switches (christmas)

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Hi everybody!

I'm translating a christmas glossary but I don't know how to translate this word as I don't know what it means in this context.Could anyone give an explanation on what a switch is in this text?

Thanks in advance!

Belsnicke - is a Pennsylvania Dutch being who visits children at Christmas time. If they have not been good, they will find coal and/or switches in their stockings. The Belsnickel was a scary creature not well loved except by parents wanting to keep their children in line.
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