christmas events worth the price of admission

The first time I saw the Nutcracker ballet, I was in my early 20s.  People around me were shocked that I had not seen it as a child.  I didn’t think my childhood was all that deprived, but apparently, it was.

I didn’t have anything suitable to wear, so I bought a pretty outfit and got dressed with great anticipation.  I was told, “Be prepared to see a lot of little children having a very good time.”

I am a big fan of little children, so this seemed like my kind of thing.

“Wait,” I said.  “Do you mean the little children attending the performance, or do you mean the little children in the performance?”

“Both, I guess.  But I meant the ones on stage.”

And, boy howdy, did those littlest performers have a great time.  (That’s the first time I’ve had occasion to use “boy howdy” in a sentence.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.)

They danced, they watched each other, they laughed, occasionally they bumped into each other.  They made their bows and curtsies with great flourish.

They – clearly – had a very good time.

If you go, I wager you will too.

Nutcracker, performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet, with sets and costumes designed by Maurice Sendak, at McCaw Hall in Seattle, through 30 December.

Collecting links for this post, I found this short clip on PNB’s site.  Now this is what I’m talking about.

Another favourite holiday performance is Magical Strings, an extended-family group local to the Northwest.  They have been performing and producing wonderful Celtic-inspired music for over 30 years.

Their Celtic Yuletide concerts are a celebration of the season with music, family, stories, and a low-key atmosphere that encourages dancing in the aisles.

Bellevue’s holiday celebration is Magic Season, and includes an outdoor ice rink open from Thanksgiving into the new year.  The link has information for hours and prices.

Parents and students from a variety of groups at Kristina’s high school staff the concession stand at the ice rink – the students earn community service hours, and the proceeds benefit teams, clubs, and classes. 

Bellevue Youth Theatre provides a wonderful venue for kids to produce and perform plays, free-of-charge to the youth who participate.  There is just one weekend left in their holiday run of Velveteen Rabbit, the tale of a child’s stuffed bunny who discovers what it takes to be real.


listening to: Jewel, Joy to the World

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