Our Gnome on the Roam

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 . . .

Tommy the Tomte

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.

9 thoughts on “Our Gnome on the Roam

  1. Ooh, I love it! Though yes, he’d creep me out too. Reminds me of a fun little game I started when I worked at American Girl of hiding the mini-Felicity doll in people’s cubicles. It brought me great amusement and laughter. And the 45 things? Holy buckets, that’s craziness. I had a roommate once who had somehow developed such crazy food allergies she could pretty much only eat watermelon and potatoes. Maybe there was a third thing but honesty? Pretty much those two (and she decided the beer was worth the hives. I didn’t live with her and her other wacko friend for long). So while I have known how crazy the food allergy thing can get, you really do have a crazy list. I’m glad you have answers, but geesh, what a bummer!


  2. Christina

    You made him?! I’m impressed. Also, I sort of have a thing for garden gnomes. When I am old I shall have zillions of them in my front yard, just because I can. (I will also likely have way too many cats. But that’s another story.) And I love the idea of having him hanging around the house, “watching”… what a funny family tradition that will become!!


  3. 45 things? Really? And you learned all of this from Suzanne Pleshette’s doctor? No. Somers. Right? Suzanne Somers. Her doctor says you have to give up 45 things? You can eat a freshly killed turkey, like if you hit one with your car, but you can’t eat it if it’s frozen? Why? I mean, I know why. You’re allergic. But, why does freezing it make it bad for you? You’ll have to email me with all the gory details because I’m using you as my guinea pig to decide if I’m going to give Suzanne’s doctor a try for myself. I haven’t decided yet if I think it’s good common sense, or quackery. But pharmaceuticals sure aren’t helping me. I may have found a doc fairly close that I’m going to try after we rectify the cashflow situation here.

    The Gnome would scare the $%*# out of me. But you did a great job on him. I have to agree with A on this one- Waking up with that thing looking at me would be seriously creepy. I hope your kids won’t need therapy. Mine probably will (but for different reasons). Maybe we can go in on it together and get them a group rate.


  4. Great job on the gnome. Plus, I am so glad you did post which camera you got b/c I would be the one asking. The picutures look great! I’d be happy to see stills of pepper, nuts, whatever!


  5. The gnome staring at your child while she slept in her room can’t be any worse than the life-size Draco Malfoy cardboard cutout that my daughter has in her room. He has startled more than one in our family and my daughter had to finally turn him away from her bed because it freaked her out in the middle of the night to wake up and see him standing there.

    Have fun with the gnome!


  6. Nancy

    Very nice gnome, and a great paint job. I’m looking forward to the picture of vanilla, and the one of beef. Oh, and oysters – they will make a fantastic shot, all slimy and everything.


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