Newton Public Library's display case has a festive feel this month thanks in part to adult services supervisor Dan Eells, who has decked out the area with his personal collection of nutcrackers.
Any member of the public can sign up to put their own collections on display at the NPL. Seeing a slot available in December, Eells noted it was the perfect time to break out his nutcrackers for the holiday season.
"It just happened that it was open, so I ran up to my parents' house and got 'em and brought 'em down here," Eells said. "They usually aren't all out at my parents' house. They only put a few out, 'cause there's quite a few of them, so it's fun to kind of see some that I haven't seen in a while."
The collection itself was a Christmas tradition, Eells said, adding that he will still occasionally get a gift of a nutcracker from his parents.
"It started when I was a kid, kind of as a family thing, where my parents would get me one each year. That's kind of how it spawned," Eells said. "It's just like a fun, childhood thing we've always done. We've been to 'The Nutcracker' a few times, the ballet in Wichita, so it's just kind of a fun little family tradition."
Currently, there are 20-plus nutcrackers featured in Eells' collection. Some of his favorites include the Black Knight (from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail") and the Rat King, from the collection's namesake ballet.
Eells' nutcracker collection will be on display through the holidays and he noted he has enjoyed the reactions it has brought from library patrons — with several sharing an affinity for Eells' favorites.
"It's fun sharing. It's interesting to see which ones people like," Eells said. "People really do like the Rat King ones and the Monty Python a lot."