By: Dominic Mangle, HAHS Member and The Halifax Belsnickel
November 23, 2023
The Belsnickel, 2023. Photograph by Dylan Bowman.
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Ah! Here we go. Hello there folks; it is I, The Belsnickel. Pardon me as I’m still getting use to this whole “typing” thing. I hear that you want to know what a day in the life of The Belsnickel looks like. Well, allow me to enlighten you!
I suppose for those of you who DON’T know who I am (I’d find that hard to believe), allow me to introduce myself. I am The Belsnickel, also known as Kriskinkle, Beltznickle, Pelsnichol, and sometimes the “Christmas woman”...(we don’t talk about that one). I am mostly known for traveling the world weeks before Saint Nicolas or as you call him “Santa Claus” to see who is impish and who is admirable.
If you’re admirable, you will get a nice piece of candy, but if you’re impish… well then, you’ll say hello to my switch…and not in a pleasant way! All to make sure all the children of the world are staying good. I may sound mean, but I’m no Krampus…that guy is just awful!
I spend my days in a cave in Germany where I live with me, myself, and I… and my cow. Some ask me, “How old are you?"
Old… very old. I’ve been around longer than your great-grandfather. Throughout the years I’ve been around, I’ve taken an interest in expanding my Belsnickeling to the Colonies, following many of those German and English children that I once visited each year, and boy oh boy… there are many impish children here.
But you’re here to see what my day looks like, so lets move on.
The Belsnickel looking out over the Powell's Valley region and Halifax. Photograph by Dylan Bowman
A Day in the Christmas Life
Whenever I am not helping good ol' Saint Nicolas, I tend to be out in the wilderness; ah, my happy place. It is the perfect place to find what I need to make my switch strong and whackable! Just this past year, the last switch I’d been using for the past half-century wore out, so it’s time for a nice fresh one. Normally, it's either birch or hickory… that’ll depend on how impish these kids are.
While I’m out there, I like to find nice furs to prepare for the long cold travels when I’m off to see the children, along with other souvenirs like antlers and perhaps a nice flower… I’m not a complete monster you know. Then I like to feed my cow Rupert (Rudolph was taken) some wild onions. It’s good for his breath. Now as much as I know how you all love that stuff, I’m sure you wanna hear about what I do around Christmas time.
I like to start off my Christmas prep by visiting the aforementioned Saint Nicolas. Good boss, great benefits. I go there to get my list of addresses of where to deliver any of his delectable treats like candy or cake to good children. Personally, I’d give these kids wild onions, but that’s just me. I then suit up in all my furs, get my cow ready, pack my wonderful switch (it’s hickory this year, in case you were wondering) and make my way to the houses of all the children in the world to see whether they are impish or admirable.
I hope you enjoyed your time of getting to know me better and I shall leave you with this Halifax. Just remember: if I see that you are impish… I will come for you.