Even though it was a small Christmas, it still took us two weeks to tidy up, put the holiday decorations back into the attic, and get the house into austere January mode.
The last holdouts were the nutcrackers. They were the living room’s only Christmas cheer this year, and they did a swell job of it. I didn’t get any pictures of them in their spots around the room, and almost no pictures during the holiday, I guess because it was such a muted celebration. But it was nice having the nutcrackers scattered throughout the living room during December, keeping us company. Here they are, gathered on the coffee table just before getting stuffed back in their storage tub.
The nutcracker collection belongs to my son, our Musical Millennial, and began with our yearly pilgrimage to the Houston Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker.
Part of our tradition was to buy one of the nutcrackers at the performance each year, to support the ballet.
We stopped going to the Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker performance after 2016, when the classic production we loved was supplanted with a new, supposedly-better-but-not show that amped up the laughs and athleticism and added scores of tiny, cute kids. We’ve switched to the Alley Theater’s excellent production of A Christmas Carol as our Mom & Kid Holiday Show outing, although not in 2020, of course. It was a terrible year for the performing arts.
The Nutcracker collection has continued to grow, and they filled an entire large Christmas tub, three layers deep, as we put them away.
I always feel a little guilty when we pack up the nutcrackers, seal the box with its lid, and push them into the Christmas section in the back of the attic. For one month each year, they’re gallant and chivalrous stars, standing proud and valiant with their courageous expressions, bold colors and swords, and for the rest of the time, they’re unceremoniously crammed together in a red plastic tub and forgotten in the attic. I actually hope that there’s some Toy Story-like action that goes one from January through Thanksgiving, and that they have a secret, wonderful, nutcrackers-on-leave life. Don’t you?
This was a little post about nothing, and if you made it this far, I thank you. Sometimes, my writing is more catharsis than cleverness. This might just be one of those times.
Anyway, back into the attic they go!
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