A Nutcracker Tradition – Oh, How “Sweet”!

Have you ever had a dream that you just can’t seem to lose sight of? I have a Christmas-decorating dream inspired by a favorite Christmas movie. Picture a room filled with life-size nutcrackers (the tin-soldier style) guarding the doors, delicate snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, frosted windows, twinkling lights throughout. This room has many extravagant trees, each adorned with their own individual, yet coordinating, theme. Imagine, if you will, candy canes; garlands of gumdrops; and sweet, colorful accents throughout. These “sugarplum dreams” change often. This, in part, is one reason I have not yet carried out this ambitious plan. However, one detail that has never wavered is the nutcrackers. I love the idea of unique soldiers standing strong as they protect the home. In fact, the quirkiness of the guards often leaves me wondering about the tradition behind the nutcracker.

Holding an armful of Nutcrackers At Bronner's

History of the Nutcracker

German folklore tells stories of dolls that would show their gritty teeth to protect homes and frighten away sinister spirits. Good luck in the form of a toy soldier, so to speak. As a matter of fact, Jacob Grimm, of the Brothers Grimm wrote about nutcrackers that served as protective figures of strength and power. As a result of increased demand for the nutcracker, production of the figure ramped up. However, due to the poor economic conditions in Germany at the time, many households could not afford to have more than one of these noble protectors. As a result, a large number of the figurines were given as gifts. In the same matter, American soldiers began to bring these souvenirs home during World War II. This significantly helped the unique figurine grow in popularity. Undoubtedly, these symbols of good luck were well traveled!

Once given the history behind these figures, I began to think of ways to start my own nutcracker tradition!

Sweet or Suites?

Without a doubt, you have heard of the “Nutcracker Suite.” Is it “suite” or “sweets”? Surprisingly, both answers fit! Unquestionably, the nutcracker was launched into the spotlight by the introduction of the Christmas Eve San Francisco ballet. The performance was based on the 1816 story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” In the tale, toys come to life and battles are fought in faraway kingdoms. As a result, a sugar plum fairy rewards the victors with dances of chocolate (sweets) from Spain, tea from China, coffee from Arabia, and candy canes from Russia. The story, together with the 1944 debut of the ballet (“The Nutcracker Suite”), made this “sweet” officer a holiday standard. Interested in seeing this performance live? In that event, You can find a list of local venues here!


Nutcracker Variations

At present time, these well-dressed dolls not only take on the form of soldiers and kings. In fact, they can may represent occupations, hobbies, and even storybook characters. As a prime example, Bronner’s beloved originator Wally was available in collector form for a limited time. The Wally nutcracker is no longer available for purchase. However, you can find one on display when visiting Bronner’s CHRISTMAS Wonderland.

Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland originator Wally Bronner with custom nutcracker.
Bronner’s originator, Wally Bronner, with his nutcracker clone.

Nutcrackers at Bronner’s

During your visit to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, nutcrackers of all shapes and sizes can be found high and low. While strolling through our showroom, you can find these soldiers in almost every section of our store. There are over 150 varieties of nutcrackers to discover at Bronner’s. From the west entrance, to stockings, ornaments and gifts, nutcrackers are nothing short of plentiful. What’s more, the store even has a specially themed nutcracker tree! On the condition that you are not able to visit in person, you may read about the nutcracker tradition, along with many others in our legends book. You can also spot nutcrackers while taking a virtual tour of the store!

Nutcracker Gift Boxes

Bronner's gift box with nutcracker book and ornaments along with other colorful ornaments
This nutcracker story book shows that more than traditional ornaments can be featured in Bronner’s gift boxes.

Unquestionably, there are great gift options to be found at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland! As a matter of fact, it is simple to have your items packaged into a dazzling gift box that is sure to be a hit!

For instance, this fun 19-inch x 14-inch gift box features:

  • “Nutcracker Crunch” storybook #125342
  • mini nutcracker-with-sequins ornament #1220382
  • hot-air-balloon nutcracker ornament #1193142
  • 5-inch cake-pop ornament #1260721
  • 2-inch sugar-plum glass ornaments #1270392
  • 5.5-inch sweets-tree ornament #1212021
  • 8.25-inch rainbow, glass-finial ornaments #1270391

These items are available in-store or by contacting customer service at 1-800-361-6736, option 2, or at customerservice@bronners.com.

What a memorable way to pass along the nutcracker tradition to loved ones!

4 thoughts on “A Nutcracker Tradition – Oh, How “Sweet”!

  • October 5, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    Wonderful article. I never heard the story before. I have numerous Steinbach nutcrackers that were a gift each Christmas from my mother. My son also has a collection. Both of us only bring them out at Christmas time. It’s a wonderful tradition.

    • October 6, 2022 at 9:52 am

      Sarah, the collection from your mother must be so special! It is neat that your family holds that tradition. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • September 19, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    I am 62 & had never heard the story of the Nutcracker. I don’t own even one.
    However after this explanation I will be buying my first of many!
    Loved this article. Thanks!

    • September 20, 2022 at 12:02 pm

      Hi Tina!

      I am glad that you enjoyed the article. I have also found a love of nutcrackers after learning about them! They truly have an interesting background. Thank you for posting!


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