Christmas at my house was a mixture of cultures -- Christmas trees and garlands, a Buche de Noel, wooden shoes for candy instead of stockings, and best of all the Tomte. My mother's maternal family were all Swedes and so at our Christmas, neither Santa nor elves, nor reindeer with red noses brought gifts and candy -- it was a small army of Tomte -- those Scandinavian woodland fairy who brought gifts (and sometimes pranks to naughty children) and seemed to fill up the house with their joyful and robust antics. Most of our Tomte came in the form of these paper decorations from my Grandmother that unfolded in a chain of delightful activity: big Tomte on horses carrying presents, or piggies; little girl Tomte dancing with old bearded tomte; and self assured, dagger wielding Tomte looking ready for anything.
These cheerful Tomte were faithfully taped up at Christmas all over the walls in our house throughout my childhood and that of my children until they became so fragile that I finally packed them away. But the wonders of a home scanner has let me bring them out again to share. There were some challenges -- the long repeating chains of Tomte don't fit on my scanner -- so I scanned them in small batches and then photoshopped them to the length and number of repetitions of the originals. So there two sets of images for each -- a close up and what appears to be a small band of multiples -- which you click on for a larger view.
Click on the bands to see larger versions.