How Gnomes Became Classic Christmas Decor and 7 You Can Buy Right Now
There's a reason you'll be seeing more of these small statues this holiday season.
We’re ready to deck the halls with this year's hottest holiday decor trends, and this season we've 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.
Athough 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, 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 gnomes to display with your Christmas tree this year. We can't wait to pair them with our buffalo check accents, vintage ceramic trees, and classic Christmas decor this winter.
Add a gnome (or three) to any holiday decorating scheme with these gorgeous plush pillows. Use them to add color to a couch, showcase them on a mantel, or display one by your Christmas tree. The set comes with three gnomes in different sizes (11, 19, and 22 inches tall), so you can group them together or sprinkle them around the house. We love the way they're paired here with a festive gnome pom-pom pillow ($55).
This trio of 7-inch-tall fabric gnomes look adorable perched on a holiday mantel. One reviewer said it best: "These are so cute and not at all flimsy. They have a little weight to them so they don't just tip over super easy. I would definitely order these again!" Add them to your next Target drive-up order before they sell out.
While you might not be able to host a classic Christmas dinner this year due to social distancing guidelines, you can make your small at-home celebration feel extra special with a few decorative touches, like these festive gnome napkin rings. The gnomes are handmade from wool felt (they're Fair Trade Certified!) and measure about 5 inches tall, so you can easily set a gorgeous holiday table.
Forget the Santa-shaped cookie jar! This year, we'll be storing our favorite classic Christmas cookies in a gnome jar. 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.
This gnome ornament looks so cozy on a rustic Christmas tree. With his tall plaid hat and tiny snowshoes, he'll fit right in with your farmhouse Christmas decor. Thanks to a twine loop at the top of his hat, this 8-inch gnome is easy to hang from your tree’s branches. Plus, it matches perfectly with plaid garland!
This cozy Christmas ornament is hand-knit from Peruvian wool, so each one is truly one-of-a-kind. Use it as a traditional Christmas ornament, or grab a set to use as gift toppers. Simply thread your ribbon through the ornament loop as you wrap this year's holiday packages.
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 a name card for each family member. Grab a set of four and use cardstock to create each place setting (it'll stand up better than standard paper!).