I was thinking today how we used to celebrate Christmas when I was little and I was going for a completely different angle than what this post became. As a matter of fact I had to go back and rewrite the beginning, since the post kind of took on a life of its own.
Thinking about my Christmases as a child, there was a lot missing, it wasn’t a single thing to point a finger at. The government frowned upon Christmas celebrations and often only old ladies and children were allowed in the church. I remember my grandmother taking me to light a candle for the dead ( that was acceptable I guess) and telling me how there are people outside looking at the entrance that take note who is visiting the church and a lot of people got in trouble with ” The Party” the next day because of it.
I remember Father Frost (the communist version of Santa Claus, I guess somebody had to bring the presents after all) and his dazzling “mate” Snowflake ( it was not very clear what role she played in the whole thing, however it was obvious she was some 30 years younger than Father Frost, nowhere near Grandma Claus). That was the only time there were oranges and bananas sold in the stores and there were long, long lines with people waiting to buy some. The quantities were limited and people were allowed to buy only a certain amount per person, but of course the proverbial Bulgarian resourcefulness made this quite the gray area.
And then, there was the Nutcracker. The ballet I mean. The version we got to see was the Russian National Ballet one and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I never actually wanted to be a ballerina, no – I wanted to be the toymaker.
Every Christmas I would wish for a nutcracker like the one in the story, and every Christmas I wouldn’t get one. There was simply no such toy in the stores. However, one Christmas to my horror I got a metal nutcracker ( I don’t even remember who gave it to me), which was a nice tool, good for cracking nuts I guess but that was all.
I believe I was in my twenties when I saw a real nutcracker. Of course, since the very beginning of my woodburning experiences I wanted to make one, and I did at some point but it was quite small for my expectations. I wanted one made out of solid wood.
Recently I found one, although again, it was not as big as I Imagined but it came out beautiful. I recently sold it in my Etsy Store and I am still looking for that perfect big nutcracker made of unfinished wood, the same as the one Clara had in the story.
Do you own a nutcracker? More than one? Tell me your nutcracker story!