Kids + Teens

Memories of The Nutcracker

Whether your favorite holiday memories and traditions involve trimming the tree, building a spectacular gingerbread house, or drinking hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, is there anything that puts you in the holiday mood more than hearing the first few bars of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies”? This joyful music makes me think of marching toy soldiers in bright red jackets and twirling sugar plum fairies. Here we collected a few of our memories of The Nutcracker.

Lara Starr, Children’s Publicist
“My son, Max (picture in the lower right hand corner), as a Toy Soldier in his combined Kindergarten/1st Grade class’ production of The Nutcracker. Well, not the full Nutcracker, these squirmy 5, 6 and 7 year old soldiers and Sugar Plum Fairies only had the patience for abbreviated (though adorable) choreographed dances and a joyous finale that involved of a lot of running around and leaping.”

Albee Dalbotten, Associate Marketing Director, Entertainment/Digital
“Hearing the overture to The Nutcracker is really the thing that gets me in the holiday spirit every year. It brings me back to countless hours rehearsing for the ballet, starting in September each year. In my 10 years dancing in The Nutcracker, I played everything from a mouse to Chinese Tea (shown – top row, third from the right), Spanish Chocolate and Arabian Coffee and danced in the Snow Scene (my favorite). Most of my favorite holiday memories are connected to this festive ballet!”

Tara Creehan, Designer
“My parents would take my sister and me to The Nutcracker here in San Francisco every year when we were kids, and so it feels so special to get to take my niece and carry on the tradition. She loves getting dressed up, and acting out all of the scenes afterwards. She becomes Clara! Also, it’s so fun for me to watch something as an adult that I’d experienced so vividly as a child.”

The Nutcracker: A Magic Theater Book is perfect both for those going to see The Nutcracker for the first time and those who have seen numerous performances. Turn the pages to create a moving picture, where intricately cut-out characters spring to life. This re-telling by award-winning author Geraldine McCaughrean is rich with the sweetness of a fairytale romance and sprinkled with the whimsy of a candy cane kingdom.

Watch this magical video to see how the book works.

Share your favorite Nutcracker memory with us in the comments section. Three lucky commenters will win a copy of The Nutcracker: A Magic Theater Book. Winner will be chosen on December 17 (giveaway good in the US and Canada only).

Stephanie Wong
Marketing Manager

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  • lace November 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I have yet to see the ballet but I enjoy the music every year. I'm looking forward to someday seeing it.


  • Danzel B. November 30, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I have always loved going to The Nutcracker. I was a theatre major in college, and several of my best friends were dance majors, and at least one of them always danced in our city's big Nutcracker production downtown. Two of our closest family friends play Clara's parents now, every year. For a couple of years, I would bring my daughters and they would bring theirs, and I would sit with the kids so they could see the shorter version presented as a school field trip. However, last year, two of the kids had moved on to all-day kindergarten. So I took my then-4 and 6-year-old daughters to see the full version, with orchestra, and guest stars, and snow scene. Their faces during the snow scene! They were beaming. After the show, I took them to where they could meet and greet the dancers. They had their picture taken with our friend and Herr Drosselmeyer, and my little one got to talk to her dance teacher's young assistant, who was in the production. It was magical to them. I can't wait to take them again in a couple of weeks!


  • Bets November 30, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I love taking my kids to our local performance of the Nutcrcker. It is alway's a worry that they won't sit still, but as soon as the orchestra starts playing they are entranced and did I mention that they are boys.


  • matkeltri December 1, 2012 at 2:41 am

    Wow, this looks like a really neat book. I saw The Nutcracker performed by a local ballet company when I was little (in a school gym or someplace like that). It was a little long for me to sit through, but I remember liking the Russian dancers best. As I got older and went through piano and french horn lessons (and watched lots of figure skating), I realized many of my favorite melodies came from that ballet that I saw so long ago.


  • Janelle December 1, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Both my kids are performing in our local area Nutcracker this December. My daughter is cast as a Party Girl and Mirliton and my son is a tiny tot. We are making memories this year! 🙂


  • mirabelle December 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Going to see a local production when I was 9 and somehow my mom got us backstage to meet the Sugar plum fairy – the best gift for a little girl obsessed with ballerinas! I cannot wait until my girls are old enough to go see a production.


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