Christmas Legends – Tomte Nisse

While we were traveling in Norway, I came across an adorable little Christmas shop in Bergen. They had an entire wall of what I referred to as “Santas” only to later find out they were an entirely different figure – the Tomte Nisse!

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The Tomte Nisse is a Nordic legend that  is essentially a bit like a gnome. Like most creatures of fairy-tale origin, he started out as a bit scary and irrational figure, and then slowly morphed into an accepted bed time story like figure.

In the pre-Christian era, the Tomte Nisse lived in a farm, and protected and aided the farmer and livestock.

He could also be very vengeful (look up the stories!)

When Christianity came to Norway, the Tomte Nisse was essentially outlawed as a pagan figure. Later, the Tomte Nisse returned to popular myth as a helper of Santa’s, bringing gifts.

Personally, I am thrilled to have an adorable figure (and figurine) to round out the Krampus legends this year! Plus, they look great on our mantle!

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1 Comment

  1. Love them! I collected Christmas decorations everywhere I went when we lived overseas but sadly have lost some of them in various moves. I still continue to get them within the States when I travel even if they aren’t true Christmas ornaments. Fun memories!

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