An elf is a being of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine beings endowed with magical powers, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind.

In early modern and modern folklore, they become associated with the fairies of Romance folklore and assume a diminutive size, often living mainly in forests but also underground in hills or rocks, or in wells and springs. 19th-century Romanticism attempted to restore them to full stature, making them men and women of great beauty, often depicted as very young.

The “Christmas elves” of contemporary popular culture were popularized during the 1870s in the United States, in publications such as Godey’s Lady’s Book.

In the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland the modern children’s folklore of Santa Claus typically includes elves at Christmas; green-clad elves with pointy ears, long noses, and pointy hats as Santa’s helpers or hired workers. They make the toys in a workshop located in the North Pole. In this portrayal, elves slightly resemble nimble and delicate versions of the dwarves of Norse mythology as well as the elves in English folktales in the Victorian period from which they could have derived.

The vision of the small but crafty Christmas elf (possibly derived from the elves of English fairy tales of the Victorian period) has come to influence modern popular conception of elves. The American cookie company Keebler has long advertised that its cookies are made by elves in a hollow tree, and Kellogg’s, who happens to now be the owner of Keebler, uses the elves of Snap, Crackle, and Pop as mascots of Rice Krispies cereal, and the role of elves as Santa’s helpers has continued to be popular.

(article about elves borrowed from wikipedia.org. Photographs are mine).

Have a very lovely week!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Littleskew
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 10:42:23

    I enjoyed reading this and love the photos of the elf 🙂


  2. obrienspix
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 22:03:40

    I love these Whimsical….very cool.


  3. urbanbuda
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 00:27:30

    I have enoyed your photos and blog, so I have nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award.

    Happy Christmas


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