The Nutcracker ballet is synonymous with the holiday season. Nutcracker performances start about the time Advent begins and end about the time Advent ends. Probably the only reason Santa doesn’t have more competition from the Nutcracker is because it is a ballet (smile).
Our oldest granddaughter recently danced in her first Nutcracker. She is relatively new to ballet, so to audition and receive even a small part, was momentous. It was an enormous undertaking for her parents with rehearsals, costumes, makeup, and performances on top of an already busy family life. Her sisters are already looking forward to when they are old enough to audition.
The Nutcracker is like a rite of passage for girls in ballet. It’s often the first and only serious ballet they will ever perform. Most girls take ballet classes for a few years before moving on to other activities or having to drop out because of the financial commitments. It’s expensive enough for one child, much less multiple children in a household.
Keana has blazed the trail for her two younger sisters. I’m sure we have many, many years of The Nutcracker ahead of us, along with the wonder of anticipating their roles and experiences.
Advent is a sort of rite of passage too. Auditions and rehearsals prepare the dancers for their performances and our spiritual preparation and reflection prepare us for Christmas. We may know the story of Christmas and have our own traditions we do every year, but it is making opportunities to reflect and ponder what the coming of the Christ Child means to us that makes it truly meaningful.
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God. ~ Isaiah 35:1-2
Expectantly waiting for the coming of Christ in your life may not be as exciting as anticipating the Sugar Plum Fairy, but we we can at least relate to the anticipation the beauty of blooms and blossoms after a drought and birdsong after a long , cold winter.
What are you anticipating, from the deep wells of your being, this coming Christmas season?
As I get more and more caught up in the traditions of the holiday season, may I also take time to reflect, wonder, and enjoy the little gifts presented in this Advent season. Amen.