NewsThe secret of the pixie door

The secret of the pixie door

How it came that a Christmas elf moved in with us two years ago: Episode 22 of our FR Advent stories

There are no longer three of us in our home. There are four of us now. No, we didn’t have any offspring. But we have a temporary roommate. He lives behind a small red wooden door that opened – overnight, you could say: as if by magic – on December 1st above the baseboard in the living room.

Behind this door, somewhat hidden in a niche next to the chimney, lives our pixie Willi. He is a full-time Santa Claus helper and was assigned by his boss to the North Pole to support us in the preparations for the festival. First and foremost, Willi should sweeten our four-year-old son’s time until Christmas and make his eyes shine day by day.

The custom that an elf moves into the home before Christmas comes from Scandinavia, more precisely from Denmark. There the gnome is called Nisse and the gnome door is called Nissedor. For a few years now, the custom has also become increasingly popular far away from Scandinavia. In Germany, too, the little helpers are increasingly moving in.

christmas rituals

For some it is the goose on Christmas Eve, for others it has to be “Three Nuts for Cinderella” in the afternoon program. We all have certain stories, films or rituals that belong to Christmas – and without which our Advent season would only be half as festive. This year you will not only find the popular personal stories in the FR advent calendar, but also raffles every now and then. Good luck and in any case: Happy Holidays! FR

During the day, when we humans are awake, the imp, including our Willi, sleeps deeply behind its door. Only at night does it become active. Then he eagerly does all his tasks, for example baking cookies, preparing pancake batter for people’s breakfast, decorating the Christmas tree, cutting a fir tree in the forest or washing laundry. In between he also makes a little nonsense and makes the children laugh with his jokes. On the second of Advent, Willi replaced the candles with carrots, covered the fruit in the kitchen with googly eyes, wrapped our shoes in cling film and painted our family photos with beards and elf hats.

We have never seen our elf, although he is living with us for the second time. But we are not allowed to see him either. Never. Never. Otherwise he will lose his magic power and have to return to Santa Claus. At least that is how Willi explained it to us in one of his daily letters.

Last year, I stumbled across the tradition of the pixie door on the Instagram social network and was immediately impressed. It was very spontaneous that Wichtel Willi moved in with us for the first time. The son was blown away. He kept talking about Willi. So it quickly became clear: The Wichtel has to come again this year.

The preparations for moving in again began this time in October. I have ordered all sorts of miniature accessories for the daily changing decorations in front of the gnome door on the Internet: pens, kitchen utensils, crockery, cutlery and Christmas tree balls. I made moving boxes out of cardboard, shaped a table and chairs out of modeling clay, and made a bench and a magic cupboard out of wooden ice cream sticks. I also thought up stories, wrote letters and prepared a schedule. The imagination knows no limits.

Does that all sound like a lot and time-consuming? It is. But at Christmas the whole thing is over. Then the pixie moves out again – and leaves behind many magical and enchanting memories for young and old.

The King's Grass

For years, a man who calls himself King Khoisan has been camped behind South Africa's seat of government and is fighting for the rights of his tribe. Now a raid in the king's garden caused a stir

On the death of Jean-Jacques Bergeix: He and Betty Blue

The French director Jean-Jacques Beineix leaves behind a slim but very striking work.

Much ado about a little dust

For years, the Munich police have been investigating a suspected cocaine scandal. Except for one spectacular anecdote, the results so far have been rather meager.

Münster crime scene "The devil's long breath": A strange couple

"The devil's staying power": In their 40th case, Boerne and Thiel meet as always and yet new. It also shows that there are other people in the world.

Herbert Achternbusch is dead: The true ghost

Maverick and universal artist: On the death of Herbert Achternbusch.