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Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Nutcracker, Clara, and Me

My Mom started a tradition of watching the Nutcracker Ballet in our family many, many years ago. During the Christmas holiday each year, she would take my sister and me to see the show. Although the city in which we saw the ballet changed frequently during the early years, after time, we settled on the performance put on by the San Francisco Ballet Company.

I truly love everything about this very festive ballet. The story, the costumes, and the movement, all work together to put me in my most holiday state of being.

Over the years, I have also loved sharing my joy for this ballet with others. One of my all-time favorite dates with Geoff, which happened on a New Year's Eve while we were in college, was the night that we went to a performance together. Another fond memory is going out to dinner and a show with Tyler and Kacey, long before either of us had kids.

Continuing this tradition has proven to be a bit trickier now that Giancarlo (G) and Lucia (L) have entered our lives. While I am eager to have my children experience the joy that the ballet has brought me, I also realize that their inability to sit through a 30 minute episode of Curious George on PBS will undoubtedly prevent them from lasting through an entire 1½ hour performance.

To fill our desire for holiday outings, my sister and I have worked diligently to find local, family-friendly events. Last weekend, the two of us and the kids headed over to a local Breakfast with Santa event. It was a bit ghetto-fabulous, but Giancarlo had the time of his life.

Even though Mr. C looks surly for some unknown reason in this photo, Giancarlo could hardly contain his excitement to meet him. He was literally jumping up and down waiting in line, excitedly laughing, "That's Santa!"

His utter delight didn't stop there. As my sister and I were dining on not-quite-defrosted fruit salad, Giancarlo headed over to the kids' area where Frosty the Snowman was playing on TV. I had to laugh when I saw him jumping up and down again in his seat, thrilled to see Frosty on the "big screen."

All in all, the kids had a chance to meet Santa, color pictures, and eat reindeer pancakes fashioned from marshmallows (for the nose), broken pretzel sticks (for the antlers), and MM's (for the eyes). It was a fun morning. However, I still look forward to the today when my kids will be able to enjoy my most favorite holiday tradition...

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*Monica said...

now the look on his face is why I want to be a kid again. I love his joy!!

Unknown said...

My daughter went to see the Nutcracker last night with her Girl Scout troop. While I was sitting outside to pick her up, I was feeling very jealous. Now I'm even more jealous. :)

Jill @ Sneaky Momma said...

What a great tradition! A few years ago, all educators in our area were given the opportunity to get free tickets for a nighttime Nutcracker production (worth $50 each). It was unbelievable. I'm not a big ballet person, so it was an experience I wouldn't have had otherwise. It was a fabulous evening on the town for us, dressed to the nines. Amazing!
Your children are beautiful! One of these days, I'm sure they will love the Nutcracker as much as you do.
BTW, I answered your question on my blog....:)

Rachel said...

What a fun tradition to carry on with your kidos! Little G's face is priceless while he's watching the Frosty video! Your kids are sooo beutiful! I love how you refer to the breakfast with Santa as "Ghetto-fabulous" I know exactly what you mean. The things we do to make our children happy!

Kimmy said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! When I saw your blog, I thought it was nice to see a Bay Area blogger also!!

Love the photos! My husband and I are actually gonna take my daughter to see the Nutcracker in SF this year. Our first year! We've never been but I've been wanting to for so many years. I can't wait!!!! Perhaps we'll make this a tradition also :o)

Have a great weekend!

Tulip Row said...

The joy on his face is what it is truly all about!! I also can not wait to take fiona to the nutcracker, we will probably go next year. I also love going to ballets/shows & Operas. However I have since realized John is a waste of a ticket, after seeing him check his watch in reference to the program several times while watching A Christmas Story with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall! Blasphemous!

Chris said...

I sat the Nutcracker for the first time last year. I'm hooked. Now it's a date every year for my two oldest daughters and I. Cool Post!

wendy said...

I think that is one of my favorite childhood memories - going to the nutcracker. G's photos with the crazy excitement are wonderful! L looks a little worried though. You are starting such great traditions.

Counselormama said...

When Fiona was 3 and Kylie was 4 I took them to a local production of Nutcracker in Davis, it was only an hour long and it was very cute and only cost $5. It was perfect for them, but I am looking fwd to doing this again thru the Sac Ballet Co. more pricey but would be worth it.

Tia said...

What a great blog! I love the ideas of moms sharing a blog. Genious! Oh, and the cookies are even better than they look!

Susannah said...

f, the first time i took matt to the nutcracker maybe 8 years ago now, half way trhough he turns to me and says, "so wait, there's no talking the whole time? it's just dancing?" i thought it was hilarious.

Laura said...

How fun! I love traditions like that, they really put you in the holiday spirit!

kacey said...

Going to the nutcracker with you is an experience in itself. I've never watched it with anyone who knows all the music by heart, and literally jumps out of her seat when the sugarplum fairy appears. :)