gonks from aldi

What is a gonk? Discover the latest Christmas trend

October 1, 2022

The gonk is a growing Christmas trend that first appeared on our Insta feeds in 2020. This year, the festive characters are absolutely everywhere, from wizard-like dolls to gonk bedding and mugs. But first things first, what is a gonk?

what is a gonk? christmas gonk with red hat from matalan

Photo: Matalan

What is a gonk?

Here in the UK, a gonk is rather like a festive gnome, but the history of gonks stems back to Nordic and Scandinavian mythology. According to folklore these little creatures, favour colder weather and like to cosy up in houses, where if the family welcome them and treat them kindly then they will bring good luck.

Why are gonks so popular?

With their nose and beard poking out of their tall pointy hats, they are just super cute and who doesn’t love a bit of magical folklore at Christmas? Especially some that will bring good luck. They’re full of fun and popping them on the Christmas tree or around the house will make it feel extra warm and inviting.

Range of gonks at The Range

Photo: The Range

Is it a Christmas decoration? 

Although, with their beards, gonks look a lot like mini Nordic style Father Christmas,’ they’re actually not technically Christmas decorations, but over the years they’ve been woven into Christmas tales and now they are a big part of the festive period. There’s also a tradition of leaving out a bowl of porridge for them over the winter solstice.

Instagram star Stacey Solomon is a huge fan and calls her vast collection ‘Norman’, a name which perfectly suits their gnome-like appearance. Lots of high street stores have jumped on the band-wagon, including The Range, Aldi and Matalan, which all come with a reasonable price tag.

christmas decorations from aldi under the christmas tree

Photo: Aldi

What is the difference between a gonk and a gnome?

While the two are easily confused, a gnome has German origins, dates to around the 1800s and was made of clay (they only became more widely made out of plastic in the 1960s). Gnomes are also meant to bring good luck. Scandinavian gonks date back far earlier and were first referenced in around the 1600s and are more commonly made from wool and fabric and felt.

A collection of gonks

Photo: The Range

Can you get an Easter gonk?

Yes! Recent years have seen Easter gonks popping up with pastel hats and flowers. Add them to your Easter tablescapes or even in an Easter wreath. Halloween gonks started popping up everywhere in 2022 as well – here are some of our favourites.

Cute gonks from The Range

Photo: The Range

How to style them

Gonks make for the perfect festive ornament to fill any awkward gap in your home this Christmas. Here’s how to style them:

  • Place one either side of a fireplace to make it a standout feature in your living room
  • Style up your porch and create a warm welcome this Christmas with a standing gonk
  • Group three together that are different heights to create your own little family!
  • Display one or two under your Christmas tree to hide the base of the tree as well as adding some festive cheer
  • Cosy up your bedroom by styling up a festive corner with a cosy blanket, some festive decorations and of course, a gonk!


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