Nordic Christmas: Gnome for the Holidays


This post is part of our series exploring Nordic Christmas traditions. To see the entire collection, visit the Nordic Christmas home page.

Oh there’s no place like gnome for the holidays …

Isn’t that how the song goes? No? Well it should. Especially if you’re celebrating a Nordic Christmas.

Whether you call them tomte (Swedish) or nisse (Norwegian/Danish) or tomtenisse (Finnish) or something else, these gnomes hold an essential place in Christmas celebrations. They guard the home and protect the farm but they only stay in homes filled with love and respect. A lack of respect within the home could send the gnome away and ruin your farm’s yield! (Much more serious stakes and those of the Elf on the Shelf.)

Every home should have at least one. They are common in Scandinavian decor. Obviously. Who could resist such charming housemates? Not I. 

Of course you can find them at IKEA. I’ve also found them in a lot of other stores in their Christmas sections. 

In fact, I even found gnomes in unexpected places too. The Detroit airport has gnomes supervising the baggage claim.

I found this guy guarding a surf shop in Haleiwa. 

They’re charming and they bring good luck!

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