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The Christmas Tradition of Belsnickel, a Pennsylvania Dutch ‘Santa in Furs’

In early December of every year, Patrick Donmoyer dresses up in old furs and yells at children. Donmoyer, the Director of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University, becomes Belsnickel, a traditional Santa-like figure who both rewards and punishes kids. “I think I'm one of the only people I know who has to go into a school house full of children and just terrorize them as part of their job.”

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