Beginning the season with Christmas trinkets


Celebrating the Christmas season with Salisbury Hall in a snow globe. Graphic by Dylan Drury ’22

From the late 1400s to the twenty-first century, Christmas trinkets have been important family traditions across the globe.  The nutcracker, the snow globe, and the Elf on the Shelf are just three examples of holiday staples that both children and adults enjoy.

Nutcrackers on display celebrating Christmas time in the O’Connor household.  Courtesy of Annie O’Connor ’22

Nutcrackers originated in Germany between the late 1400s and early 1500s.  However, the look of these figures has evolved over the centuries.  Most of the early designs of nutcrackers took the shape of animals such as birds, and also represented common people.  Today, the prominent facade for nutcrackers are soldiers and kings.

Sacred Heart Greenwich sophomore Annie O’Connor treasures the role nutcrackers play in her family’s Christmas season.

“Every year, my family buys a new Nutcracker doll,” Annie said.  “We have a collection of around 1,000 dolls, and it always gets me excited for the holidays when I see them displayed.”

Mr. Erwin Perzy I, fashioned the first snow globe in Vienna, Austria, in 1900.  The snow creation was a result of serendipity, and it has become a traditional trinket for families all around the world.  This original design created a family business, Original Vienna Snow Globes.  Almost 120 years later, Mr. Perzy’s grandson, Mr. Erwin Perzy III, runs the company, making snow globes completely by hand.  The Original Vienna Snow Globes company sells 200,000 snow globes each year, according to

Five years after the discovery, mass production of the snow globe began.  Despite the fact that the company only has 30 employees, half of which work from home, Original Vienna Snow Globes is able to produce snow globes for people worldwide.

Since the famous Elf on the Shelf book and toy launched in 2005, the company has sold more than 11 million copies.  As the Elf became more popular, the originators have gone on to invent more Christmas toys, including Elf Pets and letters to Santa kit, Scout Elf Express Delivers Letters To Santa.  Mrs. Carol Aebersold and her daughters, Mrs. Chanda Bell and Mrs. Christa Pitts, are the creators of the applauded Christmas doll. 

After the toy gained popularity, the founders, Mrs. Aebersold, Mrs. Bell, and Mrs. Pitts started to take the toy to the next level with a live musical.  The musical will show this December in towns and cities all over the United States, according to

“We want the message to be that Christmas time isn’t just about what you get.  It’s about families doing things together,” Mrs. Bell said, according to CNN.  “The spirit of the season is about kindness, sharing and learning about self control.”

The Bozzi family elf, Jiminy.  Courtesy of Mrs. Jillian Bozzi

Mrs. Jillian Bozzi, Upper School History and Psychology teacher, believes that having traditions is important for families as it provides a sense of comfort and allows memories to resurface as years pass on.  Mrs. Bozzi’s family celebrates Christmas every year with her two sons Anthony and Jonathan and their Elf on the Shelf, Jiminy.

“We have been doing this tradition for about five years now and some of the best memories have been watching the boys wake up, search for the elf, and enjoy the shenanigans that our elf gets himself into,” Mrs. Bozzi said. 

Featured Image by Dylan Drury ’22