You know how I know the Christmas season is approaching? Nope, not by the calendar date. Nope, not by the crowds in the stores, the tree decorated in our living room or the presents wrapped up underneath.
I know it's Christmas because I went to see The Nutcracker and while it wasn't a professional (meaning the New York or Chicago or whatever Ballet) performance, the dancers were all trained, all either studying dance in college or actually making a living with smaller dance troupes. And it was really well done.
Ballerinas from Toledo and Cleveland came in to work with younger kids from area dance schools and a few local actors. The area symphony played the music and it was really, really good. Made me miss my musical background and start thinking about playing again. Then I thought about the time commitment that would take and since I have little enough time as it is with the fiction, I decided I'd just support the arts - by going to other performances.
Would I like to have seen the ballet in Chicago, New York or San Francisco? Yeah. The level of ability would have been different, the costuming and stage setting would have been a little bit larger than life. We were seated 4th row, center - exactly the right place to see the fight with the Rat King, the dance of the Sugar Plum fairy and the Flower Queen.
Now the music is rolling around in my head, the different dances taking center stage in my memory. I love the Nutcracker - by far my favorite ballet (I know, it's a lot of people's favorite). Gets me in the holiday spirit every single time.
What spells Christmas for you?