19 Coal and Switches from Black Peter

Today, we tell children that if they don't behave like good girls and boys, Santa will bring them nothing but coal and sticks at Christmas. Not so long ago, children had a more compelling reason to be good. In those days, Santa had an accomplice by the name of Black Peter, who accompanied Santa on his annual rounds. Santa gave toys to good boys and girls, while Black Peter dispensed coal and switches to the bad ones. Some think that Santa and his dark counterpart Black Peter are descended from the old god Saturn. According to legend, Saturn ate his own children, but at the same time, his was the period of peace and plenty celebrated in Saturnalia. So even though Santa Claus travels without Black Peter these days, it is also true that he doesn't bring presents to bad boys and girls, so in his way, he sees that justice is served.