I've got a thing about nutcrackers, but until this Christmas, never had one of my own. The way their huge mouths open so wide fascinated/frightened me as a kid, and still does. At ballet school when I was a tot, I once interrupted a dancer in his routine by innocently opening the door to the studio in which he was practicing. He was in the middle of a jump and it looked like he was coming at me with his mouth gaping, his eyes blazing, his hair flowing out behind him. It took me forever to calm down, and I still recall it as if it were yesterday.
The object was originally designed by often frustrated miners in Germany who made them to resemble powerful people like kings, policemen and soliders thus placed at their service to perform the lowly task of cracking nuts!
Starting with the little ornament below, I may just start a collection...