So I'm just going to say it. I'm kinda bummed we didn't get tickets this year. Sometimes I guess, things just don't happen. But when I'm wrapping presents, or writing this post, and listening to this music in the background, I regret I didn't pursue a family outing. It's hard to coordinate, and check schedules, and some people in my family (Dad?) I know don't like the event of it all as much as I do. So I let it slide.
In my mind, it was my Aunt Pat's tradition, and she was the one who got us there. (In fairness, it may have really been Grandma Ione). As little kids, Aunt Pat always kind of ring-led any downtown excursions, and I definitely distinctly remember going thru parking garages that are of course everywhere in the city. But as a kid from the quaint suburbs, I had not had much exposure to these immense, complex structures, except on these outings, and they were about as memorable to me as whatever it was we went to go see. Those grated air vents? That seemed like they could suck you in! Wow.
Again as a kid, I never really 'got' alot of what we were doing, seeing and listening to. It was always a drag the night we HAD to go to The Nutcracker. I didn't get the performance of it all I guess. Or how much skill and practice it took for those snowflakes to dance across the stage to this beautiful music, performed LIVE, or how the whole show came together in the first place. I liked that kids were part of the story, and the fantasy of it all, but I didn't understand what it took for those dancers to leap across the stage, or how the music has been around for years and years. How way back when, this all was debuted, and how now it is a tradition many people experience and look forward to all year and all that. You know what I mean?
But what's funny is, I have pictures of Brad and I, as early as 5 and 3 years old, where we'd be 'dressed' in costumes (mostly pajamas) after seeing The Nutcracker.
My little brother. He was a willing participant to many of my schemes, including those where I had him dressed up as Clara – a girl no less. So many times in fact, that around the holidays, my Dad will still sometimes refer to him as 'Clara'. I can hear it now, my father calling to him, Oh Clare-ahh! when he's just hanging out as a grown adult man today.
I got the original nutcracker figure of our family's collection under the tree when I was about 5. I LOVED it, and I'm sure I carried it around like a baby doll. We used it to actually crack nuts, to probably my parents horror, since it was actually meant to be a decoration. Then suddenly after that first year, the annual nutcracker under the tree became part of one of 'Brad's' collections. My first one, with the grey rabbit fur beard and hair and eyebrows, I'm sure is standing on a beam somewhere in his home today. Thankfully one he received at my apartment a few years ago never made it into his suitcase for the return flight. He's NEVER getting it back, and it's pictured above, The Hunter, I think.
Anyway, after this very long day, in a sort of long week of never-ending days and nights, I am thinking about The Nutcracker Suite, and how much it meant and still means to me and my family, even if we don't get to see it together every year.
Happy, happy holidays to all (4 of you) who visit me here.