A Gnome for all Seasons

Honestly, I never really understood the whole "gnome" thing.  I mean, some of them are really cute, but so are mice and I take steps to keep them OUT of the house.  So why the fascination by so many people?

A few months ago, I noticed a huge increase in searches on google and Etsy for "gnomes".  As a retailer, it's important to keep up with current trends, so I did some googling to see exactly what all the fuss was about.  Learned a little history that I think you might find interesting.  

Gnomes first came on scene in Germany in the early 1800's and by the 1840's were quite popular as far away as England. This was incredible seeing there was no internet or even telephones to spread the word!  Folklore regards gnomes as protectors of buried treasures and as symbols of good luck.  They were often placed in barns to watch over the livestock or in the garden to bring large yields of the crops. By 1880, they were being massed produced until the World War's almost wiped out their existence. They did start making a comeback as early as the 1930's-40s where (and I found this the most interesting) they were often set in the front yard landscaping as a way of informing others "in the know" that swingers lived in the house the gnome was protecting.   By 1960, their popularity was once again, on the rise, and continues today.  Although the original gnomes were often seen with garden tools or lamps in their hands, todays gnomes are usually seen meditating or snoozing.  I have to ask if this isn't a reflection of how we spend OUR time now as compared to how time was spent by our ancestors in the 1880s. 

So after all the articles I read, I asked again....what is all the fuss about these gnomes?  And the only answer I could come up with is....I have absolutely NO idea!  But, I have to admit, the more I see them, the more "I" am getting caught up in the current gnome craze!

So if you know of anyone that loves gnomes, I'm working hard to get a seasonal gnome card kit available so we have a "Gnome for all Seasons".  I've got Thanksgiving and Christmas  up already and now I'm offering a Gnome Birthday Card Kit available EXCLUSIVELY on my website.

Thanks to Brigitta Schneiter and Dorota Dylka for the photos used in this article.

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