Long ago, in the Erzgebirge of Germany, there lived a wealthy farmer who was miserly and lonely. His heart was as hard as the walnuts on his trees! As he had no time for foolishness, the farmer was unable to crack the walnuts and enjoy their tasty meat. So he offered a reward to anyone who could find an easy way to crack the nuts. An old soldier said that he would shoot the nut. A carpenter recommended sawing through the nut. A veterinarian suggested placing the walnuts under a chicken. Surely the walnuts would hatch! Of all the unusual ideas, none were acceptable.
One day, an old puppet carver traveled from Seiffen and presented the farmer with a beautiful wooden puppet. It was painted in bright colors with a large mouth and powerful jaws-big and strong enough to easily crack the hard walnuts! Extremely grateful, the miserly farmer rewarded the entire village. Each year at Christmas, he treated everyone to German fruitcake and painted his walnuts gold to decorate the Christmas tree. And for the puppet carver, the farmer created a special workshop where he could make the most beautiful nutcrackers in the world! Because not only did the beautiful nutcracker crack the walnuts, but it also broke the hard heart of the farmer….so that kindness and generosity would come forth for all.
I have seen Nutcrackers at Christmas time all the time, but I never knew there was actually a legend about them. So now I know...and for those that didn't know before....now you know. :)
I also want to take this time to wish everyone of you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Best wishes for all of you in the new year!