How Gnomes Became Classic Christmas Decor—And 4 You Can Buy Right Now
There's a reason you're seeing more of these small statues this holiday season.
We’ve been decking the halls with this year's hottest holiday decor trends, but as we perused the store aisles, we noticed a surprising number of gnome decorations hiding among the holiday lights and ornaments. According to Google Trends, we're not the only ones: Searches for Christmas gnomes have increased by 525% since 2015. People have been decorating with gnomes for a long time, of course—you’ve probably seen a few kitschy terracotta gnomes hiding out in neighbors’ gardens—but there's actually a reason we see more of them at Christmastime.
Though the exact definition has changed quite a bit over the years, gnomes are said to be nature spirits that live underground, often interacting with humans in either helpful or mischievous ways. However, in Scandinavia, these gnomes (known as nisse in Norway) are associated with the Christmas season. Much like the American Santa Claus, the julenisse—basically Kris Kringle in gnome form—visits the homes of good children on Christmas Eve. Children leave a bowl of porridge out for him, and in return, the julenisse brings presents to their front door.
Today, these gnomes have resurged as the perfect addition to your farmhouse holiday decor. Dozens of home brands have turned these small figures into adorable holiday decor, and there are hundreds of festive gnomes to choose from. Display them on your holiday mantel, hang handmade gnome ornaments on your tree, or deck out your kitchen with gnome-shaped cookware. Check out a few of our favorite shoppable gnomes (all under $30!) to display with your Christmas tree this year.
Plaid Gnome Ornament
This gnome ornament looks so cozy on a rustic Christmas tree—we love his tall plaid hat and tiny snowshoes. With a twine loop at the top of his hat, this 8-inch gnome is easy to hang from your tree’s branches. Plus, he’d match perfectly with plaid-patterned garland!
Gnome Cookie Jar
Store your favorite classic Christmas cookies in a gnome jar this year. Dressed in a festive hat and sweater, this ceramic gnome is nearly 6 inches wide and 13 inches high. Plus, he has an airtight lid, so he’ll keep your baked goods fresh all season long.
Mini Mantel Display
We think this trio of 7-inch-tall fabric gnomes would look adorable perched on a holiday mantel! One reviewer said it best, "These are sooo cute and not at all flimsy. They have a little weight to them so they don't just tip over super easy (unless they are placed unevenly). I would definitely order these again!"
Gnome Place Cards
These hand-painted place card holders are a festive addition to your Christmas dinner table. Each earthenware gnome is 2-inches high and has a slot to hold your guests’ name cards. Grab a set of four and use a thick paper like cardstock to create each place setting—it stands up better than standard paper.