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Collectible Types of Nutcrackers for your Christmas Displays plus Nutcracker Ballet

Updated on March 30, 2017

Wooden Nutcracker Christmas Decoration

Wooden Nutcracker
Wooden Nutcracker | Source

Christmas and The Nutcracker

Many people around the world (including us) display new as well as collectible nutcrackers for Christmas decorations and in addition, numerous others would not think the season is complete without attending a Nutcracker Ballet.

Are you one of those people?

There are numerous types of nutcrackers that have been developed through the years and as the name implies, the majority of them have been devised to more easily access the delicious nut meats inside those exterior hard shells.

Nuts are a good source of protein and have been used as a food source for probably as long as there have been people roaming the earth.

Different types of nuts are also relished by our animal friends with whom we share this planet.

But for purposes of this post I am referring to the decorative and collectible type of nutcracker commonly used in Christmas displays more than the utilitarian type of nutcracker.


Christmas Carols - The Nutcracker

Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker

Steinbach Nutcrackers

This is a very collectible type of nutcracker relished by people who enjoy quality workmanship.

Herr Christian Steinbach started carving these unique nutcrackers back in the 1800's in Germany.

Like many wood carvers this probably started out as a hobby but developed into a good source of income.

He was considered the "King of Nutcrackers" as to his beautiful designs and well executed forms of beauty.

Generally those nutcrackers took the form of wooden soldiers but also portrayed other professions such as knights, kings and more. Today's designs embrace contemporary themes as well as the old.

Typically they are designed with a large mouth with a movable lever in the back where if one inserted a nut in the mouth and operated the lever, the nutshell would crack open giving access to the nut meat inside.

Obviously few people would use these beautifully designed and decorative nutcrackers in that way for fear of scratching or otherwise harming these objects of beauty.

Besides that, given the costs for these heirloom quality Steinbach nutcrackers, if one really needs to crack nutshells, there are certainly less expensive alternatives.

At the Hohenhameln factory in the northern region of Germany, six generations of people have followed in Herr Christian Steinbach's footsteps and still produce the lovely nutcrackers today.

There is a wide variety of forms and varying subjects for these modern day nutcrackers but one thing has not changed and that is quality.

Steinbach nutcrackers are sought to beautifully grace the homes and domiciles of people worldwide and certainly add a distinctive touch to Christmas decorations.

Much of what Steinbach creates are limited editions making connoisseurs of these pieces happy to keep adding to their collections.

What do you think of Nutcrackers and the Nutcracker Ballet?

See results

Nutcracker Ballet

Every year around Christmas-time the famous Nutcracker Ballet is performed on stages all across America and probably other places in the world as well.

The very first performance was in Russia and was not instantly a success and loved as it is today.

Tchaikovsky wrote the musical score and many little girls and boys get all dressed up and attend Nutcracker Ballet performances at this time of year with their parents.

In fact, many people see it every year, over and over again as a holiday tradition.

This is a type of Cinderella story in that at the end of the ballet, the young girl and her handsome prince live happily forever surrounded by fancy surroundings and sweet treats.

Prior to that sweet ending, a doll-maker brings toys to the household of two children and many of his creations become animated and lifelike.

Gingerbread men, tin soldiers, dolls, mice and other combatants add much excitement to the story being told on stage.

Naturally since it is set during the time of Christmas, the decorations are resplendent.

A nutcracker turned prince brings this imaginary tale to its happy ending.

Every year in Houston, the Nutcracker Ballet entertains thousands of people and rings in the Christmas season with the music and images of Sugarplum fairies, nutcrackers and more.

Waltz of the Snowflakes - The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky Animation

Nutcracker Museum

Little did I know when my mother, niece and I visited Leavenworth, Washington (a great Bavarian styled village) years ago while on vacation that there is a wonderful Nutcracker Museum there.

Had we known and if we had the extra time, it would have been fun to stop in and explore it.

At least you readers of this post will know of its existence if your travels ever take you that way.


Source

The Nutcracker (animated story for children)

If you intend to add some Collectible Nutcrackers to your Christmas displays this year and for all the years to follow or attend one of the many wonderful performances of the Nutcracker Ballet, each year that comes around gives you another opportunity.


Do you collect nutcrackers or like going to the Nutcracker Ballet? Have you visited the Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth? I invite you to leave your comments below. Thanks!



Poinsettia

Source

© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 9 months ago

      That's true.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 9 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      Obviously live performances are great if one has access and the money for the tickets. At least there are alternatives out there. :)

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 9 months ago

      True, but I believe nothing beats the live performance.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 9 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      Even if a person has no access to a live performance of The Nutcracker...it is often portrayed via television this time of year. Of course it lives on forever in Youtube. I did not know that about Tchaikovsky. I wonder why?

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 9 months ago

      Yes, The Nutcracker is probably the first exposure to ballet for many children. It has been a long time since I've a Nutcracker performance. In the movie Fantasia the MC explains Tchaikovsky hated The Nutcracker.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Don,

      Yes, nutcrackers of the Christmas kind truly are works of art. Glad you liked this. Thanks for your comment and the share.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      No snow down here in Houston but freezing weather for a few hours overnight. Had to take the potted crotons into our garage and cover some of the in ground plants. Way too early to have to be doing this! Thanks for the shares. Yes...Christmas is certainly coming fast!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      The nutcrackers are,indeed, works of art and craftsmanship. They have not been on my radar as such but I will pay more attention to them in the future. Up and awesome votes. sharing

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      This would be a great gift if one has a nutcracker collector on their list. Tickets to a live theater show would be great too. Good information especially for people who may not know where to start with collecting.

      Christmas is just 37 days away so people who want to have more time to enjoy the holidays should be making their lists and checking them over now to avoid having to rush.

      Pinning this article to Awesome HubPages and sharing with followers.

      Yes, it has been a lot like Wisconsin here weather-wise lately. Not as much snow, but it did snow for a few hours Sunday night and about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch accumulated on grassy areas and bridges, etc. Highly unusual for Texas this early, even before official winter. Hope all is well with you too. :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks Sharon,

      Hope that you had a Merry Christmas!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      I enjoyed your great hub and pinned it to my Christmas board. Voted up.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rebecca,

      The Nutcracker Ballet is a classic and is performed each and every year at the Wortham Center here in Houston as well as many places around the world. Glad you enjoyed this hub.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      Glad that I could add to your base of knowledge regarding nutcrackers. Thanks for the pin and share.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I love the Nutcracker ballet! What a lovely hub!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Now I know more about nutcrackers than ever before. My first and only experience with the musical was the movie starring Macaulay Culkin. It was really good, but so long I thought it would never end by the time it finally did end.

      Have voted this excellent article up, BAUI, and pinned it to my 'Christmas II board.' Also sharing.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      The Nutcracker Ballet is a holiday time of year favorite for many people. Glad that reading this hub enlightened you about it. Appreciate your votes and shares.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Peggy, this is the first time I'm learning about the nutcracker ballet. It surely must be a wonderful watch and a nutcracker museum would definitely worth a visit.

      Voted up, interesting, shared and pinned.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello pstraubie48,

      It sounds as though that hand carved and painted nutcracker that belonged to your father must be a beauty. Nice that you now have and treasure it. It might also be an antique with some value other than sentimental. Appreciate your comment. Hope that you are having a nice Christmas and holiday season. Can you believe that it will soon be 2013! Wishing you much happiness and contentment in the year ahead. :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      thank you Peggy...this was filled with so much I did not know. I have a friend who love, loves to collect these---I just sent her four tiny for Christmas to add her collection; it is getting increasingly more difficult to find ones she does not have.

      I have an antique nut cracker that was hand carved and it does not look like any of these. It is carved out of a solid piece of wood and then it was painted. It belonged to my Father when he was a child; he passed away at 92 in 1987....so it is old.

      Voting up and ++ Sending Angels to you :) ps

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi ishwaryaa22,

      Hope that you get to do both things...see a Nutcracker Ballet performance and acquire a decorative nutcracker of your very own to remind you of that book you read as a child. It must have left quite a memory for you! Thanks for the votes and the share and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      An informative & wonderful hub! I would like to acquire a decorative Nutcracker as well as see the ballet in the near future when I have the chance. I came to know about the nutcracker thanks to the story written by E.T.A. Hoffmann that I read as a child and it was really fascinating. Well-done!

      Merry Christmas to you & your family!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & shared

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Stacy,

      Your grandmother must have quite a collection of nutcrackers if she collected them for years and people gave her gifts of them. How many would you estimate she has? It is always fun adding to collections when you know what people like. Appreciate your comment and the tweet.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      For the longest time, my husband's grandmother was collecting nutcrackers. It was so much fun each and every single year to try and seek out the most unusual and unique nutcrackers. I once found a really really old one. She loved it. Sadly, she ran out of room and no longer collects them.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ethel,

      I also started out with a black and white TV at home with my family. We were so impressed when my grandparents got their first color TV. Occasionally we would all go over there to watch something as a family. The sets had to warm up and there was that test symbol. Ha! We both have our memories going back to those "good old days." Nice that one of your memories is watching the Nutcracker Ballet with your Mum. Thanks for your comment.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I spooted a typo on my comment Peggy. Before I could edit it had gone. Hope there was only the one :)

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      What a liovely seasonable hub. I first watched this ballet on a black and white TV with my Mum when I was very young. I love it to this day. The nutcrackers for sale are nice and quirky plus fun

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi sweetie,

      The Nutcracker Ballet is a favorite ballet performed traditionally around this time of year. Some families make it an annual event to go and enjoy it. The wooden nutcrackers are also a type of iconic decoration used in many houses during the Christmas season. Many of the more expensive ones are lovingly hand carved and painted. They come in all sizes, shapes and price ranges. Glad that you liked this. Appreciate the vote and share.

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 4 years ago from India

      Peggy,

      I have never heard about nut crackers before. They look beautiful. Also as Mark commented that they have ballet of nutcrackers, it must be spectacular . Voting it up and sharing this wonderful hub.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      I have seen those flower pot nutcrackers and they are cute. They are already advertising the Nutcracker Ballet here in Houston which is an annual show and Christmas Displays are already in the stores. It does seem to start earlier each year...or perhaps it just seems that way! Ha! The share buttons are at the top right of the hubs now, FYI. Thanks for your comment.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Oh, no! Is it that time of year again???? Seems like we just had Christmas about 6 months ago! I'll have to go and dig out my one and only wooden nutcracker. I don't remember where I got him now, but he adds so much to the holiday season.

      A friend of mine made an outside nutcracker out of clay flower pots. Wish I could remember how she did that.....

      I enoyed reading your Hub on types of nutcrackers.

      I voted this Hub UP and will share. (there is NO share button on your Hub).

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mark,

      Getting to attend a Nutcracker Ballet in Budapest some years ago must have been spectacular. What a nice memory for you! Glad that this hub about collectible nutcrackers and the ballet stirred your "feel-good" memory. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi SanneL,

      Glad that this hub about nutcrackers and the Nutcracker Ballet put you in the Christmas spirit. Thanks for your comment.

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      Listening right now to one of your videos with the Nutcrackers Christmas carols, and it sure gives me some Christmas spirit!

      Beautiful nutcrackers and a beautiful and interesting hub.

      Thank you!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      Listening right now to the Nutcrackers Christmas carol, from one of your videos and it sure brings me some Christmas spirit.

      Beautiful nutcrackers and a beautiful hub!

      Thanks!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Billy,

      You are probably referring to the Nutcracker Ballet if I am correct in thinking. Or do you mean various wooden nutcrackers used around the house for Christmas decorating? In any case, the nutcracker has become a symbol of the Christmas season. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Clare,

      Amazon has some really good prices on Nutcrackers as you can readily see from reading this hub. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 6 years ago

      Will bookmark for Christmas - my sons are huge nutcracker fans.

    • profile image

      Clare 6 years ago

      What a cute Nutcrackers! I like them. I hope you can list some sites that provides discounts. :) Thanks in Advance.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Hello, hello,

      Happy to hear that you liked this hub about the Nutcracker Ballet and everything related to nutcrackers. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Micky,

      It would be interesting to see what your island girl nutcracker looks like. Perhaps you can dedicate a hub to her? Nice to hear that you liked this hub about collectible nutcrackers for Christmas displays and also the Nutcracker Ballet. Thanks!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      A great tribute to Nutcrackers and the Ballet. I love it. Thank you for your wonderful hub.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      Beautiful hub Peggy. I have a very unique island girl nut cracker! I guess I'll keep her. God bless Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Jo Deslaurier,

      I actually had to find the nutcracker amidst our Christmas decorations in order to take a photo of it for this hub. It is not one of those gorgeous Steinbach nutcrackers, but it has been a part of our Christmas displays for a number of years now. Perhaps it was the Nutcracker Ballet music that put you in the Christmas mood? In any case, thanks for the comment and have a very Merry Christmas.

    • Jo Deslaurier profile image

      Jo Deslaurier 6 years ago

      Fun read! I love Nutcrackers and this just gets me into the Christmas mood. =)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello AliciaC,

      Like you, many people watch the Nutcracker Ballet on television or see it in person during Christmas each year. The music is glorious! As to collecting nutcrackers...you have many choices and they certainly do add a holiday touch to Christmas displays. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello wilsontom,

      Glad you liked the presentation of collectible as well as utilitarian nutcrackers. Also happy that you liked the video of the Nutcracker Ballet. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Cheryl J.,

      Some of those collectible nutcrackers are really beautiful. Thanks for commenting on this nutcracker hub.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I have only utilitarian nutcrackers in my house, but after viewing your hub I want to get some decorative nutcrackers too! I enjoyed the videos. We always watch the nutcracker ballet on television at Christmas. It’s a part of our Christmas celebrations.

    • wilsontom profile image

      wilsontom 6 years ago from new delhi

      This nutcrackers are so cute and the video was also great.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      A very good hub on the collectible Nutcrackers for your Christmas display and the Nutcracker Ballet. I too would love to collect a few of the limited edition Nutcrackers. Great videos.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kaie,

      You don't have even one nutcracker for your Christmas displays, well, not to worry. There are plenty of collectible nutcrachers and also non vintage ones from which to choose. Like you, I enjoy the Nutcracker Ballet and the music certainly represents this time of year as it is often played. Thanks for the comment.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

      With all of the Christmas decorations I have.......... not even one is a Nutcracker! I shall have to remedy that!

      The Nutcracker Ballet........... one of my holiday favorites! Kaie

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi dahoglund,

      Like your wife, I also enjoy watching figure skating, especially the pairs competition. It is amazing what they can do while on ice...from the ballet like moves to the most gymnastic in nature. I'd probably kill myself if I tried ice skating today. The last time I was on ice skates was when I was a kid.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I have, but I do not have the patience to sit through a ballet very often. My wife likes to watch figure skating which I will watch a times but not regularly.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi dahoglund,

      I remember...your wife collects dolls. So no collectible nutcrackers will be suggested for her Christmas displays! Haha! The Nutcracker Ballet music is really nice. Have you never seen the Nutcracker Ballet on television?

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I wouldn't suggest to my wife anything more to collect. This was an interesting background about nutcrackers. I like the nutcracker music but might not sit through the ballet.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Pamela,

      The music alone from the Nutcracker Ballet is wonderful. The Houston ballet does a wonderful job of performing the Nutcracker Ballet each year and they even host a Nutcracker market at the huge Reliant Center where many top end vendors display their goods. Ticket prices plus a portion of the proceeds benefits the Houston Ballet and is a major fundraiser each year which attracts huge crowds of people. A lunch, fashion show etc. adds to the excitement. Music and more... That is also a fun event and one in which people like attending year after year.

      Thanks for commenting on this collectible nutcracker / Christmas displays hub. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      Peggy, We went to see the nutcracker last year and it was wonderful. I think your hub is right in the Christmas spirit and I enjoyed it very much.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Prasetio,

      Thanks for the complimentary comment and vote up on this hub about collectible nutcrackers for Christmas and also about the Nutcracker Ballet. You are so kind to regularly read and comment on my hubs. Appreciate it!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello samsons1,

      I know...it seems early to be thinking of collectible nutcrackers, the nutcracker ballet and Christmas displays...but it is already happening in the stores and elsewhere. Happy to hear that you enjoyed the music from the videos. That is beautiful for sure. Thanks for the first comment!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Another good job from you. These nutcrackers so cute and beautiful. The video is also amazing. Peggy, you made the Christmas time so great. I know Christmas is coming fast. I thought you have prepare everything related with Christmas celebration. God bless you.

      Prasetio:)

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

      voted up and beautiful! Peggy this is wonderful. You've gotten me in the spirit of Christmas way to early. Well written and the videos and music lifted me up-- It's still a full month before Christmas;

      thanks...