- The Christmas Man
has been in Swedish traditions from the late 19th century.
Earlier the "julbock" the Christmas Goat, came with
presents on Christmas Eve. Even the Christmas goat was a
disguised man dressed up to look like a goat. The presents have
a very old tradition and originally was bound to the New Year
and a wish of everything good for the coming year.
folklore every good farm had a "hustomte" which could
be translated as a house gnome or a brownie. He lived in the
barn and looked after the homestead if the people was nice to
the animals. He wanted a bowl with good porridge at Christmas.
There is a very popular poem by the Swedish author Viktor
Rydberg "Tomten" In that poem the little man is
walking the homestead around pondering over the problems of
pictures of the 19th century "tomte" is very much
influenced by the Christmas cards by the Swedish artist Jenny
Nystrom and she was influenced by the folklore of the "hustomte".
who is coming with the presents at Christmas nowadays is very
much influenced by the international pictures and the tales
about St Nicolaus and the American pictures of Santa...
You meet him in the stores and in the market places and he is
quite another apparition than that little old man of Jenny