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Nutcrackers for the holidays

Extensive Nutcracker collection fills Statesboro woman's home

    Mozelle Blankenship never set out to have a collection of Nutcracker figurines when she got her first few nearly 10 years ago.
    But over time, her family and friends came to realize she enjoyed the figurines from the ballet and began giving her new ones, especially around Christmas and her birthday, which was earlier this month.

    "I really didn't plan on collecting them," she said. "My family and friends know that I like them so they get me different ones."
    Blankenship estimated she has between 125 and 150 different figurines. "I get a lot after I put them out, so I don't know exactly how many I have," she said.
    When you walk into her home, they are displayed throughout the living room and dining room, ranging in size from only a few inches to one that is nearly three feet tall.
    "I hope not to have any two that are alike," she said.
    Among the different types Blankenship has include a robust one, a Mexican one, a sailor, an Irishman, a carpenter and many others. She even has one that plays music from the ballet, marches and plays the drum.
    "Each one has a special look on his face," she said. "There's just so many different expressions on their faces," she said.
    Despite her sizeable collection of figurines from the 1892 Tchaikovsky ballet, Blankenship said she's never seen it performed. In fact, she said she doesn't have any plans to go see the popular ballet.
    Blankenship begins displaying her collection just after Thanksgiving. She said it takes several hours to get them all unpacked and arranged throughout her home.
    "I keep them in two large boxes in our storage shed during the year and then pull them out after Thanksgiving," she said.
    And with all her different figurines, Blankenship said she doesn't have one in particular that is her favorite.
    "I can't show any partiality. I've got to set them all out," she said.
    Blankenship said whenever she sees a figurine she doesn't have, either she or her friends and family will eventually get it for her.

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