Santa Claus is a relatively new import into Switzerland, and like all things that are the result of culture creep, sometimes the final product goes a bit awry. For centuries, the Swiss version of the Christmas saint was, of course, St. Nicholas, and he looked something like this:
A kindly looking gentleman in the tradition of Father Christmas, yes?
But then along came 'Santa', and I'm not sure if the steeply sloped roofs of the Vaudois houses prevents the reindeer from landing atop the tiles, or if the chimneys are too crooked, but Santa has a whole different modus operandi in modern Switzerland. I present to you, B & E Santa!
As you can see, Santa has no reindeer, no sleigh, but has developed a system of ropes, pulleys and ladders that are somehow in tune with the Alpinist dear to the Swiss' heart. Although there are no reindeer or elves, Santa mysteriously has cloned himself for the Swiss portion of his global gift giving journey and has been seen working in teams.
Swiss Santa is so brazen that even shops open for business are no deterrent to his B&E antics:
Most troubling of all is Swiss Santa's seeming propensity for taking advantage of his new method of entry...the Peeping Santa:
Puts a whole new twist on 'He sees you when you're sleeping' doesn't it?
But all occupations have hazards and unfortunately, even Santa is not immune to the known dangers Alpine climbing:
When the snows have melted, and spring is blooming in the alps (meadows) the Swiss will rescue the corpses of last Christmas Eve and pray that Santa will be more careful next year.
Happy New Year's Eve everyone....I'll try and post tomorrow with some hangover cures and perhaps a resolution or two.