The Lore of the Christmas Gnome
Snow on the roofs is gleaming
All but the goblin are dreaming
Tomte, nisse, brownie, domovoi, drac... Beloved by children and the young at heart, the red-capped, snowy-bearded gnome is known by many names around the world. While these days we see him most often at Christmas, this household spirit is in fact far, far older than our modern conception of the midwinter holiday.
Author Danica Boyce follows the legends and traditions of the tomten throughout the ages, from the gnomes’ origins as domestic gods to their post-industrial servitude to Santa Claus. Though diminished and relegated to shadow, these helpful and protective spirits will happily return to our hearts and homes if given renewed consideration and care.
A cozy and captivating read, Tomten: The Lore of the Christmas Gnome is best enjoyed by firelight, with an extra bowl of porridge close at hand.
Danica Boyce was a medievalist and schoolteacher until she escaped the enclosure to become a podcaster and pagan life coach. She is known for writing and producing Fair Folk, a podcast sharing the sacred folklore and folksong of Europe. Most days she takes long walks, worships hidden gods, and guides people to reconnect with their own peculiarities and the abundance innate in the world. This pamphlet is an adaptation of the 2019 “Gnome for Christmas” episode of Fair Folk.
Cover illustration by John Bauer.