Shortly after Thanksgiving, I came across a package of cocktail napkins printed with a funny quote: “Christmas is weird. What other time of year do you sit around a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?”
This got me thinking about how bizarre many hallowed Christmas traditions are, perhaps none more so than The Nutcracker.
For many, myself included, Christmas would be incomplete without a live performance, favorite video or at least Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score. But behind all the spectacle and sentimentality is a very strange story: a creepy uncle gives a girl a nutcracker, which magically comes to life and fends off an army of rodents before whisking the girl off to Candy Land — only to leave her back at home, wondering just what those sugarplums were laced with.
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