I first heard about the Tomte from my daughter who moved to Sweden in 2010. He is a little creature from Scandinavian folklore that is usually associated around the winter solstice and Christmas. I always thought of the Tomte as similar to a gnome. He is only 3 feet tall with a white beard and red cap. To Scandinavians he is like Santa Clause and is the bearer of gifts. The Tomte often takes up residence at a family farm. Living in the home and helping with chores and protecting the children and animals. Like the faeries he can have a temper. So treat him fairly or he will play tricks and cause mischief to the family. A bowl of porridge is commonly left out at Christmas. This also is a nice gesture to let the Tomte know he is welcome.
During Christmas time you will often see Tomte with red hats and beards hanging around the Swedish homes as decorations. I’ve collected a few over the years and Tomtar are always welcome in my home.
I now regularly make these little characters. I try to vary how each one looks so no two are alike.