|Similar Santa Claus's reindeer, Rudolph, Grinch, Santa Claus, Mrs Claus|
Santa s story time the littlest christmas elf
In American folklore, a Christmas elf is a diminutive creature (elf) that lives with Santa Claus in the North Pole and acts as his helper. Christmas elves are often depicted as green or red clad with large, pointy ears and pointy hats. Santa's elves are often said to make the toys in Santa's workshop and take care of his reindeer, among other tasks.
- Santa s story time the littlest christmas elf
- Broboygamer as a christmas elf
- St Nicholas as an elf
- Contemporary pop culture
- In films and television
- In literature
- Around the world
They were first introduced in literature by Louisa May Alcott in 1856. The Santa Claus character is much older, emerging in US folklore in the early 17th century from the historical figure St. Nicholas of Myra with attributes of various European Christmas traditions, especially from English Father Christmas and Dutch Sinterklaas. The association of Christmas presents with elves has precedents in the first half of the 19th century with the Tomte in Sweden and Nisse in Denmark, and St Nicholas himself is called an elf in A Visit from St. Nicholas (1823).
Broboygamer as a christmas elf
The Christmas elf appeared in literature as early as 1850 when Louisa May Alcott completed, but never published a book entitled Christmas Elves. The image of the elves in the workshop was popularised by Godey's Lady's Book, with a front cover illustration for its 1873 Christmas Issue showing Santa surrounded by toys and elves with the caption, "Here we have an idea of the preparations that are made to supply the young folks with toys at Christmas time." During this time Godey's was immensely influential to the birth of Christmas traditions, having shown the first widely circulated picture of a modern Christmas tree on the front cover of its 1850 Christmas issue. Additional recognition was given in Austin Thompson's 1876 work "The House of Santa Claus, a Christmas Fairy Show for Sunday Schools".
St. Nicholas as an elf
In Clement Clarke Moore's 1823 poem A Visit from St. Nicholas (more commonly known today as 'Twas the Night Before Christmas), Santa Claus himself is described in line 45 as, "He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf." Prior to the influence of St. Nicholas in Sweden, the job of giving out gifts was done by the Yule Goat. By 1891, the saint had become so well known that he could no longer be ignored. He became merged with Tomten, which was previously an elfish/dwarfish farm guardian. Following the work of artist Jenny Nyström, this hybrid figure became known as Jultomten.
Contemporary pop culture
In the USA, Canada, and Britain, the modern children's folklore of Santa Claus typically includes diminutive elves at Christmas; green-clad elves with pointy ears and pointy hats as Santa's assistants or hired workers. They make the toys in a workshop located in the North Pole. In recent years, other toys—usually high-tech toys like computers, video games, DVDs and DVD players, and even mobile phones—have also been depicted as being ready for delivery, but not necessarily made, in the workshop as well. In this portrayal, elves slightly resemble nimble and delicate versions of the dwarves of Norse myth.
In films and television
Christmas elves have had their role expanded in modern films and television. For instance:
Around the world
In different countries, Santa's helpers go by different names. In Iceland they are the Yule Lads who between December 12 and 24, a different Lad visit homes each day to leave presents and play tricks on children. In Belgium and the Netherlands, the companion is called Zwarte Piet (Black Peter), in Germany they are the Knecht Ruprecht and in Luxembourg they are known as Hoesecker.
In Nordic countries Christmas Elves are considered nisser and not elves and will usually wear only red instead of the green and red outfits they are known for in English speaking countries.