These cute and appealing Christmas figures are called nisses. A nisse or tomte is a magical creature from Scandinavian folklore. They are associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season. A nisse is usually described as having a long, white beard and wearing a conical cap in red or another bright colour. Nisses are seen as the protectors of farms and the farm animals. They like a gift of porridge and butter at Christmas as a reward for all their hard work.
We saw these nisses on our travels in the Baltic region and knew we had to have them. With the help of a very kind German lady, who translated my emails into German, we achieved it. Our own nisses have a special place at Christmas and I always leave out a bowl of porridge for them.