The Man in Red
In Switzerland, the tradition of Santa Claus is somewhat different from the norm. Though he looks the same as Santa Claus, the Samichlaus (originally Sankt Nikolaus) does not bring the presents at Christmas. Rather, he appears on the 6th of December. Children visit the Samichlaus (Of course, he's actually an ordinary man in red robes with a fake beard.) with their parents to be judged and recite poems that they've learned.

Enter Schmutzli
Samichlaus is accompanied by a helper called Schmutzli (from "schmutzig" - dirty). He is dressed in the same garments as the Samichlaus, but his are in black or brown. He wears a black beard and is smeared with dirt. The entire thing is set up as a kind of Good Cop Bad Cop routine. While the Samichlaus praises the kids who have been good, Schmutzli takes the naughty kids, puts them into his bag and carries them away. This makes for a practical way for parents to make their kids behave well: "Be good or Schmutzli will carry you off in his bag!"

Fear not for the Swiss children. Described above is the original form. Nowadays Schmutzli is purely ornamental or even left out completely. And anyway, the children always came back after being carried away.

The evening meal on the 6th traditionally consists of a man-shaped bread (called Grittibänz), oranges, mandarins, walnuts, peanuts (with the shells), Lebkuchen, butter and chocolates. A smart tradition, considering that the fruit contain vitamin C, which is important in winter. Though most people do it because it's fun.

See Father Christmas