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Speaking of Traditions…


aaron-with-nutcrackersThese past few weeks I have touched on many of the Behnke Family traditions. Here is the start of a new tradition in our Fleming Family. When I first got married many, many moons ago, I would give my new husband a German Nutcracker. Of course they came from the Behnke Christmas Shop and we would proudly display them each year. As time went on we started getting just a little bit overwhelmed with them and where to store them and for some reason I stopped buying them. This year my husband decided it was time to bring them out and he had our grandson Aaron help with the unpacking and figuring out where each one should go…So many nutcrackers, so little room: but somehow we made them all fit. Aaron loved the whole process and took his job very seriously. So seriously that Granddad told him to pick out his favorite one and it would be his to keep. (and take home). He picked out the music maker and we looked at each other and knew a new tradition had been formed.

On Thanksgiving Day when both our son and daughter were in the house we told them that every year they would need to pick one nutcracker each to take home with them. I never thought this would be such a hard thing to do. It took a lot of thought and then our son, Steven, picked out the Bavarian Beer Drinker for his. He posted his name under it and sat down.  “Oh, Steven, you don’t understand, you must take him home with you.” He was not at all happy about that–he wanted it to stay here. Our daughter, Jaimie could not decide so her husband helped her and she picked one of our very early soldier nutcrackers. Somehow, it is still here.  Won’t they both be surprised when they are packed and ready to go to their homes on Christmas Day?

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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