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Christmas Time is Here!

November 18, 2013

Traditions are very important to me. A long-standing tradition can bring families together in ways that not much else can. It warms my heart to hear my not-so-little children saying things like, “Remember when,” and “Aren’t we doing ________ like we’ve done before?” What I see is that whatever the season, something is made more memorable by a tradition. True, you can be overwhelmed by too many traditions. In fact, it could bog down a perfectly beautiful celebration if every moment had to include a tradition of some sort. But, to have a few special things for your family to look forward to each year can be a precious thing.

The “big holiday season” is coming soon. We are making grocery lists and shopping lists and to do lists and wish lists…oh, so many lists! That is already beginning for me, but the real start of the Christmas season for our home is the annual performance of “The Nutcracker.” When my Emilie was small, I was able to take her to enjoy the ballet. Now, our family goes together to watch Hayden perform.

In our community, “The Nutcracker” is a ballet performed by the Eugene Ballet Company along with quite a few talented locals. The dance students from our area audition in September and spend weekends through October and November rehearsing for the performance, where they join the Eugene company.

Throughout the years, we have watched our daughter dance as an adorable mouse, a beautiful angel, an energetic ladybug, and an excited party guest. Her age and experience have not allowed her to be a part of the flower corps yet.

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Last year, an emergency caused Jerry and me to miss the first part of the performance. Our older children both called (separately) to assure us that they would represent us to their sister, asking if they should buy her flowers. It touched my heart as a mom that they would ask, and also showed me this is important to all of us. It has become a treasured tradition in the Smart home.

Each time we enter Jacoby Auditorium and find our seats to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, excitement builds. Smiles all around, as proud parents and local fine arts supporters wait expectantly for the lights to lower and the music to rise. Little girls, dressed in their very best, waiting to experience the magic for the first time and those of us who have had the pleasure of watching before, gather together to enjoy this community tradition.
It’s different than the everyday things we do. We dress up and sit properly in our seats, applauding where appropriate, holding bouquets to give to our little “stars.” It has become a special family activity for us, a tradition that none wants to part with. And once we leave the auditorium, I (at least) can say the season has started.

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