Santa is not a gnome. However, many people, particularly those in Scandinavia, believe that it is gnomes and elves that perform the majority of the work when it comes to all things Christmas such as making presents, wrapping and then delivering them. Norwegian mythology says that Christmas gnomes help to protect animals all year round.
What are Christmas Gnomes Called?
A nisse (Danish: [ˈne̝sə], Norwegian: [ˈnɪ̂sːə]), tomte (Swedish: [ˈtɔ̂mːtɛ]), tomtenisse, or tonttu (Finnish: [ˈtontːu]) is what people in these countries call Christmas gnomes. This is a creature that has been developed within Nordic mythology and is part of their winder solstic and Christmas stories.
How are Gnomes Related to Christmas?
This is mainly from Scandanavian mythology in which, for example, Christmas gnomes are called ‘Nisse‘ in Denmark. There are various stories in which Christmas gnomes have been developed.
Are Tomtes Just for Christmas?
These are not just for Christmas. Tomte is one of the most famous creatures that features in Scandinavian mythology and apparently is something that protects the homes of farmers, children and their animals.
Are Santa’s Elves Gnomes?
No, they are in fact a type of dwarf. Their skills were adapted so that they could make amazing toys for children around the world.
Why are Gnomes so Popular at Christmas?
This will be due to a number of factors; possible the main one being that they look very similar to Santa Claus which makes them perfectly placed to be given a Santa-style look. This means giving them a red outfit and the same kind of boots that they big man has every year too. They also have the beard and big belly, of course, which all adds up to them almost looking the same!
Another reason will be that they are great for placing around the house, in addition to being outside, and are fun to look at so people naturally like having them and Christmas is the perfect time to decorate a house with all kinds of lovely ornaments.
As various forms of gnome ornaments are easy to make, people enjoy using them in various ways such as hanging them off trees, as plush ornaments to be placed on a couch alongside cushions, place card holders, and as little fluffy characters that work well alongside napkins.