The Nutcracker Tradition

 
One of my favorite nostalgias of the Christmas season is the tradition of The Nutcracker. For me, The Nutcracker evokes childhood memories of being in Europe with my family while my father was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany as an Army doctor. I remember putting my shoes outside of our door on the eve of St. Nicholas Day and stringing popcorn and cranberries to wrap around our Tannenbaum as my parents sipped mulled wine. Going to the Christmas markets was an annual tradition and the origin of my German nutcracker collection.
 
According to German folklore, nutcrackers were given as keepsakes to bring luck to the family and protect the home. It's said that they represent strength and power, watching over the family and keeping evil spirits and danger away.
 
My collection of nutcrackers ranges from traditional to comical, but each figure represents a nice memory that I especially enjoy recalling at this time of year. Throughout the season, they cover the surfaces of my library - window sills, sashes, side tables, and mantle - infusing cheer and cherished memories into my holidays.
 

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