In the airport on our way to Florida last week, we passed by this row of seven Nutcrackers with their backs to the wall. Four in red and three in green, all sporting ringlets and tall, plumed hats.

Why were they facing the wall? Sure, it’s a few months past Christmas so they may not be needed in an official capacity, but where’s the shame in that? Are they turned to the wall because they’re off-duty and they’re getting a little shut-eye, even still standing at attention, so they won’t embarrass themselves or their station? Are they playing team hide and seek? Closing their eyes and counting to 100 while seven other Nutcrackers march swiftly around the airport looking for places to hide, which may be tricky when you’re a six-foot-tall statue, although it is a large airport. Are they turned to the wall in sad resignation because they no longer feel useful and cannot bear to see the passers-by glance at them in puzzlement, or worse, derision? Do they feel dejected because they worry they have been forgotten, abandoned for more than 10 weeks when their fellow Christmas decorations have long since been carefully packed away. What if they are left to face the wall until next December? Oh, the horrors.