Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Favorite Things: The Nutcracker and other traditions

Ballerinas are some of the most beautiful people in the world. Never did I wish to be one, but my admiration for their art and the sacrifices they make to pursue it is high.

This past Sunday I took my beautiful oldest daughter, Analisa, to a performance of The Nutcracker by Ballet Etudes. The theater was lovely and intimate, the costumes bright and extravagant, and the dancers - some very young children - performed the classic tale in exquisite detail.

I even took pleasure in people watching, noting how many families and couples were attired in their holiday best. The little girls were especially elegant in their fancy coats, sparkling dresses and shiny heeled shoes. You know what kind of crowd you're in when you exclaim to a four or five-year-old girl, "Just look at your beautiful coat!", and she replies, "It's a cape."

Now I understand why families and friends make this part of their celebration every year. It was our first time, and I wish I had started taking Ana earlier, but I hope it will become a tradition until one day I am taking my grandchildren, too.


This December, my friends, I have chosen a theme for my writing; my favorite things about the holidaysGoing to see The Nutcracker is certainly now one of them, and here are a few more:

- eating pie for breakfast Thanksgiving morning, watching the parade and Miracle on 34th Street, and having a second Thanksgiving on Saturday at my friend Geraldine's house

- playing Christmas carols for my kids on my guitar

- taking a Christmas Eve hike

This technically isn't a tradition yet, but I told my friend Holly it should be. A couple years ago we said goodbye to the stressful preparations for the big day and let nature help us get in the spirit as we admired Arizona's natural winter adornment, ate chocolate-dipped shortbread and enjoyed the cool weather and company of good friends.

- watching The Nativity Story each Christmas Eve night

My dad introduced us to this film, and I am forever grateful. This is the best telling of the nativity story ever - better even than Linus' recitation in A Charlie Brown Christmas - just an all around great movie, perfect in its moments of subtlety and faith. And the Three Wise Men are absolutely lovable.

What are your favorite things? I would love for you to share them here. May you have a blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas!

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