It was the surprise hit of the holiday season. Desperate parents went to incredible lengths to snag one for their children. Shelves were bare. Merchants simply couldn’t keep up with the overwhelming demand. It was one of those times when otherwise sensible adults engaged in mortal hand-to-hand combat among the retail aisles.
The product itself? It was deceptively simple: a small holiday-themed elven figure that eager parents would perch on a window ledge, a chair, or even a shelf. According to the accompanying book, the diminutive doll would watch over the kiddies to monitor whether they’re naughty or nice until the magical Christmas Day arrived. “Gnome in Your Home,” they called it.