Why Do Naughty Kids Get Coal at Christmas?

December 18, 2018
Santa with a piece of coal

© Ppy2010ha | Dreamstime.com


Impress your family and friends this year with some conditionally useful holiday knowledge! (Some people call it "useless information" but we're trying to keep it positive. Tis the season.)

Have you ever wondered why kids on the naughty list end up with coal? Wonder no more. In some cultures it dates back to the 16th century (shout out to Krampus); in others, it has to do with convenience. After all, if Santa ends up at a home that recently extinguished a coal-burning fire, it's easy enough to grab one from the pile. 

Probably a good thing this tradition hasn't been updated for modern times: no child wants to see a charred lump that used to be an iPhone in their stocking. 

Here's the full story on why coal at Christmas is a thing.