The Whipping Father

Not Le Père Fouettard, but Fifty, in his reindeer antlers. He hates me. 

Bonjour, la veille de Noël, we meet again.

How in the name of all that’s Christmas is it December 24th again? If it wasn’t for the big move and the whole Green Card brouhahah, I swear, it feels like I was just in Toulon for Christmas Eve last year, like a couple of days ago. (That was a good one, remember? Except for the BB gun part of course. Stupid boys.)

So yeah, Christmas Eve snuck up on me, but even though it’s here, and the big show is only a day away (and closing in quickly down under, g’day Aussie friends), there was no way I was going to let it pass without my annual re-telling of the tale of Père Noël’s (that’s French Santa by the way), evil sidekick, Le Père Fouettard.

You know, now that I’m safely ensconced back in the States, I feel like I’m out of Le Père Fouettard’s evil grasp. But since there’s a Frenchman and a French dog in my house, what if that means he can still get me? Like, he can sense the Frenchness in my Texas home and find his way here. I’m sure if he looks closely, he can follow the baguette crumbs Gregory dropped along his way. Damn you Gregory! Oh well, I guess I have to make sure to stay on the nice list for another year. Yawn.

Originally titled: Nothing Says Christmas Like A Flogging and posted, December 15, 2009.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

OK, this is weird.

I was doing a little reading about French Christmas traditions. I figure since I’m here, I might as well find out the happenings of my favorite holiday, French style. And there is absolutely no use asking Gregory, he is useless at relaying this kind of information.


In France, Santa Clause is Père Noël, nothing strange there, but Père Noël has a partner, and it’s not Rudolph. It’s an evil man named…dun dun dun….

Le Père Fouettard
(Sounds a bit scary doesn’t it, thought it needed that dun dun dun.)

According to my sources, the ever reliable Wikipedia, Le Père Fouettard was a guy who kidnapped three little boys, robbed them, killed them, and then chopped them up and put them in a stew.

Holy Reindeer Droppings! How the Fudge does this guy end up having anything to do with Sugar Plums and Mistletoe?

Apparently, Jolly Ol’ St. Nick some how discovered the crime (maybe when Le Père Fouettard’s name was flashing in red lights all over the naughty list) and magically resurrected the children (nice tie in to J.C. there – it is his birthday after all). Le Père Fouettard ends up feeling bad and becomes St. Nick’s partner and goes around with him on Christmas.

But get this, Le Père Fouettard doesn’t become all full of holiday cheer like Ebeneezer Scrooge, he’s still sinister, so instead of handing out pressies, he punishes all the naughty children instead. Usually with a good old fashioned flogging.

Nothing says Christmas like a flogging.

Safe to say, I’m usually a well behaved girl, but after reading about you know who (don’t want to type his name again in case it has some sort of Beetlejuice effect) I’m going to be on my best behavior this holiday season.

Don’t want you know who coming to town.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Very merry holiday wishes and Christmas kisses to you and yours!
Joyeux Noël et Bonne Fête! 

13 responses to “The Whipping Father”

  1. I vaguely remember that story from when I was living in France. Hope you're having a wonderful Christmas! Joyeux Noël!


  2. Merry Christmas! I hope you are having a wonderful time together! ❤


  3. A very merry Christmas to you and Gregory! Here's hoping that 2015 brings yo everything you want (green card included 🙂 )


  4. Joyeux Noel sweet Sara, or, Merry Christmas y'all.


  5. Ah bless fifty, he looks so 'happy'!! I hope you had a lovely Christmas with your man in tow. Plus i've just read your story to a few of us whilst sat in France and we've all just had a good ole' giggle, and it must have sounded like I stayed on the well behaved list again this year too because I got some presents and no flogging and thats being in France too. x


  6. Wow, I had no idea about the background of French Christmas traditions! I would be on my best behavior too. haha! Merry Christmas!


  7. Merry Christmas! That's very interesting to know, despite “you know who” sounds CSI kind of scary. Wishing you a lovely year end.


  8. I hope you had a very merry Christmas!!!!


  9. Belated good wishes for Christmas, and a Green-card-filled New Year!! We had a quiet Christmas and plan an even quieter New Year – but tha&t's what we want, now we're getting on a bit. May all your wishes come true. Give Fifty a big cuddle from the Kitties, and Gregory a big kiss from you! xx


  10. Yikes! Some dark history in them thar stories!Wishing you, Gregory and Fifty a very Happy Holidays and many blessings for a happy, healthy and joyous New Year xoxo


  11. My mom used to scare the SHIT out of us by relaying about good old Le Père. We'd be more than happy with coal as long as we could avoid being chopped up! Fifty looks so adorable, and I hope you had a beautiful holiday, my dear friend! Fingers crossed 2015 will bring Gregory to the US permanently and QUICKLY. xox


  12. I love Pere Fouettard, I have also found that children love hearing tales of him more than Father Christmas!


  13. That might be the freakiest Christmas story I've heard yet. I hope you guys had a good one!


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