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Tomte with Christmas Tree
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Tomte with Christmas Tree

Winter is a time to reflect upon the cycle of life, on death and rebirth. Against the backdrop of whites and grays, against the barren wastes of winter, evergreens always seem a welcome relief. Although the Druids drew parallels with immortality and attributed divinity to evergreens, there is no readily available evidence of pagan religious connections to the Christmas tree.

Beginning in the late Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees in and around their homes during winter. It was done in anticipation of the green of the coming spring.

The Christmas tree tradition began during the 15th and 16th centuries with trade guilds in Northern Germany, Latvia, and Estonia. They erected large spruce trees decorated with sweets for apprentices and children to enjoy on Christmas Day.

After the Reformation, wealthy Protestant families displayed these Christmas trees in lieu of the Catholic Christmas Cribs. This custom remained largely confined to Upper Rhineland until the Romantic Era of the last half of the 19th century when it spread rapidly.

Inside of card:

A tree for the season! A star for the tree!
Happy Holidays

*all cards sold with envelopes

Price: 350 - 2300
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Tomte with Squirrels

Tomte with Squirrels

It is late afternoon on an autumn day. The sun hangs low near the horizon and bathes everything in an eerie orange glow that seems to come from everywhere. The trees have lost their blanket of snow, but a thin smooth sheet still clings to the ground.

Tomtar had a deep affection for all animals and often provided treats for animals around the farm. Here one sits among Scandinavian squirrels, who are greedily devouring the pine nuts he has provided.

The sentiment for the card echoes our own alarm at how quickly the season has arrived.

“Nuts!
Itʼs almost Christmas already!
Wishing you the happiest holidays!”

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