene. it's also a catalan tradition to get gifts from "the shit log." you wave a stick at him and tell him to shit (so crass) and then he poops presents... i only just discovered this one because i lived in southern spain. so... anyway...
    happy holidays!

  16. tres creepy! "So be good for goodness sakes!" .... noted.

  17. Wow-I have to say that's just too scary for me. Note to self-don't read about other country's Christmas traditions! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  18. I had a French teacher in high school tell the story of Le Pere Fouettard, and I had totally forgot about it till now. Thanks for the reminder! I'll have to share the story with my kids who are both taking French now...too bad they don't still believe in Santa. I could have used this.


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