12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge Day 1 – Favorite Holiday Tradition (The Nutcracker!)

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A view of the stage at McCaw Hall as people gather to find their seats

The Nutcracker here in Seattle at the Pacific Northwest Ballet is truly something special. After moving to Seattle, this was something I heard a lot of buzz about around the holiday season, and quickly decided to give it a try hoping to add it to my holiday tradition repertoire. Over ten years ago when I first arrived in the city, Pacific Northwest Ballet was doing their own version of the Nutcracker which was very non-traditional, and very unique. I fell in love!

My husband and I have been many times over the past ten years we have know each other, and this was a tradition we treasured. If you have ever seen the PNB Nutcracker, you would know how special it is to watch the great Boeing Christmas Tree grow several stories before your eyes on stage! With this being such a beloved tradition, it goes without saying that we were a little nervous to hear that PNB had scrapped their production last year in lieu of returning to a more traditional Nutcracker performance.

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Of course, we HAD to see it, and were absolutely left speechless after watching the first new performance! The set and costumes were BREATHTAKING and so beautifully executed. The colors were brilliant and ever little detail had been addressed. They had even gone as far as to add some details in the beginning to better help tell the story of the Nutcracker, and it was all quite entrancing. In short, seeing the Nutcracker at the ballet has always been one of our favorite traditions, but it is one we especially look forward to since the Pacific Northwest Ballet took it upon themselves to refresh their performance!

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Apparently sippy cups of your favorite drink are now allowed in during the performance?! If not I’m sorry my girlfriend insisted hers was okay haha! 
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My sweet daughter getting ready to watch her first Nutcracker performance! 
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Rat King cookies – an intermission must-have!

If you have never been to the ballet before, I think the Nutcracker is a good first step in. The performance is brief and to the point, and has some quirky little jokes worked in for anyone to snicker at. The attire is formal, though in Seattle you will see people attending in jeans and sweaters, which of course is not recommended but is permitted in our casual city. McCaw Hall where the Pacific Northwest Ballet performs is a stunning establishment and you will find it all decked out for the holidays! The location also is prime in the sense that it is close to some wonderful Seattle area restaurants to enjoy before or after your performance. In years past, we have dined at Prelude, the restaurant inside the Hall before watching the show, and this year we instead headed to Toulouse Petit in Lower Queen Anne for a late night happy hour and chance to exchange Christmas gifts with friends.

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I snuck a picture during curtain call (pictures aren’t allowed so I am sorry) but just had to show you all how beautiful the set is. It is truly stunning! 
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A snapshot of the crowd funneling out of McCaw Hall after the Nucracker performance
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They have a few fun little areas in the lobby for pictures that are so much fun for children. My daughter was posing as one of the snowflake ballerinas! 
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My daughter and I afterwards, stopping for a quick picture in front of the enormous Christmas tree in the lobby

So, what is your favorite Christmas tradition? Is there anything specifically in Seattle you can’t miss every year?

If you haven’t seen it yet, below is my 12 Days of Christmas Blog/Instagram Challenge… feel free to join in if you like!

Merry Christmas!

X.O. Abbey Co.

Christmas Blogging Challenge

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