The Last Shot of 2012

As is my tradition (since 2010 :-)) I wanted to take the last photograph of 2012 on December 31st. I went out with the intention of getting local Christmas lights and was unable to find anything interesting. So I improvised. When I was a kid my dad took me to New York City and I saw The Nutcracker Ballet. I loved it. The music, the story - I loved it all. At some point I began collecting nutcrackers and this is my entire collection (with the exception of the few on the tree). I have been collecting these for more than ten years. Every year I add at least one to the collection. The rule is he has to be different from all the others. If there's no date on him I write it on the underside of the base so that I can remember.

There are all sorts of characters. Soldiers, kings, an artist, a hippie with a guitar, Scrooge, Santas, a Russian, an aviator, a fireman, a devil, a Frankenstein, a reindeer, a rat king (from the original tale), a jester. a snowman and the list goes on. Some have white hair, others black or brown. Some have mustaches that are painted and others have fuzzy facial hair. The hippie has long hair in braids and flip flops, the teacher looks like Einstein. Every year when I take them out they make me smile and they bring back so many happy memories. I love looking at them throughout the season and when I have to put them away it always makes me a little sad. This year I almost didn't get one. I waited until the last minute because I had been so busy with school. When I started to shop most places had already sold all of them. It became a mission and finally I found two that I loved.



It took me more than an hour to arrange them all in this small space. It was like taking a group photo of a VERY large group - positioning everyone so that you could see all the faces.

So, here it is, the last shot of 2012. It was a challenging year, but here's to an amazing 2013.