My daughter and I’s annual holiday tradition of attending The Nutcracker is something we both treasure. If this holiday season is like most, I’ll be last-minute gift shopping; however, I’ll have our Nutcracker tickets purchased and a little pre-performance party planned in advance. Spending quality time with the ones I love is my “love language.” When that quality time involves music, beauty, a dressy outfit, and delicious food? I’m as joyful and festive as I can be.
We started attending the Nutcracker when my oldest daughter was three. Every year, we do some variety of the following:
- We read the story.
- We buy something special to wear.
- We listen to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker music while we bake something yummy.
- We invite friends over for hot chocolate and sweets.
The first time I saw the Nutcracker, while I loved the music and thought it festive and beautiful, I was a little confused by the story line, I have to admit. Reading the story helped us to enjoy the ballet more, because we understood the big picture going into it. As a three-year-old, my daughter was spooked by the Rat King. Reading the story beforehand helped, because she knew the Nutcracker Prince would ultimately beat the big ugly rat. There are several nice children’s picture books that tell the story. We like this one.
The Land of Sweets is great inspiration for those who love to bake, as I do. Hot (Spanish) Chocolate is a pre-performance must. We’ve made homemade sugar plums, in honor of the Sugar Plum Fairy. We’ve baked candy cane cookies in honor of the Russian candy cane acrobats (my favorite!) This year I’m thinking we’ll do something with ginger for Mother Ginger and her children. Going out for a special tea party is another fun option.
Below is a list of 2013 Nutcracker performances around the metroplex.
There are at least seventeen that I know of. To keep it simple, I’ve listed them by date and location, with links to the performing companies for more info. ’Tis not the season yet…but ’twill be before you know it! Put a date on the calendar now and treat you and your little sweeties to this fun, festive tradition.
SMU McFarlin Auditorium
Will Rogers Auditorium
Nov. 29- Dec. 1
Nov. 30- Dec. 1
Marcus High School
Nov. 29- Dec. 8
Winspear Opera House
Nov. 29-Dec. 22
Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts
Granville Arts Center
Irving Arts Center
Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium
Bass Performance Hall
Margo Jones Performance Hall, Texas Woman’s University
Irving Arts Center
Garland High School
Ed Landreth Hall
Allen High School Performing Arts Center
If you know of other performances around town, please add them in the comments.
Is the Nutcracker part of your holiday tradition? What special ways do you celebrate it?