Friday, December 18, 2009

Tomte Christmas Doll Collection...What Kato left anyway....

My Tomten Family

My very first Tomte was the little girl in the stripped skirt in the front. I love her sweet face and holly bouquet. She was given to me Christmas 1973 by Elizabeth Gunnear a dear friend and co-worker at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock. I worked at Emanuel from 1971 to 1978, and have many found memories of those years, and especially the people. It was back in the days when nurses wore white caps and computers had punch cards... A long time ago.

Emanuel was and is still owned by the Swedish Covenant Hospital of America. Rich in Swedish blood and history you could always find Swedish treasures in the hospital gift shop. Some of my favorite times were spent working with the hospital volunteer pink ladies at the hospital gift shop. The gift shop was always staffed by several volunteer pink ladies, most of whom were of Swedish decent. Christmas time was a very special time and they really knew how to celebrate the season!
It was wonderful.

After my first Tomte, I fell in love with the little dolls and started collecting Tomte every year. Even after we moved to Sacramento in 1979, I continued to add to my collection, but they were hard to find and expensive. I did find a little shop in Old Town Sacramento that carried Scandinavian items, but they were very expensive and I had to wait until the after Christmas sales and very rarely did I find a Tomte.  I think I only found a couple in Old Town...the tiniest one in the very front of the picture is one of them. Well, life when on and these little people where hard to find, so I sort of stopped collecting. But every year at Christmas they came out for the season.

Swedish Tomten....a little history

The Tomte or Nisse is found in Scandinavian folklore that children young and old have shared for generations. Once found on each farmstead, today Tomten live in each house, apartment as well. Leave your Tomte or Nisse a Christmas treat and you'll have good luck in 2010! Whether clustered on a table or spread along a mantle,  I must admit that they bring a touch of Nordic whimsy and many memories of Christmas past. 

The Tomten
A Poem by ....Claes Larson - Kyrkby

Hard is the cold of Midwinter's
stars sparkle and gleam.
In the lonely town at this midnight hour, all are sleeping.
Moon wanders its silent way,
snow lights white on fir and spruce,
snow lights white on roofs.
Only tomten is awake


I haven't collected Tomte for several years, but I think I'll start again soon.  I'm thinking the next time we go down to see Kelly in Buelton, we'll go in search of  "Tomte"  in Solvang.

I still love them, well what's left of them anyway....
You may have noticed that there are only five Tomte in my collection.....well there's a story behind these five survivors.  I'm not sure why, but when the Tomte came out this year I figured it out.  This story finally came to me this morning and it's about Kato....Yes, before Connor there was Kato....

Kato and the Tomte 

It was Christmas 1999 and we were still in the old house on Spring Drive.  We went out shopping for the evening and since it was cold that night we left  Kato inside the house.  Kato was the Hub's K-9 police dog and a very well behaved, gentle soul.  He was a wonderful dog and part of our family and had never distroyed anything in the house. Well, that night he was up to trouble and for whatever reason he had it in for my Tomte collection.  When we returned the Tomte people were all over the floor.  Wood, fur, and clothes everywhere, and Kato looking very guilty in the corner.    He was in big trouble and he knew it, but I forgave him and figured he had his reasons. 
To this date all survivors have large Kato teeth marks on their heads and bodies. 
We lost Kato that following December.   
Well, it's been nine years today since we lost Kato, and I never understood until this year how the Tomte village people and Kato go together, but now I know. 
When the Tomte Dolls come out at Christmas, it's time to remember Kato.


I will post Kato's story later.


Blondie's Journal said...

The Tometen dolls are precious. What great memories they bring each Christmas, including those of Kato! I think they are just adorable. Have you tried looking on eBay or even Googling websites?? I'd love to see your collection grow...

Happy holidays, Mumzie! :-)

Kelly said...

OMG - you made me cry!! There is a store in Solvang on the main drag that is a Christmas all year long store - they might have them.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a beautiful post and story about Kato. How touching! Merry Christmas to you and your family!