10 fricking awesome photos from a gigantic Krampus parade. Happy holidays!

If the holidays were a drink, they'd be a venti vanilla peppermint mocha frappacino. With extra whipped cream.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas carols, cookies, and terrible sweaters as much as the next guy, but after a couple of weeks, it can be a little much.

I can feel my blood sugar rising just looking at this picture. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images


But you know what cuts through all that sugar like a big splash of strong black coffee? A pretty little thing called Krampus.

"OK, say cheese and whatever you do, don't turn around." Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

If you're not familiar with this increasingly popular Christmas icon, Krampus hails from Alpine countries, such as Austria and Slovakia. A holdover from pre-Christian traditions, Krampus is basically St. Nicholas' half-devil, half-goat frenemy(?) who goes around scooping up naughty children into a sack and hitting them with sticks.

Originally more obscure, and even banned during the '30's, Krampus has enjoyed a resurgence lately that's even extended beyond Austria. I mean, you know you're doing well when you get to square off against Adam Scott in an extremely campy horror-comedy flick.

On Dec. 6, Getty photographer Sean Gallup was in Pongau, Austria, where hundreds of actors marched in the annual Krampus Parade. Check out some of the pictures below:

Here come the Krampuses! Pretty awesome, no?

Krampusi? Krampusfolk? What is the plural here? Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Some of these wooden masks are incredibly detailed and beautiful, in a Guillermo Del Toro kind of way.

Anyone else excited as hell for "The Shape of Water," by the way? Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

The kids seem to love it. Because of course they do. Have you met kids?

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

This little girl seems positively delighted.

You just kind of want to hug it. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Some children even find costumes of their own and take part.

Austria has the best Halloween costumes, and it's not even October. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

For a half-devil-goat-thing, this Krampus sure looks bashful once their classmates came over to say hi.

Aww. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

It must get pretty stuffy under those costumes though. These actors get a last gasp of air before the parade.

Plus, you know, they're basically wearing a giant fur coat. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Meanwhile, St. Nicholas and an angel are there to reward the children Krampus doesn't steal away.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Soon enough it'll be time to go back to sweetness and light. But, for now, at least, Krampus is the star of the show.

By the way, if you haven't watched the other weird Christmas horror movie "Rare Exports," it's pretty great. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Listen, the holidays can be pretty overwhelming. It can feel like if you're not happy and chipper and holding twin babies all the time, you're kind of letting the spirit of season down (even though, psychologically, it's important to be able to accept your darker emotions sometimes).

But maybe that's why people are starting to really love Krampus. He's not just an interesting cultural touchstone, he's a chance to let loose, flirt with fear and darkness a little, and ... relax. As weird as I know that sounds.

Plus he's metal as fuck.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via CNN / Twitter

Eviction seemed imminent for Dasha Kelly, 32, and her three young daughters Sharron, 8; Kia, 6; and Imani, 5, on Monday. The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend and it looked like there was no way for them to avoid becoming homeless.

The former Las Vegas card dealer lost her job due to casino closures during the pandemic and needed $2,000 to cover her back rent. The mother of three couldn't bear the thought of being put out of her apartment with three children in the scorching Nevada desert.

"I had no idea what we were going to do," Kelly said, according to KOAT.

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