My long-time readers may remember (but really, why would they?) that back in 2007 I wrote a post about Christmas traditions I have missed out on since my parents have been so negligent about passing on my cultural heritage. Harumph.
If you don’t remember, or never read, that post, let me bring you up to speed as quickly as possible:
On my father’s side we are somewhat Appalachian, and, therefore, should have been shooting anvils into the air and shooting shotguns (blanks, of course) at neighbor’s houses so they would give us cookies and cider.
On my mother’s side we are Swedish, and, therefore, should be putting lit candles in the hair of at least one of our daughters and telling our children that a tomte (gnomish, elfish creature) lives under our floorboards to keep an eye on us throughout the year.
If you care to go back and read the post, I explained my plan to combine the two cultures into one, big Scappalachian Christmas celebration.
Okay, now that everybody is all caught up, let us jump once again into the present. Presently, because I am so very old, I take a ceramics class once a week (it’s at my neighbor’s house across the street – mighty convenient). Also, presently, I just finished a project. And, presently, I got a new camera (Canon T2i, for those who will ask if I don’t mention it) and will take pictures of anything.
Quick aside: Yesterday I contemplated taking and posting a picture a day for the next 45 days. Each picture would be of a food I can not eat for at least the next six months. I started with chocolate. I am not posting that picture. Probably. I am also not going to do the 45 day project. Be glad. Be very glad. Because really? Who wants to see a picture of black pepper? Or a frozen turkey? Or beef?
Wait! I just realized I forgot another important part of the story. So. In the back of my mind for the past three years, I have been storing the tradition of the tomte, and occasionally wondering if I could/should incorporate it somehow into our family culture. Then, this past Christmas season, I saw this new book that you all might have seen: The Elf on the Shelf.
The whole premise, as I understand it, is that the elf sits on the shelf, mantle, wherever, and keeps an eye on the kiddies so that he can report behavior stats to Santa. Sounds an awful lot like the tomte, no? Yes. Except the tomte, as previously discussed, lives under the floorboards.
Guess what? We live in a house that has wooden floors now, so . . .
Is there really a quantifiable difference between an elf and a gnome? I’m going with “no” on that one. So this is Tommy the Tomte, or The Gnome on the Roam.
(I believe, after I started painting him all up, someone, somewhere, told me that the Travelocity gnome is called the “gnome on the roam”. This, of course, caused me no small amount of artistic angst and whatnot; but then I decided, “Who cares??”)
I finished him up last night, and today at lunch introduced him to the children and explained that he would be moving about the house, from location to location, keeping an eye on their behavior ALL YEAR LONG.
A~ requested I never put him in her room at night, because if she woke up to him, she thinks, she would totally freak out.
Tank Boy sat in his seat and asserted, “I’m being good. I’m being good.”
Tommy here is busy picking his favorite floorboard.
And just because it’s the only thing I apparently can do with chocolate right now, I am going to post it after all:
I keep telling myself they look an awful lot like rabbit droppings. It’s not working.