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Jumping on the Gnome Bandwagon

Have you ever wondered about garden gnomes and why they’re found everywhere?

With a history rooted in ancient Rome, these iconic creatures are the most popular garden decorations in the western world. Throughout their history, they were believed to be a good luck charm. In ancient Rome, these statues represented Roman gods, ensuring a successful harvest and warding away evil spirits. During the Renaissance, Paracelsus attributed magical powers to them, deeming them a core element of creatures belonging to the earth whose purpose was to help plants grow.

During the 18th century, garden gnomes became the lawn decorations of the very rich. Our modern-day representation of a small man with a long, white beard and pointy, red hat was created by German sculptor Phillip Griebel. These handmade sculptures quickly spread across Europe, eventually making their way into English gardens with the help of Sir Charles Isham, who brought a few back from Germany for his own garden.

After a dip in popularity during the more pressing global events of World War I & II, gnomes once again became popular. The 1970s brought mass production, replacing the handcrafted gnomes with more affordable plastic reproductions.

The gnome’s iconic red cap is called a Phrygian cap, dating to the Greek Hellenistic period, and is commonly found in Greek art & sculpture. France adopted the hat as a symbol of revolt, where it is found atop their feminine symbol of liberty and equality, Marianne.

Gnomes have been popularized in art and literature, as well, and are found as characters in works by J.R.R. Tolkein, J.R. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, and as inspiration for the dwarves in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Early models depicted gnomes holding garden tools, as their primary function was helping with gardens. More recently, they have also been portrayed in leisure activities, appearing in a variety of places, such as t-shirts, mugs, and home décor.

To jump on the gnome bandwagon and celebrate the gnominess of the Christmas season, I wanted to pass on some of my favorite puns that you can use throughout the holidays. I’ve constructed them as a narrative, but feel free to break them out and use them at will:

When guests come for the holidays, I say, “Welcome to My Gnome!” There’s nothing like “Gnome Sweet Gnome!” In summer I’m “Hangin’ with My Gnomies,” but during the holidays, I “Christmas with My Gnomies!” When it’s really cold, I’m “Chillin’ with My Gnomies!” If Santa asks whether I’ve been bad, I say, “The Gnomes Made Me Do It!” Instead of traveling, I say, “Let’s Stay Gnome & Enjoy the Holidays!” And then I break out into chorus, singing “I’ll be Gnome for Christmas!”

If you’re passing through Southern Pines during the holidays, be sure to stop by the Towering Pines Real Estate office and check out our own resident gnome, who makes his appearance every December! He’s sending you “Gnomie Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses” and a very happy holiday!

Information about Gnome History is taken from

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