A Knife Wielding Santa Doesn’t Exactly Exude Christmas Cheer

December 14th, 2005 // 10 Comments

Except in the Joel Krupnik and Mildred Castellanos household.

It’s usually easy to tell where a person stands in the culture wars, but whose side is someone on when his Christmas decor is a blood-spattered Santa Claus holding a severed head?

Joel Krupnik and Mildred Castellanos decked the front of their Manhattan mansion this year with a scene that includes a knife-wielding 5-foot-tall St. Nick and a tree full of decapitated Barbie dolls. Hidden partly behind a tree, the merry old elf grasps a disembodied doll’s head with fake blood streaming from its eye sockets.

No one answered the family’s door to explain on Tuesday, but Krupnik told the New York Post it was a statement about the commercialization and secularization of Christmas.

“Christmas has religious origins,” he said. “It’s in the Bible. Santa is not in the Bible. He’s not a religious symbol.”

Still, more than a few people passing by the Krupnik and Castellanos brownstone on Tuesday were a little puzzled about the message behind the massacre.

Peter Nardoza, 81, of Manhattan, shook his head and chuckled. “Sick, sick, sick,” he said. “What kind of a world is this that we live in?”

Ronnie Santiago, a deliveryman on his route, speculated that something bad must have happened once to the homeowner at Christmas. A few spectators wondered whether the campy gore would bother children.

There were signs the macabre theme is a year-round thing. The facade of the building was covered with leering gargoyles. A statue of Death, hooded and grim-looking, stood outside.

A few people got it. “This is brilliant,” said Bucky Turco, 31, of Manhattan. He said the display captured how he felt recently while watching someone costumed as SpongeBob SquarePants promote products at Rockefeller Center.

Walter Garofalo, a musician from Brooklyn who wandered by wearing a black bandanna covered in skulls, was awe-struck. “I wonder if these people would let me use this as our next album cover,” he said. “It’s perfect!”

Murderous Santa Display Draws Stares [AP]

By Miu von Furstenberg

  1. Jenra

    I think the better way to go about displaying the real meaning behind Christmas would be by maybe going to traditional route, such as displaying a Nativity scene instead of a killer Santa Claus!? This is just stupid!

  2. Sam The Man

    I saw this article yesterday in the paper and it made me pump my fist in the air and yell “yes!” Finally someone understands how I feel.

    People: It’s private property, we live in America, and people have the right to share their opinions. Who do you think you are to say “it’s stupid.” You have no idea how they feel, and while you are free to conjecture about their reasons for the display, maybe you should realize what they’re saying with it. Which is, “YOU’RE stupid.”

    I mean, if you look at Santa Clause objectively, it’s about as stupid as a Chanukah bush. And you don’t hear me saying that about your Holiday displays. It’s called being open minded.

  3. King Smart Ian

    Sam the Man:
    I’m confused. “People have the right to share their opinions” but “who do you think you are to say “it’s stupid”. Aren’t I the person who has a right to share my opinion? I don’t think displaying Santa in this fashion is about being open minded, I think its about being a douchebag and then hiding behind some vague religious reason. The way America is meant to work is this gentlemen has the right to display what he wishes on his property, you have the right to defend his actions and then I have the right to call him a douchebag for scaring little kids. Everybody wins!

  4. Jenra

    I don’t CARE about Santa Claus, I mean if they want to be mad about the commercialization of Christmas that’s fine, I am too! But I would just think that if you’re trying to show that you’re against all the commercialization the opposite thing to do would be to display something religious which is the whole reason we have Christmas in the first place! Even in the article their defense was that, “Christmas has religious origins, it’s in the bible, Santa is not in the bible”!

  5. Johnny Chicago

    Fuck Christmas! Goddamn it, it’s a MANMADE holiday!

    Know your fucking history, you asswipes!

    There is absolutely NO fucking mention of the word “Christmas” or the time of December 25th as being the ACTUAL DATE of this so-called ‘birth of Jesus’ in this bible that all of you ‘christians’ so deeply suck on to, like the needy leeches you are.

    The holiday of “Christmas” was created by storeowners in NY in the late 1800′s as a way to boost sagging store sales. (Even then, the Jews knew how make that money off the gentiles!)


  6. JP Thrashya

    Johnny, Christmas originated From the books Matthew and Luke chapters 1 and 2 in the holy Bible. “Christ” meaning Messiah, which comes from Jesus Christ, and “Mas” which come from “Mass” meaning religious festival. Put the two together and you have Christmas. Yes NY store owners stimulated the holiday of Christmas to boost sales but they didn’t creat the idea. KNOW YOUR HISTORY YOU SENSELESS FUCKING CLOWN!

  7. Alikat

    Ok JOhnny Chicago, What ISNT a manmade holiday?

  8. dottcomm1

    it’s not in the bible. here are the facts:

    Historians are unsure exactly when Christians first began celebrating the Nativity of Christ. Some scholars maintain that December 25 was only adopted in the 4th century as a Christian holiday after Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity on his death bed, to encourage a common religious festival for both Christians and Pagans. Perusal of historical records indicates that the first mention of such a feast in Constantinople (Constantine’s own city, after all) was not until 379 AD, under Gregory Nazianzus. In Rome, it can only be confirmed as being mentioned in a document from approximately 350 AD, but without any mention of sanction by Emperor Constantine.

    Early Christians chiefly celebrated the subsequent Epiphany, when the baby Jesus was visited by the Magi (and this is still a primary time for celebration in Spain). Efforts to assign a date for his birth, though better known from writings from some centuries later, would have been important to all Christians then, no less than now.

    The context in which Christianity, and thus Christmas was formed was the Roman Empire. The Romans honored Saturn, the ancient god of agriculture, each year beginning on December 17 in a festival called the Saturnalia, to glorify past days when the god Saturn ruled, according to the tradition. This festival lasted for seven days and included the winter solstice, which at that time, by the Julian calendar, fell on December 25 (today, following calendar reform, it falls on December 21). During Saturnalia the Romans feasted, postponed all business and warfare, exchanged gifts, and temporarily freed their slaves. With the lengthening of daylight, these and other winter festivities continued through January 1, the festival of Kalends, when Romans marked the day of the new moon and the first day of the month and religious year (the secular year began in March). A common practice among Roman citizens during Saturnalia was to select one of their slaves to be the master of the household, with the masters themselves acting as slaves.

    By the 4th century another factor was also at work. During the reign of Emperor Aurelian, Sol Invictus became the official religion of the Roman Empire in 207 AD. Sol Invictus (the invincible sun) was based upon a celebration of the Persian sun god, Mithras. Romans celebrated the birth of the sun on the Winter Solstice which was December 25 by the Julian Calendar, with festivities in honor of the rebirth of Sol Invictus, the “Invincible Sun God”, or with rituals to glorify Mithra (see Mithraism). Sol Invictus was a religion to which both Constantine himself before his deathbed conversion to Christianity, and his predecessor Diocletian, who had rebuilt the Roman Empire, were especially devoted, and to whom the latter had attributed his military successes. Diocletian at one time had had Constantine living under his eye, against his will, separating him from his father. The Roman priesthood preserved the festival and many other traditions and beliefs in its transformation to Christianity and formation of the Catholic Church. All extant evidence indicates that Christianity was generally adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire decades after Constantine’s death in most parts of the Empire.

  9. Jenra

    Thank you for setting the record straight dottcomm! And Johnny Chicago….you’re an idiot!

  10. I have met and read about a lot of stupid people in my life… Johnny Chicago was just added to my list.

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