Cookies, pumpkin spice and everything nice not your idea of fun this holiday season? There are several unconventional celebrations coming up that might be right up your alley.
You can start with Kaleidoscope Art Space’s Krampus Fest Art Show & Market this Friday, Dec. 15. The hooved, mischievous “Christmas devil” made mainstream-famous a few years ago on the silver screen will be honored by artists with various depictions of the half-goat, half-demon icon.
The lure of the horned anti-Santa lies in his mischief-making and darker image. Kaleidoscope founder, Nikki Gonzalez, explained the history behind the Krampus legend.
“Santa comes and gives presents, and Krampus deals with all the bad kids,” she said. “He whips them with a switch and takes them to his lair.”
Fire dancers, stilt walkers, musicians, vendors and a Krampus parade will add to the festive flair of the event.
Go from merry to scary with Lost El Paso Paranormal. On Saturday, Dec. 16, the group will lead the “Ghosts of Christmas Past” tour at Concordia Cemetery.
“For this tour, we’re including Christmas legends from around the world: Krampus, La Befana, an Italian Christmas witch,” said Lost El Paso’s founder Heather Shade. “We’re spicing things up with these holiday legends and ghost stories mixed in.”
Shade says the season is indelibly interconnected with the spirit world, pointing out Dickens’ famous “A Christmas Carol” and its attendant ghosts as a Victorian-era tradition of setting up a ghosts’ dining table at Christmas dinner for departed loved ones.
On Friday, Dec. 22, the group will lead the “Nightmare Before Christmas Downtown Ghost Walk” starting at the historic Gardner Hotel. From there, the tour winds through San Jacinto Plaza and Cleveland Square for a gander at the holiday lights and ice-skating rink.
The Phantom of the Opera Winter Solstice Masquerade Party blends charity, culture and cosmic circumstance on Thursday, Dec. 21, the longest night of the year.
RubyAnn and Michael Gaglio have hosted the event for more than 20 years at their home in the Upper Valley. They’re asking for donations to benefit the Frontera Land Alliance.
“The solstice is like the beginning – a new year,” said RubyAnn. “We’ll have a bonfire outside and people can write down what they want to get rid of, throw it into the fire, or what their wishes and dreams are and release them into the universe.”
She encourages attendees to dress in costume, a factor she’s noticed helps reduce party jitters.
“I have a lot of friends who come to my party who are very different from each other,” she said. “If everybody’s in costume, then everybody’s differen