December 2

Nisse invasion. They are everywhere, so many in numbers that they already have caused a nisse SALE.  Take 2 nisser and save money. Take no nisse and save more, – that is if you dare to take that risk to insult a nisse. I wouldn´t do it if I were you.


Nisser are presented as a friendly and charming little creature, though the original nisse actually wasn´t that nice. The first story we know about, was told in 981; a farmer had help from a creature, living in a stone. When the farmers son became christian, he wanted the creature to be removed, wich was done with the help from a priest.

Since then nisser have been living at the farms, usualy helping the farmer. Nisser can talk with the animals, he can also take the shape of such, but we know him as A nisse has the size of a 10 year old boy, and dressed like the farmer in old days.

When things happened at the farm that couldn´t be explained, it was clearly a nisse who had done it. Maybe he was angry for some reason. An angry nisse can give you many problems, thats why we have to please him, in december by giving him rise pudding with a big piece of butter in the middle – and cinnamon and sugar on top.

It is still common to express mysterious things as caused by a nisse”.

Friendly nisser made specially for Christmas, and nisser giving gifts, appears in 1836. An artist made paper clip as imagined nisser in different situations, as decoration for his Christmasparty for his artist friends. Today, Nisser is connected to christmas, and we have them everywhere, outside houses, inside houses, as candy, in film, books, clothes,….and now at blogs too.

20 comments so far

  1. Reggie on

    Oooh! I’d take at least TWO! MORE, if I can fit them into my suitcase… they are adorable, Giiid. 🙂

    What does the word ‘nisse’ mean?

    • Giiid on

      Nisse is the name of this creature, probably a nickname of the mail name Niels. I have posted some more Nisse info at front.

  2. Guest on

    They are out early this year. And they seem ready for spreading light and joy. In contrary to what REAL nisser used to.

    • Giiid on

      What is a real Nisse? A question I wouldn´t dare to ask at this time of year, Carsten, with Nisser everywhere. You better hurry with the rice pudding this evening!

  3. kiwidutch on

    I’ve never heard of these (or seen then) before… I’m totally torn between thinking they are cute or disliking them because they are kitch,… hmm… it’s a Danish tradition? (must be surely if they are in the shops lin this volume) you put them outside your door? in your windows? what do they represent please?
    Questions, questions I know…. I love learning new things about other peoples traditions.

    • Giiid on

      Thank you for asking, I have posted the answer at front. There is a lot for you to study about Nisser, Kiwidutch, just remember not to offend them. 😉

      • kiwidutch on

        Do you have to fill the glass jar with sweets so that they don;t get offended?
        Thanks for the extra background information… it’s amazing how traditions get interwoven over centuries.
        I love the story even if I’m not too sure about the kitch-ness of the Nisser (just don’t say that too loud though, he might hear and be offended).

  4. TheDailyClick on

    They are so cute!!

    • Giiid on

      I will see if I can find Nisser in different style and show them here.

  5. milkayphoto on

    I, like Kiwidutch, struggle with these (I’m am sooo not a kitch girl but I recall, as a child, LOVING all the kitchy things my parents used to put out at the holidays). Then, I grew up and in the age of ‘Martha Stewart’, shifted towards the more ‘proper’ and ‘designer’ decorating style.

    Recently, however, I’ve allowed a little kitch to creep back in. Just a little. 😉

    Another wonderful tradition to learn about! The more you write, the more I see how alike all of us really are!

    • Giiid on

      Alike in many ways, sure. I don´t have any Nisser around my home, (as far as I know) but if I found a cute one, I might buy it. It all depends of how they are made and how their expression are, there are so many different types. Homes used to be decorated with crawl-nisses, made by cardboard. We didn´t use those in my childhood home, because it was a very modern and stylish home. My mother managed to find some, though, which were accepted (or ignored) by my father. Your Nisse style actually tells something about you.

  6. montucky on

    They are cute little critters and a rather humorous and playful tradition. Perhaps they are a reminder of a bit of the playfulness and impishness within all of us.

    • Giiid on

      That is most likely a good explanation of why they are so popular. Thank you for your comment, montucky.

  7. uphilldowndale on

    I’m fascinated how traditions, customs and stories have a evolved to take in the ‘culture’ around them. In this case an almost pagan ‘bad spirit’ of the dark winter days, getting caught up in Christianity and Christmas.
    Rice pudding, yum. I’m going to make one today. What is your recipe?

    • Giiid on

      This was a very interesting question, it made me start reading several sites about the subject this morning. I was a bit surprised to learn about the problematic relation Nisser and some priests apparently have. Actually a priest has got serious threats, after he took a Nisse doll and hanged it outside the church. A rather strange act, I should say, but it shows that there are strong feelings connected to the subject. I used my time reading and have to write an answer later, but thank you for this angle of a nisse´s life.

  8. Gerry on

    I am pretty sure on of my great-great-grandfathers was actually a Nisse. It would explain a lot about our family.

    • uphilldowndale on

      Gerry, I think EVERY family has at least one Nisse…

      • Giiid on

        They have a name if they are VERY old, -( I suppose that will be correct?) Old nisser. A very old man is called: En gammel nisse. An old Nisse. White hair and a bit confused or special. I wish that every family has one, it makes one feel very young. When it comes to strange behaviour, I suppose every family has one of them, too…and that person never knows it is he…or….her….!

  9. Nye on

    giiid, you definitely show their good side in this image, nice shot. 🙂

    • Giiid on

      I suppose that the mall can´t sell angry Nisser, at least I haven´t seen any. I might buy one just for fun, if I saw one, or at least take a photo. I will keep an eye on the nisse-market. 🙂

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