All of a sudden I’ve been drawing krampuskarten for four years. It still feels like a new tradition (my drawing them, that is). I’m clearly in the time-flying-by phase of life.
Anyway, here’s last year’s model. Maia and Robby got to star in the inaugural 2015 card, Beth and Lisa took 2016, so that left Todd and me. And here we are. Pretty obvious “plot,” really, given that this whole nonsense started over the annual pouring of Southern Tier’s Krampus Helles Lager.
Unfortunately, we’re near the end of that component of Krampusnacht. We noticed a sharp decline in the availability of liquid Krampus last year, to the point where Todd called Southern Tier and learned that they will no longer be brewing it. (In my mind’s eye I see a frantic, tearful Todd making this call, but I doubt that’s how it went down and I’m certain he wouldn’t appreciate that.). I managed to get my hands on a couple of bottles of Krampus (deeply discounted in Total Wine’s annual post-Krampusnacht sale)(no, not really), so we’ll be able to toast Krampus this year (and maybe in 2019).
As for this drawing, I once again employed what is perhaps my favorite computer-aided cartooning trick: blowing up an area where fine detail is needed, then shrinking it back into the original drawing. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, it’s too hard to see the fine detail once the drawing has been shrunk.
This week marks the twentieth anniversary of my first visit to Koinonia, a Lutheran retreat center, former camp, and frozen deer carcass burial ground in Highland Lake, New York. It’s a tradition that dear friends of ours have followed for years and years, and it’s a tradition that I am touched, flattered, and honored to have been invited to share.
It’s also a tradition with which I have something of a love-hate relationship.
I love it because I love the people we go with, I love the peacefulness and closeness to nature of the setting, and I love how much Maia (and the other next-generation kids) looks forward to and enjoys the weekend. Those are powerful forces. And they need to be, because pretty much everything else falls…elsewhere…on the love-hate relationship-o-meter.
Well, I’m being a bit unfair here. Within the tradition of Koinonia weekend, there are many, many “subtraditions”—subditions, if you will—that are fun and funny and comforting and all the rest of it. Things like rocket launches; games of Balderdash, WhooNu, and Taboo (which hasn’t been played since Eric and I used our telepathic link to lap the field many times over)(for me, one of the goals of these games is to come up with answers that get Rafi to snarf whatever he’s drinking); gorging on cookies; making hourly treks to the local grocery store (Peck’s); and on and on.
But there is one Koinonia subdition that stands alone in importance and majesty. Well, importance. OK, maybe just longevity. I think it would be a violation of something or other if I explained any details of this rite. Suffice to say, it’s called Frosty Frog. It doesn’t look exactly like what’s depicted here, but it’s close enough.