In Germany, there is Santa (Saint Nicholas) and then they have Ruprecht. Ruprecht is kind of like Santa’s henchman, and he physically reprimands naughty kids, just as Santa rewards good kids with toys or candy (or in Germany, oranges and coins in your shoes).

My informant tells me: “When my mom was little, one of her older brothers was very naughty, so on Christmas morning, the doorbell rang, and then Ruprecht came and took her brother away in a burlap sack, kicking and screaming. Ever since, my mom was terrified, and physically sick to her stomach, every Christmas, living in fear that Ruprecht would come and beat the shit out of her. Long story short, we’re thinking of introducing the folklore of “Ruprecht” into our house. [My informant is the mother of two small children.] Time outs are not as effective as one might hope they’d be.”