In 1816 – the same year when my distant relative Leon Kuhaewski invented the first astronomical watch* – Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann wrote the story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”.
The story begins on Christmas Eve. Little Marie and her brother and sister receive as a gift from their Godfather, Drosselmeyer, who is a clockmaker, a clockwork castle with clockwork people inside it. Maria, however, is fascinated by another gift – a nutcracker – and she gets the right to be his special caretaker. When it is time for bed, she takes him with her and – whilst we are unaware that she is falling asleep – the grandfather clock begins to chime, and at this moment Marie believes she sees Drosselmeyer sitting on top of it, preventing it from striking. The dolls in the toy cabinet come alive…
Tchaikovsky wrote a ballet based on this story, and his music became one of the most wonderful symbols of Christmas.
Merry Christmas! Give rein to your imagination.
* Please, see post #4.