Modern Christmas elves find their origin in the house gnomes of the Scandinavia present since the pagan times. It was believed that these gnomes guarded homes against evil and were benevolent and helpful to good people. However, they could be quite nasty to people who were rude to them or had been naughty and then, they are even depicted as trolls and cannibals. Thus, for centuries, they were both loved and loathed. In the mid-1800s, Scandinavian writers such as Thile, Toplius, Rydberg transformed the image of these gnomes to Christmas elves that were almost like mischievous fairies but were good at heart.
In keeping with the popularization of Christmas, they were depicted as
true friends and helpers of Father Christmas or Santa Claus. Artists
such as Hansen and Nyström painted Santa's elves in their present
forms. At first, it was believed that Santa and his elves lived at North
Pole but when it was found in 1925 that North Pole has no reindeers but
there is a huge population of reindeers in Lapland, Finland, people
started believing that since reindeers draw the sleigh of Santa Claus,
he must be living in an area, where there are large number of these
animals available. Since then, it is believed that there is a secret
village with a secret passage, somewhere in Lapland, where Santa, his
wife and his team of elves live.
The secret of its location is known only to Father Christmas and the
elves but still people believe that it is somewhere in Korvatunturi
mountain in the Savukoski county of Lapland on the Finnish-Russian
border. Some people that Santa employs six elves, while others think
that he has nine elf assistants. Others think that there are as many as
13 elves living with Santa to help him. Elves are the children of Gryla
and Leppaludi and are very clever. They help Santa to design toys and
process requests of children that are sent to them through snail mail or
emails. The popular Western names of the Christmas elves helping Santa
Claus and their duties are as follows:
1. Alabaster Snowball - Administrator of the Naughty & Nice list.
2. Bushy Evergreen - Inventor of the magic toy-making machine.
3. Pepper Minstix - Guardian of the secret of where Father Christmas's
village is located.
4. Shinny Upatree - The oldest friend of Santa and the cofounder of the
secret village in Lapland.
5. Sugarplum Mary - Head of the Sweat Treats, she is also known as Mary
Christmas. She is an assistant to Mrs Claus and helps her in the
6. Wunorse Openslae - Designer of Father Christmas's sleigh and
responsible for its maintenance. He also looks after the reindeers and
it is believed that his reindeers reach speeds faster than Christmas
The ancient folklores of Iceland mention elves by the names of
Askasleikir, Bjugnakraekir, Faldafeykir, Gattathefur, Giljagaur,
Gluggagaegir, Ketkrokur, Kertasnikir, Pottasleikir, Skyrjarmur,
Stekkjarstaur, Stufur and Thvorusleikir. Other names of Santa's elves
that can be found are Baggalutur, Bjalmans barnid, Bjalminn sjalfur,
Bitahaengir, Frodusleikir, Laekjaraegir, Raudur, Redda, Sledda,
Steingrimur, Syrjusleikir, Tifill and Tutur. On 6th of January or the
last day of Christmas, it is believed that the elves light up their
torches and come down from their secret village in the mountain to play
in a secret field and celebrate the successful completion of their
Read about Santa's elves, Christmas elf assistants of Santa Claus and Father Christmas elves and gnomes.