Off the Shelf: The Nutcracker (or, Christmas in July)

So, I was strolling along the bustling main street of Old Town La Mesa a few weekends ago (actually, the hubs and I were pretty much the only ones in sight), and I made a beeline for the used bookstore.

Big surprise.

After admiring a bunch of spectacular dusty old books that were way too expensive for anyone on a book budget, I moseyed over to the children’s section. Right there in the heat of summer I got a little whiff of Christmas. Here’s what I found:

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The first thing that struck me about this book was its size. It’s 13.5 inches by 8.5 inches, a very odd size in a portrait landscape no less. The second thing I asked myself was, “Why in the world did they hyphenate the title?” Finally, I looked at the wispy and delicate illustration of Marie and the odd, semi-scary smile on the nutcracker’s face.

While I wasn’t instantly charmed or pleased by the illustrations in this book, I was strangely drawn to them. And looking at them made me want to pull on mittens and drink something laced with peppermint. Oh, how I love Christmas.

So, if you’re sweating through the dog days of summer, go stand in front of the air conditioner or the open door of your refrigerator and take a look at these festive images from E.T.A. Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker.”

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The sword-weilding Rat King gave me nightmares as a child. Flashbacks!

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Now go on Pinterest and start researching Christmas crafts. It’s never too early, you know. 😉

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