It’s the Christmas season! Look around—everywhere you’ll see snowmen and reindeer, Santa and sparkling trees, flickering candles and charmingly stoic toy soldiers decked out in red, green, and gold—not to mention a flurry of festive décor, from miniature scented elf candles to life-size nutcrackers indoors and out!
In past blogs we explored the surprising origin of giant nutcracker Christmas decorations and the evolution of the beloved nutcracker figure over the decades. To recap, back in the Middle Ages the humble nutcracker began life as a plain, purely functional nut-cracking implement for the kitchen. Soon, clever German craftsmen began fashioning them into dolls—still functional but more fun and festive.
It was around this time that the nutcracker became associated with Christmas. It made for a charming holiday gift as well as a functional decoration. These pre-Tchaikovsky nutcrackers were even considered guardians of the home, with the power to scare away evil spirits.
The first life size nutcracker was introduced to the world when Tchaikovsky’s Christmas-themed ballet, The Nutcracker, premiered in Saint Petersburg in 1892. Though not deemed a success at first, over time the nutcracker prince fought and danced his way into people’s hearts and memories—and onto our lawns and storefronts.
For obvious reasons, life-size nutcrackers make wonderful holiday displays. Other than that, they serve no practical purpose. Or do they? Hey, what if…?
Welcome to the World, Life-size Christmas Nutcrackers!
Imagine if a giant nutcracker could help around the house at Christmas time. Picture a family preparing for a merry holiday gathering:
Aunt Holly sweeps into the kitchen with a bag of six coconuts and plops them onto the table. “This will be wonderful!” she says as she proceeds to crack each one open in the jaws of the life-size nutcracker the family has named “Chompy.” With his toothy grin and the luscious coconut milk dribbling down his chin and into the waiting bucket at his feet, Chompy looks like he enjoys being helpful.
“Though I do wish it was possible to try a huge coco de mer,” replies Grandma Mittens, who checks the Christmas turkey roasting in the oven and gives it a good basting. “Did you know they can weigh up to 40 pounds! I’ll bet Chompy could handle one of those! Alas, you can only find those nuts in the Seychelles, and the government protects them anyway.”
“What I’d like to try is a palmyra fruit from South Asia,” Uncle Nick interjects. “Some of those nuts grow to be seven inches in diameter. I hear the jelly inside is very tasty and sweet. Chompy could easily open those for us. But these will have to do for now.” He lifts two thick-skinned pumpkins onto the kitchen counter. As soon as Aunt Holly is finished with the coconuts, he uses Chompy’s powerful jaws to smash the pumpkins in preparation for a pie he’ll bake for dessert.
The family wonders what they would do without their life-size nutcracker!