When I was in elementary school, I went on a field trip to see The Nutcracker. I was mesmerized by it. For the next couple of weeks, my mind played back scenarios from the ballet and the story continually ran through my imagination.
It was around this time, Mom took me to the local Christmas market. I found a booth selling small wooden soldiers that reminded me of the ballet.
I told Mom I wanted some of the wooden soldiers for Christmas, but she was reluctant to buy them. She didn’t understand why I would want nicknacks and felt it would be a waste of money.
I was relentless. I had to have one. Mom finally gave in and bought two of those soldiers for me.
I cherished those soldiers. Unfortunately, only one of the solders has survived all these years. It is the only toy from my childhood that I still own and I keep it in a glass display case.
It may sound strange, but this small wooden soldier is the best gift I ever received.