Christmas Decorating with Nutcrackers

As early as 1800, standing wooden nutcrackers in the form of soldiers and kings were found in Germany and in 1830, the term “Nussknacker” appeared in the dictionary of the Brothers Grim. In 1872 Wilhelm Füchtner, also known as the “father of the nutcracker,” created the first commercial nutcrackers.

Today many wooden toy soldier nutcrackers are still manufactured in Germany. Each year interest is renewed by the productions of the Nutcracker Ballet. By the way, there are still tickets available to the San Francisco Ballet’s version – it’s excellent!

Here are some examples of classic wooden nutcrackers dressed in their holiday finest. From left to right: Williams Sonoma Home, Gump’s and D. Blümchen & Company.

Today, collectors can now find hundreds of designs. Here are some of my favorite non-traditional nutcracker dolls. From left to right – White Rabbit, Beekeeper and Hamlet from The Nutcracker Christmas Shop and the Salty and Santa with Sleigh from Gump’s.

Crate & Barrel’s set of silver and gold nutcracker ornaments would look terrific on any Christmas tree.

How about a gingerbread nutcracker covered in holiday confections? yum.

These festive nutcracker place mats from Gump’s would make any table setting magical.

Holiday desserts would be served in style on these handsome set of nutcracker bone-china plates.

Nutcracker salt & pepper shakers from Lillian Vernon would make a great addition to any nutcracker collection.

Do you collect nutcrackers?

* images courtesy of Gump’s, Martha Stewart, Lillian Vernon, Crate & Barrel, SF Ballet, Williams Sonoma Home, The Nutcracker Christmas Shop and D. Blümchen & Company

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11 Responses to Christmas Decorating with Nutcrackers

  1. Tiaras December 15, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    oh you found some very lovely Nutcrackers!! My son has been singing the songs all week!

  2. Deliciously Organized December 2, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    Love this post! Coming from SF this used to be one of my favorite things to do when I was young. Still have my ballet slipper ornament on my tree!

  3. Struggler December 1, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    This is very topical, as a co-worker was just given a boat-load of pecans by some nut-growing relatives, and we're finding nobody in the office has the necessary nutcracker for getting into them!
    I did see the SF Ballet's performance a couple of years back – it was lovely.

  4. Averill December 1, 2009 at 2:06 am #

    Nutcrackers always remind me of my aunt, who is an avid collector. She's even started giving them as Christmas gifts!

  5. Erin November 30, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    The salt and pepper shakers are so cute! Also like the white and gold ornaments!

  6. Pinecone Camp November 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm #

    I didn't realize there were so many varieties of nutcrackers! Thanks for posting!

  7. Dallas Shaw November 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    you just reminded me to buy my tickets to the show- missed out last year


  8. LindsB November 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    My brother has a collection of nutcrackers that is out of this world. He recieved one every year for Christmas from my grandparents, and has about 24 of them. They make a lovely display on the mantle at my parents house every year.

  9. Splendid Willow November 30, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Thank you for the lesson! My little girl Frida was a Bob Bon last year at a Nut Cracker performance in Seattle. This brings back good memories! The edible ginger Nut Cracker is amazing! Happy week! OX Monika

  10. suburban prep November 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm #

    Oh you have posted a subject that is so close to my heart. I love nutcrackers and I collect them. I have about 30 or so. My husband and I have a shelf that is about the great room in our condo and they overlook the room for the season.
    As for the ballet, I could see it over and over.
    Thanks you for this posting.

  11. Jamie November 30, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    I loved this post! I loved reading about the history behind the nutcracker. We have a collection of nutcrackers that we add to every year. I still haven't decided how to display them this year but you've motivated me to start thinking!