I love nisser (plural), it's something completely missing from Christmas in England. Although they are not a Christian thing; they "were around" long before Christianity and Christmas appeared in Denmark.
They are not only associated with Christmas, or at least they didn't use to be. They lived on the farms and in the old days were a force to be reckoned with, so it was important for humans to stay on their good side so they would help in the running of the farm. Like keeping the animals safe from evil and such.
These days they are mostly a feature of Christmas, mainly, I suspect, because of the red hat, which is similar to Santa Claus'. And the two hats may indeed be related but I can't remember the exact symbolic meaning. And I'm completely getting away from the point -if actually there was one!
One of the best books I've ever read about a nisse is called Hyggen, by Danish author Lars-Henrik Olsen. It's a great book, it introduces a lot of the old Danish folk tales and such. I don't think it's been translated to a lot of langauges; perhaps the other Scandinavian ones and German. If you do get a chance to read it, I highly recommend it. Even if it is a childrens' book. ;-)
We've had a bit of an annoying thing happen. This morning Tony left for work as usual but a couple of minutes later I heard the key in the door and he was back - looking rather shocked. But anyway, the first thing that went through my head was "your bike is gone?!" And it was! His brand new bike has been stolen from the bicycle storage room. But because he had it locked down with a really good lock they've had to actually pull the bicycle holder out of the brick wall!!
Pardon my French, but some people are just complete and utter wankers! He only got that bike less than two months ago. To say that he is annoyed is putting it mildly. So he spent the morning talking to the police and the insurance company. Fun times. Not. :-(