Gnew Year Gnomes

A Happy New Year - Gnomes with a Mushroom and Bouquet

MMMMMMMushrooms!

The New Year cards are just chock full of gnomes. You might even say it’s an infestation. I mean, sure, there are a lot of pigs. But the gnomes show up even more often.

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Dance, fools!

The weird thing is that, while the pigs have a tradition and reasonable explanation for them, the gnomes are a bit harder to account for.

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Drink my gnomish concoction and despair!

They’re all across the nationality spectrum. English gnomes, Scandinavian gnomes, German gnomes, French gnomes, I’ve even found a Russian gnome (although I lost the card…I’ll post it when I find it.)

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This guy wants to eat the New Year baby with chips.

But why New Years cards in particular? They show up occasionally in Christmas cards, but apart from pictures of just straight-up drinking to depression, gnomes are one of the most popular images.

I can’t find a good explanation why either online or in anything I’ve read.

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So much is going on here that I have a headache.

The popular explanation online is that it’s all tripped-out, old school hallucinogenic holiday fun. There’s a big love online of using these cards as evidence that the old Northern and Central European winter solstice traditions used fly agaric mushrooms as part of the celebrations. And, of course, gnomes and elves seem trippy.

I don’t buy it. But I think it’s a cool theory, and one day I’ll get around to why I both love and hate the idea.

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“And this is my tribute to Jerry Garcia….”

So why gnomes? Elves and fairies were never really seen as good luck charms in most cultures. On the contrary, you had to do all kinds of things to keep them from causing trouble. So to see them associated with other images of fortune and prosperity for the new year is odd, to say the least.

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Pig arch. I guess?

But there they are, always hanging out with pigs, clovers, horseshoes, and showering money all over themselves and the rest of the world.

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Not quite Santa, but a kind of riff….?

The one above made me wonder if the gift-giving thing and Santa and his elves had something to do with it, but you don’t usually see them associated with other St. Nick or Santa or gift-giving imagery. So is it something about the elves (or leprechauns or whatever) hoarding cash? Possibly…

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Homey don’t care.

So I’m clueless. If you have more insight, post a comment or drop me a note at weirdxmas@gmail.com. This one bugs me because I can’t figure it out, and I feel like it should be more obvious.

In the meantime, have a gnice gnomey gnew gn…year:

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These dudes really love midnight.

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Just drop that crap anywhere.

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TOO MUCH COCAINE!!!!!!!!!

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Damn, girl. That’s cold!

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Jump, pig! JUMP FOR YOUR LIFE!

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Whatever. I’m frickin’ cold.

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I WILL CHOP YOU!

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