Tomte’s here! Our daughter’s Christmas gnome has moved in
Background information

Tomte’s here! Our daughter’s Christmas gnome has moved in

Patrick Vogt
2.12.2023
Translation: Katherine Martin

For our daughter, Christmas time is gnome time. For the last few years, Tomte (the Scandinavian version of The Elf on the Shelf) has come to stay with us during the festive period. His job? To make Christmas magical for our daughter by writing her letters, delivering gifts and playing pranks.

Tomte, our soon-to-be five-year-old daughter Zoe’s Christmas gnome, is finally here. Which means mum and dad will be playing second fiddle to him until the end of December. I recently wrote an article about Tomte’s imminent comeback:

  • Background information

    Tomte’s arrived! Our daughter loves her Christmas gnome dearly

    by Patrick Vogt

Gradually moving in

On day one, Tomte started transporting and putting together bits and bobs for his bachelor pad. During this period, waking up in the morning to go see what her gnome had built during the night was the highlight of Zoe’s day. Having put the finishing touches to his pad a few days ago, Tomte has made himself right at home in our living room. And he sure is taking up a lot of space.

Tomte had to come through the window, ...
Tomte had to come through the window, ...
Source: Sofia Vogt
... to reach his luxury bachelor pad.
... to reach his luxury bachelor pad.
Source: Patrick Vogt

A bumper Advent calendar

From now until at least Christmas Eve, Zoe will receive a gift from Tomte every day. In this respect, having Tomte as a guest is no different from having a DIY Advent calendar. He also writes her a daily letter and plays little tricks on us.

In this letter, Tomte gave Zoe a magic spell to conjure up some salt sticks.
In this letter, Tomte gave Zoe a magic spell to conjure up some salt sticks.
Source: Patrick Vogt

Gnome essentials

Despite his luxurious home, Tomte lives behind a fairy door during the day. After all, if we saw him, he’d lose his magical powers. He only casts his spells at night when everyone’s asleep. So if you want a Christmas gnome to visit your children, get him a door first.

Every gnome needs a door.
Every gnome needs a door.
Source: Patrick Vogt

To make your gnome feel at home and, more importantly, to give your kids something to look at, you can set up a home for him around the door. We found the perfect one in the rodent cage supplies section. Tomte’s home started life as house for rodents, but with a little moss on top, it’s fit for a gnome.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to get an actual gnome! Even if your children don’t get to see the real creature (because it’s you ... there, I said it), they’ll still want to see something.

While setting up Tomte’s home, my wife raved about the decorations from Reutter. Alternatively, you could search our shop for «doll house furniture».

Sylvanian Families Country house kitchen
Toy figure
22.50 CHF

Sylvanian Families Country house kitchen

Sylvanian Families Country house kitchen
22.50 CHF

Sylvanian Families Country house kitchen

Of course, it’s entirely up to you whether you take the gnome-house renovations as far as my wife did. My «gnome-in-chief» got more swept up in an obsession with detail than I’d ever seen her get before. I doubt any other gnome has it better than our Tomte.

A living room within a living room: Gnome Inception.
A living room within a living room: Gnome Inception.
Source: Patrick Vogt
The master bedroom: where the magic happens. Ahem.
The master bedroom: where the magic happens. Ahem.
Source: Sofia Vogt

Inspiration for letters and pranks

As is the case for your gnome’s house, you can let your imagination and creativity run riot when writing his letters and playing his pranks (websites in German). One idea could be to incorporate aspects of your kids’ everyday lives into the letters – «Have fun with Granny and Grandpa!» or «Have a great day at the zoo!» for example. After all, the Christmas gnome sees and hears everything. This interaction is important in making your kids feel like there’s someone there.

Zoe’s convinced that Tomte is real – at least for now. And the little guy upstages us parents at Christmas time. I mean, he’s the one working the magic, right? Even if we insist the occasional surprise comes from us. But when we see how much joy and happiness Tomte brings to our Zoe, we’re more than happy to take a back seat.

Header image: Patrick Vogt

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I'm a full-blooded dad and husband, part-time nerd and chicken farmer, cat tamer and animal lover. I would like to know everything and yet I know nothing. I know even less, but I learn something new every day. What I am good at is dealing with words, spoken and written. And I get to prove that here. 


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