The holiday's are truly the most magical time of the year and we believe your home should be a reflection of just that. Now, it's no secret that we collect antiques, furniture, little jewel treasures and the list goes on.. but dare we say it, we couldn't really embrace the holiday's at our house without creating a collection or two of our favorite traditional decorations.
Nutcrackers have been an all time favorite of ours for many years - and for good reason, they simply are a stunning piece of craftsmanship. To us, they are a piece of art and all the intricate details of any given piece just add a layer of blissful fascination.
We of course have a method to our madness of collecting nutcrackers - and it likely won't surprise you that we look for quality over quantity in our collection. All of our nutcrackers are from the Erzgebirge - handmade in Germany.
These nutcrackers are from the Richard Glaesser company that was founded in 1932. The Richard Glaesser company is well know for its ornaments, nutcrackers, smokers and music boxes across the world. They stand for a well-know, quality manufacturer that consistently constructs their pieces on wood-turned body parts. The company is situated in Seiffen, a lovely little mountain village in the Erzgebirge (Germany!) that is recognized as the most famous centers for typical production of hand made Christmas products made of wood.
The meaning and the history behind our little nutcrackers is just as meaningful to us. Nutcrackers were handcrafted to most often resemble a toy soldier. And of course, the large mouth s operated by a lever in the back of the figurine which serves to open and close it. Originally, you could insert a nut in the big-toothed mouth - press down, and crack away!
The legend behind the nutcracker states that a nutcracker represents power and strength. It serves like a watchdog (think evil eye..) guarding your family from evil spirits and danger. A fierce protector, the nutcracker bares its teeth to the evil spirits and serves as the traditional messenger of good luck and goodwill - and in this house, we would call that good juju! Sign us up!
Now, although we love our nutcrackers - we certainly don't discriminate! We thought we would call out the below little smoker. We love him dearly despite the fact that he's not a nutcracker. His nickname is smoker because he's traditionally used to burn incense. (we think he's too handsome for that!) He also originated from the Richard Glaesser company and is perhaps part of the most special German tradition. In Germany, Christmas last for 12 days and on the final day celebrating the Three Wise Men, many people celebrate by lighting incense and placing them in these German smokers to mark the end of the Christmas season. We stick to our more is more rule here for decor - and since it's the holiday's we'd like to call it 'the more the merrier!' So don't be afraid to mix and add to your holiday decor the way you see fit. We wouldn't want anyone feeling left out!
We've certainly given you plenty of reasons to love nutcrackers and smokers.. But perhaps the most important reason behind why our collection is so meaningful to us is that it is something we do as a family. Each year we add a nutcracker to our collection. And each year, we make a day out of it! We gaze at the shelves, run through aisle after aisle, until we've found one that speaks to us. Until we find one, that could fit in with the others.. Until we find one that stops us in our tracks and we say, this little guy has to come home with us!
And that's just it. The holiday's are riddled with tradition and a sense of unique, one of a kind, family traditions. It is important to maintain those year after year, whatever they may be. For us, collecting brings us joy. It's our passion project and the main reason we love it so much is because we do it together. It's the time you spend searching for the perfect little treasure to bring home that is really what the story is about.