2018 Holidays Gift Ideas
German Nutcrackers and The Nutcracker Ballet
This is a story on how I discovered German nutcrackers. I found them as a great remembrance of my childhood. They are always there as I grow up.
My story started this way. I was not a very good dancer. I took several ballet classes when I was a child but when my mom saw my dancing skills, she finally said, that’s it.
She suggested other passions. It did not affect me much and I know that sometimes, it is better to appreciate dance than actually performing it.
I’m now an adult, and something has changed me when I saw the Nutcracker ballet for the first time.
I saw my first Nutcracker ballet when I was 14. I was hooked up with Clara and her classic Nutcracker story. When I close my eyes, I can still see the beautiful snow-covered trees and the charming characters in the ballet.
That December, I saw more than 300 children and adults performing as lambs, cooks, cherubs, mice, and a lot more in the party scene. I was mesmerized and hooked up.
I can imagine myself having my own castle and prince charming while watching the show. The dedicated costumes, delicate bead works, gowns, and fairy outfits were more than I can handle.
Tchaikovsky’s score which permeated the night made the lights seem to grow a little brighter. My imagination was in chaos and I was transported into a different world. I watched the show with my mother.
When the show was finished, I was still affected by the magic. It didn’t take long before I discovered one of the soldier nutcrackers displayed in a glass window of a store.
I thought that buying a German nutcracker will make my Christmas a great success. I thought that it is the icing on the cake.
Seeing a German nutcracker soldier standing straight from the window shop reminds me of the magical ballet.This is why on my very first Christmas after watching the Nutcracker, I bought it immediately.
My First German Nutcracker Soldier
I was thinking what kind of uniform will be perfect. I had the option to choose among blue, green, red and pink hand-painted nutcrackers inside the shop.
I wanted to buy more than one, but since I was a teenager, I didn’t have that much money. Besides, my decision to buy a nutcracker was impulsive. I was on a budget and I needed to buy gifts for mum and dad for Christmas.
I decided to choose a wooden red and black-uniformed nutcracker soldier. It has a snowy white beard and on its right hand, it carries a pistol. I find it cute and charming.
There are a couple of them standing on the store racks. I decided to buy the nearest one. I went home feeling proud with my very first Nutcracker.
I even tried to crack a walnut using it. I was actually surprised when it crushed the nuts easily when I used the lever behind.
My Christmas couldn’t be happier. I had watched a ballet and got myself an authentic German nutcracker.
History of Nutcrackers
Where do nutcrackers actually come from?
Nutcrackers are little men that call to mind the first trips to the ballet and sugarplum fairies.
For my mother, the act of getting nutcrackers from her closet means that Christmas is in the air.
She is not into obsessive collecting but she has over 50 Nutcracker soldiers that she arranges at our living room.
My mom creates a little village of Nutcrackers inside our house.
- She arranges them in neat little rows while Christmas carols are playing on the air.
- The fishermen and the cheesemonger figurines are normally displayed in the kitchen.
- The Santa Claus can normally be found near the Christmas trees.
- Finally, all the characters of “The Nutcracker Ballet and the Mouse King” are placed near my grandmother’s silverware.
In a sense, none of the nutcracker soldiers actually belong to my mother. She has given these nutcrackers as gifts to all of us including our father. My grandmother used to repeat the story every day about how she used to take her young daughter to the ballet.
For the first time, when my mother was 14 years old, she saw a nutcracker soldier grinning at her. She noticed immediately the angry and sour expression of the soldier and she took it home.
When she had her own children, my mother began collecting nutcrackers for me and my two brothers. One day, my brother went home and he found the strange doll inside his room.
The Nutcracker was moved downstairs and it began an annual tradition that everyone in the family follows.
History of German Nutcrackers
- These dolls were originally made in Germany.
- They were made of Lynden wood which is abundant in the Black Forest.
- The wood is easy to carve, and it resembles the human skin color perfectly.
The history began when the Ore Mountains ran out of silver, copper, and more resources.
The people who mine for a living must search for another source of income.
Since the wood is plenty in their place, they decide to be woodworkers.
Generations of excellent craftsmen emerged and created nutcracker wooden toys for a living.
When the American soldiers were stationed in Germany during World War II, they brought home cuckoo clocks, beer steins, and nutcrackers for their families.
The nutcrackers can actually crack nuts without losing their form or shape.
At first, the dolls were not specifically Christmas-themed. It is nearly impossible to determine where they took on a seasonal significance.
Myths About Nutcracker Dolls
One popular myth about German nutcrackers tells about a rich lonely farmer.
He found the process of cracking nuts to be too much of a hassle.
He decided to give a prize to whoever can come up with the best solution of cracking the nuts without too much work.
- A soldier suggested that he will shoot the nuts.
- A carpenter suggested using a saw to crack the nuts open.
- Finally, the puppet maker won by making a lever-mouthed strong-jawed doll that can crack the nut effortlessly.