I feel sorta bad for the nutcracker as an object... I mean, people like to eat nuts during other, non-holiday times of the year, right? But then, some German Romantic fantasy writer decided it made a pretty good gift from a crazy, creepy uncle, and then good old Pyotr Ilyich thought that adventure made a mostly awesome subject for a ballet, and now, any glimpse of those wide-jawed wooden soldiers simply screams, "It's Christmas! It's Christmas!"
Or, perhaps, I feel bad for most actual nutcrackers...cause they're, well, kinda tacky. I mean, I know there are really quality, beautiful, carved wooden ones, especially the handcrafted ones from the German forrest tradition. But the ones sold nowadays in discount stores are low-quality, poorly sanded and hastily glued pieces of mass-produced junk.
Which means they're perfect, inexpensive opportunity for a modern, minimalist makeover. Like this: