Today we welcome Astrid over from Red Red Completely Red. Her blog is full of many things I love, especially things Scandinavian. She has a fantastic Etsy shop with adorable felted items and the cutest personalized embroidery hoops you will probably ever see. Astrid is quite talented at what she does and I am excited that she is here today sharing all about the mischievous Nisse!
Growing up, our family's Danish roots were always particularly evident at Christmas. Perhaps it's because the Scandinavians have such a great sense of style in their decorations, or such tasty pepparkaker, but so many of the Christmas traditions I continue with my family come from the Danes. One of these is the existence of nisse (or tomte to some) -- the cheeky little red elves who, legend has it, deliver the presents.
Last year, I set friends and family a little Christmas Challenge, to channel their mischievous inner nisse, and cover their neighbourhoods in Christmas hats. We had a lot of fun dressing up all of the stone lawn ornaments around here, and really enjoyed a cheeky new take on Christmas spirit -- 'good' deeds done anonymously, under the cover of darkness!
This year, no more mischief is needed in our house. One-and-a-half year old Tilly is our resident nisse, and loves creating as much good-humoured trouble as she can. Our hoard of stuffed snowmen "magically" move about the house now, and often surprise me by waiting outside of doors. Every day items like keys and watches disappear, and then turn up later, hanging from the Christmas tree. (So it's no wonder we're always late to everything!)
For us, the nisse bring out the playful side of the Christmas season, and help us strike a balance between not doing enough to make the celebration special, and taking the festivities too seriously. A little or prank or two -- which can, of course, be blamed on the nisse -- make for lots of funny family memories!
I hope those cheeky nisse pay a visit to your home this Christmas. Remember, a little treat left out for your nisse ensures he stays happy and doesn't cause any real trouble!